UCOP Efficiency Review
Cost and Time Savings
At one time, thought that building services was going to have electricity meters displayed / floor in Franklin. Believe if this happened and had communication campaign on the cost/savings/carbon footprint aspects and staff could see in real time the usage, they’d get more involved in shutting off lights. Make it a floor competition? Almost every single conf room I walk into has all lights on, many offices are vacant with lights on, pretty easy to socially engineer a change in behavior that will result in reduced spend and staff feeling more involved in something that matters
Printing. We print way too much. How
a. Make sure everyone knows the cost per page of:
i. Half duplex vs full duplex. Full duplex should be the default and everyone strongly discouraged to print half duplex
ii. Black and white vs color. Most color handouts I get are just as useful if b&w.
Could have posted at every printer as a frequent reminder
b. figure out how to put as part of everyone’s signature on email a note at bottom to please consider the environment and cost of printing this email? Many companies do this now. Just that reminder does give you a bit of pause before printing.
c. Discourage printed out agendas handed out at mtgs. Organizer who has a laptop can project it.
d. Encourage people to change margins before printing docs to conserve paper - it makes a difference
e. If someone is going to print out hand outs for mtg, make sure they tell meeting attendees in advance so the individual doesn’t also print out
j. bet there are more if we unleashed a workgroup on this
More broadly, we need to insure that real savings depts. achieve have some amount of the savings given back to the dept to better incent. Many times if you cut, your budget just gets reduced and you now have less. While everyone should be motivated to reduce overall spend, human nature is such that reaping some of the benefits directly might be greater motivation.
Perhaps this is already in place, but you could mandate that staff put their computers to sleep when leaving work. Save electricity & money.
There are exceptions of course, for example some people have
software that renders video etc that can take a long time and can do so
unattended, these programs often run throughout the night - as such they should
not be forced to put their computers to sleep.
This has been used in other companies that I've worked for and saves money by saving paper. Every day people print documents to the printer that don't get picked up. In addition, every print job has a cover sheet witht he name of the person who owns the print job. There is a printer setting that will hold the print job until the person goes to the printer to pick it up. Then they release it and the job prints. No need for a cover sheet. Those jobs which are printed and forgotten today are never printed under this system. An alternative is to not print the banner page, but use the option to put the banner in the margins on all the pages. Very few documents are used for public consumption. This option could be disabled if needed for a specific document. Saves the cost of all the banner sheets being printed.
UCOP should replace it's practice of buying smartphones and/or tablets for hundreds of employees at a cost of $400k+ per year with a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) only policy and a corresponding partial reimbursement for business use of those devices.
Stop replanting flowers on the 5th floor patio.
We should explore the opportunities to benefit from economies of scale by considering system-wide platforms and pricing for collaboration tools such as Instant Messaging, Web Conferencing, Video Conferencing, etc.
We should consider mandating that UCOP departments/individuals NOT acquire AppleCare insurance on iPhones but instead contribute to a repair fund. It would likely be less expensive to self-insure iPhones this way than it would otherwise be to attain AppleCare insurance on them.
UCOP desperately needs a communication chat/messaging tool that integrates with our Active Directory and MS Office products so we can communicate freely and effortlessly. This would save lots of time getting responses to questions.
It could also replace ReadyTalk for quick conferencing and desktop sharing.
Many teams already use Google Chat informally because the demand is there.
The tool should also be able to federate with other UC systems.
Provide incentives to save money
Study # of nights hotel stays at each campus by ucop personnel. Would it be cheaper to lease corp apartment spaces at each campus so we avoid hotel expenses at our most frequent locations?
I have worked at other campuses where we can input our own expenses into a T&E system and they are then processed for payment. Today we fill out an online PDF form that does not work correctly (meals don't always carry to the first page) and is out of date (still has the BRC color teams). The form has to be printed, we're making copies, then we give it to an admin who types it in so that it can be processed - this seems inefficient.
"I work in the Business Resource Center. On a regular basis we find that travelers and entertainment arrangers have gone outside of policy on their spending -- everything from going over meal allowances (both entertaining and traveling), to spending $350 on a hotel bill, where the allowed amount is $159.00. In some cases, the added expense can be shown to have a legitimate business purpose for the university. However, we have also had to spend hours to justify that we are not going to pay for people's parking tickets while traveling for UC. Nor are we going to pay for that breakfast on the day their travel started at 3:00 PM. There's a new one every week. The response to our letting them know that this expense is outside policy is “What do I have to do to get an exception to policy?”
My proposal for more efficiency is for travelrs be required to read and know the travel policy before they travel; and for those arranging entertainment to know the entertainment policy.
It would also help if those who approve exceptions to policy, turn them down. In my years at the BRC there is only one exception to policy that I am aware of that was turned down -- one in 5 years.
Travel policy states that we are supposed to travel in the most efficient , cost effective way possible. If we had to spend less time chasing down exceptions, maybe we could do that.
It is common to find employees coming in to work late and leaving early. There is no effective way to manage this without a time and attendance system, which we do not have.
There is an excessive reliance to tools to do everything and a proliferation of too many tools, which also keep changing. Tools should be, by definition, something that saves time and helps to accomplish a task. But some of the tools we are forced to use are the opposite - it takes up a lot of time to use the tool and get familiar with it and it hinders the actual work we are trying to accomplish. Some of the tools I am forced to use almost daily are - ServiceNow for tickets, Optimal(now Replicon) for time entry, TRS again for time entry, Quality Center for defects, RTC for source code management, Sharepoint to store files. None of these tools are essential. None of these were in use by us 3 years ago, when I joined UCOP and we functioned better without them. In addition, we now need teams of admin/support personnel to maintain these tools.
Email is another big time waster. Inboxes of everyone are clogged with many emails and a lot of time is spent reading unimportant emails, organizing and sorting them into folders and keeping track of them. As a result, we miss or delay getting to the really important emails. We need a better email system.
We need one thing that is simple to use and maintain, that automatically organizes emails, that can replace most of the admin/tracking type tools we use today and save us all a lot of time. I highly recommend www.mailbin.com that would do all these things for free and it is also cloud based. You can go to www.mailbin.com to read more.
The most significant savings are going to come from salary savings. In my 20+ years at the university, I have observed that many units have cyclical work. We are staffed up to handle the peak periods, which results in being overstaffed during the slow periods, even though many staff are actually hourly employees. We should make better use of variable appointments and flexible schedules so that payroll is reduced during non-peak periods. The way we operate is as if a grocery store staffed up to handle the thanksgiving rush and then maintained that level of staffing year round.
It would be great to have a place to go to check if UCOP or UC has a entreprise software license for a software product so a dept doesn't go buy it.
Even better would be to classify the ones we have licenses for so if someone wants a particular type of tool Ithey could look at what we already have.
And, as long as we're at it, a way to nominate products for enterprise use.
Paperless office. Be mindful of regulations that pertain to going paperless.
The law librarian in the General Counsel's office spends considerable time negotiating and managing the contracts for electronic resources such as Westlaw, Lexis and BNA, which are also used by other departments in the UC system. Both cost and time savings could be realized by instead contracting with the vendors for these services on a system-wide basis, or at least on a larger basis, for example joining our contracts with those of the UCB Law Library. Cost savings could result from a better price for these services and time savings could result by freeing the law librarian from this task and giving it to someone with more experience who is already doing it.
Consider treating the birth or adoption of a child as a paid benefit rather than a disability. Remove birth/adoption from disability management entirely. Instead:
Offer a single, simple blanket benefit to each parent: 4 months 100% paid time off, starting from time of birth or date of adoption.
Employees can use vacation or sick leave for any time prior birth or adoption.
Substantial staff time saved: in all departments, including HR/Payroll, Supervisors, Employees, in managing, tracking, reconciling arcane overlapping disability policies that are not designed to meet modern parents' needs.
Run actuarial study to figure out what it'd cost for UC to simply, directly support new parents for 4 months. Eliminate or streamline paperwork, complex options, and other related benefits to support this (e.g. premiums to Liberty Mutual, the sittercity ""benefit""
Rather than mailing required filings with governmental agencies, campuses and UCOP departments should be encouraged to use upload functions wherever possible. As long as the upload transmits sensitive data in a secure manner, UC can save on postage and handling costs.
An example that we utilize in my department is uploading the quarterly Department of Commerce Survey of Foreign Transactions reports. And, we are investigating filing our consolidated UBIT tax return electronically. In past years, this was filed in a large box with the post office.
UCOP Vendor Database
UCOP uses many vendors, some who have master agreements and some who would require a purchase order (PO). The current process involves checking if a vendor is "in the system" with UCOP Procurement Services or the BRC and if they have a master agreement with the University. Departments do not know who, within UCOP, used the vendor and what their feedback was or the length of the contract.
This idea would be to have a systemwide database of ALL vendors that UCOP uses, categorized by the services they provide and if UCOP has a master agreement with the vendor and their contact information. With multiple UCOP departments using the same vendors (for example a hotel location), event and meeting organizers can check the database for options and learn in advance if the vendor they are considering has 1) A master agreement with UC and 2) Does not have a master agreement and a W-9 must be requested from the vendor.
Additional internal UCOP department reviews / feedback of the vendor can also be provided to rank vendors for future reference.
I work with the BRC unit. There is a lot of time wasted, particularly on Travel reimbursements. Several items, of which receipts, and notation are not required, are heavily scrutinized by the REVIEWERS of the processed reimbursement reports. These items are usually expenditures under $5.00, of which the department submitting the reimbursement request simply followed the instruction on the form. For instance 'Ground Transportation' is categorized on the form as Taxi / Shuttle / train / BART / Metro. However in the system Taxi is not considered Ground Transportation. If a traveler spent $5.00 on a taxi ride, he lists it under Other Ground Transportation. When this happens the reviewer will ask the processor of the report to contact the department to ask where they took the taxi, why etc. Rightfully so, the department wonders why the travelers reimbursement is being held up by 'lack-of-information' that isn't required. This causes a lot of angst between the travelers and the BRC unit.
A representative from a company suggests purchase of LED lights for cost savings.
Travel reimbursements are very time consuming. Would it be possible to switch to a per diem system where you receive x dollar amount per day for food (this amount could be much less than the current maximums)? This would eliminate the need to track receipts and spend hours completing paperwork. I think the time lost completing complicated reimbursements would more than make up for any savings not using a per diem system.
Reexamine options for audio conferences beyond ready talk
Cross-training individuals instead of hiring Contract and Top employees. This will save money and gives the employee opportunity of new skill sets.
Reducing Franklin Building Hours of Operation: The Franklin Building is open 24 hours a day and monitored with security at the front desk. One possible way to achieve energy efficiency and cost savings could be reducing the hours of operation, and closing the building 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Mondays-Saturdays, and all Sundays.
This could mean:
-- Cost savings from decreased energy use (mostly lighting since I know turning off the heating/air conditioning daily would be a problem)
-- Cost savings from not needing to staff the security desk during these hours
The people who tend to work late or come in on weekends will learn to follow the building's new hours of operation, and work at home if they want/need to. This suggestion assumes we already have an alarm we can turn on when no one is here.
Also, we could reduce janitorial services by having trash in offices/cubicles emptied every other day. Bathrooms and kitchens would continue to be cleaned daily.
Get distribution lists made for each division and department so that leaders can easily reach out to their staff.
Lists should be automatically updated when employees arrive and leave as part of onboarding and offboarding.
Require all employees at substantial income levels (ie over $100K!) who travel as part of their jobs to own and operate or have ready access to a car as a term of employment so that we are not spending exhorbitant amounts on taxis to airports.
Everyone should be required to keep their Outlook calendars open to facilitate meeting scheduling. If a meeting topic is sensitive, the meeting can be made "private" within Outlook and only the attendees will know meeting details. This will save a good deal of time when setting up meetings.
This will be a culture change for some departments but should lead to greater efficiency in working together.
Problem/Opportunity: the method of communicating information to management within OP is inconsistent. For example, my department occasionally has the need to communicate information to Department Heads, who have responsibility for certain HR matters for their respective departments. Without a standard distribution list, we end up relying on manually created email lists, and we occasionally miss people who should have been included (for examples, executive assistants, deputies and chiefs of staff. I'm aware that other OP offices (for example, EVP Bus Ops) also rely on manually created lists. Each list is a little different than the next.
I propose a single office be responsible for maintaining two or three standard email distribution lists, including appropriate levels of management and the additional contacts in their office who expect to be included. I realize maintainance of central lists is not a small chore, and would require ongoing management.
Reduced schedule of system wide meetings. Every other month instead of every month.
I am from the BRC.
I see people getting reimbursed for having a rental car for 4 days, costing $150+++, and only using it to travel 20 miles. Thus we pay for the rental car, the parking, and the gas -- when it would be more cost effective to get a hotel/airport shuttle. We could encourage people to be more mindful of how they spend their travel money on this topic and other ways.
If we can make small changes like this, it might help in the mindset of people to think more frugally.
Processing simple accounting payments and reimbursements is continuously onerous. Our unit documents and approves, then that gets reviewed and approved at the VP level, then at least one and in many cases multiple members of BRC review and more often than not send expenses back for clarification, then it is sent to UCLA for another round - again often sent back for another round of revision. Really? As a result, often relatively very modest expenses (under $100) involve multiple hours and multiple individuals. In some cases, T&E cards and reimbursements are not paid for months, causing late fees and mad-dashes to avoid getting a card cancelled. At a minimum, certain types of expenses, or expenses under a dollar amount (like $2,500 or $5,000) should have more expedited procedures, requiring simply one other layer of approval.
The short and long-term expenditures of re-designing UCOP's office space should be reviewed during this process. Granted, the offices are somewhat dated and unlikely as efficient as new architecture. But, for a public institution, the space is more than adequate. It does not feel credible that considerable dollars in the short term can be saved, considering the expense and work disruption expected by re-building the offices.
Allowing an employee to choose between a 401k and the pension retirement plan could save UC money in pension contributions. If a 401k program had a 10% match policy, but also capped at a certain annual dollar amount, there would be at least a 2% savings in UC contributions, and potentially more should a high-earner top-out via the dollar amount level. There is also the possibility that employees might decrease their own contributions from time to time, so UC would not have to match a full 10% salary contribution every year.
A 401k would be beneficial for many younger employees who might like to have some extra income on hand to save to buy a house or pay off student loans, as 6.5% of a paycheck that goes to the pension currently, is sizable. Also, employees could take their 401k with them should they leave UC, another benefit for many of the younger employees who may move around in the professional world.
OfficeMax supply orders. When I started at UCOP in 2012 I was given a paper catalog from which to order supplies. I had not ordered supplies from a catalog in over 10 years or more. I received approval to see if I could streamline the process and contacted the vendor who provided access to an on-line catalog that included contract priceing and the correct items numbers which had to be translated by BRC previously. I discovered some departments were aware of the on-line catalog, created specifically for UCOP, and some where not. Using the online catalog is a great timesaver for us and BRC. I would suggest the on-line catalog be upgraded so it is more of a useful tool by adding a shoping cart module so orders can be populated, forwarded for approval, and filled. Currently the online catalog is “view only” and orders need to be cut and pasted into a format to be sent to BRC for fulfillment. This in not a new concept and is widely used is businesses of all sectors for office supply ordering.
I’ve no doubt that my efficiency idea has already been recommended by others, but let chime in….I believe it makes perfect sense that a UCOP-wide document scanning and storage system be developed. There are many departments in my division looking to develop a solution to their massive paper storage problem as well as the need to eliminate file cabinets taking up space that could be used for staff cubicles. So rather than different areas reinventing the wheel (duplication), UCOP should hire a team of document storage and indexing specialists to develop and implement (and train users on) a standardized system that all departments can utilize.
The air conditioning in the Fraklin Building is too much in the summer and many people end up wearing sweaters and coats to stay warm. Cutting the air con might save some eneregy costs. I recognize that this is a LEEDS Gold buiding, but improvements can always be made.
Change the default on Outlook Calendar to shared so that staff have an easier time scheduling meetings, especially for those of us that travel between buildings. It allows meeting organizers to schedule the meeting at the right location.
Allow supervisors to issue prepaid BART tickets for travel between Kaiser and Franklin buildings.The reimbursement process for BART travel between OP buildings is time consuming for a number of approvers. Can't we trust our employees with prepaid BART passes for the $1.75 ride ? It's cheaper than purchasing an OP shuttle - which could also solve the problem.
UCOP should stop spending money on the first friday breakfast. This was started years ago during the big OP reorganization, and has outlived its purpose. Why would OP spend tax payer money on feeding staff breakfast when it does not want to have the perception of spending tax payer money on a holiday party which, in my opinion, is a legitimate event.
The current agreement with UCLA to provide administrative services for OP is 13 years old and should be re evaluated. OP spends approximately $1.5 million per year for these services, and many things have changed since the inception of this arrangement. At that time, there was a competitive bid for campuses to provide administrative systems support to OP. Re bidding this work would likely not only reduce OP costs but could streamline transaction processing, such as the cumbersome travel reimbursement process. Other campuses, such as UCSD, UCSF and UCD, have made significant improvements in business transaction processing and systems that might better serve OP.
Instead of having non-UC folks planting flowers and doing other garden maintenance, have a UCOP employee group of green thumbs get together periodically to pull weeds and plant new flowers - could be a nice stress reducer and team builder
Expense Reports: A considerable amount of time and money would be saved if UCOP adopted an online reimbursement process like MyExpense at UCSF (Concur ). MyExpense allows travelers or their delegates to input their information directly into a system that talks to accounts payable. Features that catch mistakes and flag non-allowable expenses are built in so it’s rare for expense reports to be kicked back. A typical request would involve typing in five lines of information, attaching scanned receipts and sending the report off to the traveler to approve. From there the expense report goes to the supervisor/authorized approver and then straight to accounts payable. If there are no issues with the report, the funds are deposited into the travelers bank account within 24-48 hours. I have seen travelers receive funds before they even return from their trip because they took photos of their receipts and submitted their report via the Concur mobile application.
Purchasing: An online ordering system like BearBuy at Berkeley and UCSF or CruzBuy at Santa Cruz would be a welcome change from UCOP’s current centralized, manual system. BearBuy and Cruzbuy allow any staff member to shop online and send their cart to their authorized approver. This prevents mistakes and misunderstandings between requestor and middle man and speeds up the process. BRC staff here at UCOP manually inputs product codes into BruinBuy, so there are many opportunities for oversights and errors. I’ve participated in many long strings of emails about missing items and incorrect orders during my time at UCOP, which is a huge waste of time, energy, and resources. I’ve placed hundreds of orders via an online system in the past (CruzBuy at UCSC and BearBuy at UCSF) and I can’t recall having to waste any time resolving discrepancies. I believe we are the only UC location that doesn’t use an online purchasing system and allow individual staff members to create their own orders, so we would do well to follow the lead of the locations we oversee.
UCLA: The UCOP and UCLA accounting alliance does not seem to be working. Our inability to implement [eProcurement available to all staff] is largely due to our partnership with LA as far as I can tell from my corner of OP. Their Travel Express system and BruinBuy purchasing system are clunky, inflexible, and confusing, making travel transactions and purchasing unnecessarily difficult. A partnership with UCSF accounting would make much more sense since they have implemented time and cost saving strategies that have proven to be successful. They are also located in our vicinity and have a courier service, so we could eliminate the need for FedEx to send checks. I’m aware that previous partnerships with UCSF haven’t worked out, but I think it’s worth a try.
Budget training: A UCOP budget training program is badly needed. When new staff members come aboard with budget responsibilities, they often struggle to learn the complex and fragmented OP budget system even if they have an accounting or background. Budget coordinators and others with budget oversight are put in the position to train/orient new staff when they themselves are sometimes confused about the standards and expectations from the budget office. Most of the locations have some kind of budget training (e.g. San Diego, Santa Cruz, Berkeley, Davis), so we are far behind in this respect. Adequate training will help prevent delays with budget transactions and provide relief to managers who are currently providing training for their staff. Ethics and stewardship principles can be integrated into these trainings for additional value. A standardized, comprehensive UCOP budget training program will foster efficiency and reduce waste by ensuring that our staff with budgetary oversight are fully trained and equipped with the knowledge they need to be good stewards of university funds.
Technology: Please upgrade us to Windows 7 and Office 2010. Calendar glitches and technical delays are caused by our aging operating system and software and their incompatibility with newer software and mobile technology. When I turn on my machine in the morning, I read emails on my phone while I wait 5-10 minutes to log on and load Outlook. In addition, Outlook often freezes at critical times when shifting between calendar and email. I have developed workarounds to deal with these delays, but at times there is no workaround and it is difficult to meet time sensitive needs. These upgrades would improve productivity and response time and would be greatly appreciated by staff.
My understanding is that UCLA Travel typically purchases refundable airline tickets for University travel. Cost savings could be achieved by changing the default to instead purchase nonrefundable airline tickets, requiring justification in order to purchase refundable tickets. Even when the travel is subject to change, change fees are typically less costly than the difference between a nonrefundable ticket and a refundable ticket. The system would need to permit reimbursement of change fees in order to achieve these savings.
I think we should stop having people work from home. If you don’t have a laptop and clear goals/deadlines then you shouldn’t work from home. I understand that being exempt has its privileges, but paying people to sit at home and send out an email or two is not cost effective.
Save outside attorney expense by establishing a Northern and Southern California in-house defense firms (similar to what most insurance companies do). These attorneys would be UC employees. This would not only save costs, but would provide more consistent representation and a deeper knowledge of UC on the part of defense counsel.
All the clocks at ucop should show the same and accurate time
Migrating all appropriate computer users to Citrix's XenDesktop and replacing their old computers with Zero or Thin Clients. This could save upwards of $100/year/user in energy costs alone. Thin Client units operate at approximately 6-10 watts. Older computer consume 200-400 watts.
Problem: Expense review takes too long and too difficult to track. I get notices from the CC company telling me expenses are not paid. I experience further delay due to questions of minutia. Example: I had an expnese delayed over 2 weeks due to a question of a $1 tip being attributed to a taxi versus a shuttle versus a hotel bag handler? This $1 held up hundreds of dollars in reimbursement, and required more of my time, and theirs.
The bright side? UC saves money because I am afraid I don't have to time to submit an expense for $14 in BART fares when traveling around campuses. Perfect is the enemy of good.
Maintenance of assigned work space in an office is expensive. Most work can be done at remote locations. The technology supports this. There is sufficient examples in the corporate world for us to understand how to manage remotely. UCOP is administrative, the campuses have administrative units. We should examine the pros and cons of establishing a goal of 40% of the work force being remote.
Centralized printing needs to have centralized support beyond delivering supplies. When there are problems with the copiers, it is difficult to know 1) if someone has already called, 2) if so, who, and 3) the ticket/incident number for follow up. Furthermore, it can be time-consuming and frustrating for whomever calls, and that time takes away from the employee's job duties.
Dealing with the Xerox technicians should be the responsibility of Building Services. It is inefficient to have copier maintenance issues handled in such a random manner.
Cell phones: for those of us who have them, we often have to carry two phones because we don't want to give up our personal line, but the University also gives us a phone so that we can be reached at all hours. Carrying two phones is burdensome. Many of us just prefer to use our personal phone and hardly use the additional phone that has been given to us.
Now, I'm not saying that we shouldn't have smartphones. Work is not what it was in the past. We work outside of the normal 8-5 schedule, and not always in the office. But perhaps there could be an option for those of us who do not want to give up our personal lines and also do not want to carry a second phone to be compensated for use of our personal phone through either a partial reimbursement process or a "stipend" of sorts. So, instead of UC paying for an additional phone and monthly service fee, I would get reimbursed $50 per month for use of my personal phone. Give us the option instead of automatically giving us the phone.
For those of us that need a phone for business use, it is cumbersome and costly to have to carry a personal phone as well. Our plans currently have enough minutes/data so that we could use them for personal use and not incur any extra cost. I'm sure people would be willing to pay a small price, for the benefit of using only one phone. The University could reduce its phone expense, and so could employees who currently maintain two phones.y a small price, for the benefit of using only one phone. The University could reduce its phone expense, and so could employees who currently maintain two phones.
I believe we should halt the purchasing of writing pens. This will save UC a lot of money. After all, who really needs another pen.
I would prefer that UCOP not distribute any facial tissue at all than distribute the awful, scratchy Optima tissues. I have three boxes of Optima languishing in my desk drawers, while I bring in proper Kleenex from home, and I am sure that I am not alone.
Generally applied, if UCOP isn't willing to pay for a quality basic product (facial tissue, pens, notebooks, etc.), then it saves money and resources all around to not supply it at all and let employees provide it for themselves.
Consider requiring UCOP owned smartphones and tablets to be held for 36-months before being eligible to be discontinued and a newer or different model purchased. Currently newer smartphones and tablets are routinely purchased as soon as the carrier contract on the old one allows, typically one or two years. This change would defer spending for newer devices for one or two years.
Employees who primarily work in one building should not be reimbursed for parking in another building. I know of several employees who work at Franklin, but have occasional meetings at Kaiser. They choose to drive to Kaiser rather that walk or take BART or the free shuttle and then submit the parking cost for reimbursement.
Closer review of items submitted for reimbursement in general needs to happen. Some employees take advantage of the system and are being reimbursed for items they should not be. There needs to be tighter controls!
Problem: Employees have no place to put lightly used, undamaged supplies that they no longer need. As a result, common areas--such as photocopy rooms--get cluttered over time, we run out of storage space, and eventually supplies are tossed out even though they are still in good condition. We once had a re-use center. Could the re-use center be established again? Is there some other way to get our surplus supplies into the hands of people who could use them?
I believe switching to [a specific vendor] for shipping [...] could greatly reduce expenses without a major increase in delivery time to many locations.
Please bring back the sustainability center where staff could pick up office supplies that were no longer needed by one department but could be used by another department. Maybe there could be a cubicle in the BRC where employees could pick up office supplies that were ordered by mistake and could not be used or excess supplies a department might have when they downsize or move to a different location.
Travel reimbursements are very time consuming. Would it be possible to switch to a per diem system where you receive x dollar amount per day for food (this amount could be much less than the current maximums)? This would eliminate the need to track receipts and spend hours completing paperwork. I think the time lost completing complicated reimbursements would more than make up for any savings not using a per diem system.
Please, please turn down the air conditioning! It is freezing in most of the building and absolutely frigid in several of the conference rooms.
We should investigate freeware.
Let’s do some pilot programs of NOT getting maximal insurance/support on iPhones, rental cars, etc. and see if we don’t actually save money paying for the odd crisis instead of the guaranteed insurance.
Price out using Zipcar instead of renting cars.
I wouldn’t be sad to see First Friday breakfasts go. I’d personally get more of a morale boost having an official casual First Friday that day when even the senior managers dressed down, even for big systemwide meetings. UC gear encouraged!
UCOP has multiple agreements with [a vendor....] If these agreements were combined and administered together, I'm sure they could be streamlined and UCOP could save [...]. We should also look at any campuses [...] to further consolidate and manage the vendor relationship from a single point.
I agree we should stop First Friday breakfasts. I think it may even be against a policy of spending UCOP money for ongoing meetings.
Just one simple question: Do we really need all those consultants? This is an area I really could see cost savings.
Today I received a beautiful, colorful paper brochure describing “Learning and development opportunities to grow your career.” It is basically a catalog of courses available to UCOP staff. There are several dozen courses described, and if any detail of any one of the courses changes, then the entire brochure will be out of date, if it is not out of date already. Why is frequently changing information like this printed on paper? A web page that can be changed easily would be less expensive and much more useful.
I believe we should purchase a location that is large enough to house all of the UCOP employees located in Oakland. This would save the employees time that is spent going back and forth between the locations, it will save us money that is spent for the overall maintenance of the four buildings, and it will make us feel like we all work for the same entity- The University of California.
Before the 2009 restructuring, department staff filled out on-line the travel reimbursement information directly into the UCLA Travel Express system.Now that BRC has been formed, dept staff e-fill out 1 form that BRC put into UCLA Travel. Why have we added this layer & additional form? It's duplicative and takes MUCH longer. Why not just have dept staff e-fill out form in UCLA Travel and BRC be the extra set of eyes to determine if costs are allowable and form completed properly?
Replace all off-site employee appreciation group activities with individual days off or gift certificates.
Stop permitting any office holiday decorations to save time and implied or direct pressure to participate.
Cease all employee celebrations (holidays, showers for employees, potlucks) during work time.
Consider looking more closely at reimbursement requests for “business” meeting food amongst colleagues and during staff meetings - is it really necessary? Whatever happened to brown bagging it?
More restrictive policies on personal travel added to business travel - the addition of peresonal travel creates delays in processing and frustration for both processors and travelers when, for example, a comparable quote must be obtained after travel has taken place and/or it turns out that the addition of personal travel resulted in a higher airfare and traveler owes money back to the University
Can OP pay for more server bandwidth? The constant connectivity issues cause huge inefficiencies. Some days, I can book a conference room on Outlook right away. Other days, more times than not, every time I query the room availability, I receive an error message stating that connectivity has been lost. Saving money on server space does NOT save employee time or effeciency.
All unspent unrestricted funds from department budgets are taken ("swept") at the end of each fiscal year. This encourages unnecessary spending to prevent a reduction of budgets and discourages saving to invest in improvements that are not foreseen at the beginning of the budget cycle.
Leave carry forward alone and encourage operational savings that are reinvested in improving quality, efficiency, or new programs that benefit the university without the need for new budget requests. In the long run, this approach can reduce the cost of operations substantially and provide incentives to reduce operational costs so as to free up funds for new initiatives.
Could some electrical expenses be offset by adding solar panel systems to the roofs of UCOP owned buildings such as Franklin?
Could some expenses be offset by leasing additional first floor retail spaces out in the Franklin building instead of using them for storage or conference room?
This is a very small idea. I was just at UC Merced- our greenest campus.
In the ladies room they have toilet paper holders which conserve paper and are tidier.
Would not have sent this but I heard someone suggested hand dryers instead of paper towels.
I suppose every penny counts!
I'm about to suggest what I know will be a wildly unpopular idea, but one that I believe will save UC a lot of money in the long run: eliminate the retiree health care benefit. While this is a valuable benefit for employees, it's also an expensive benefit. Most companies out there don't offer it at all. We already have a pension and a 401K-type plan, which are wonderful. Most companies only offer one or the other.
[...]Because UC is bound by certain state/federal laws, reimbursements can be even more complicated (esp. related to travel). It's not reasonable to expect every UCOP employee to know the entire reimbursement policy from cover to cover. A short info sheet summarizing the most important info would probably be a better way to approach this.
Consider going paperless or at least significantly reducing the amount of paper/printing that happens. There is a lot printed in our building that could just as easily be viewed electronically. Many people are simply stuck in old work processes and refuse to adapt to new technology. Bringing laptops/iPads to a meeting or projecting a document on a screen, rather than printing it for everyone, would be much more efficient. Providing feedback/edits on a document with "track changes" rather than printing out a piece of paper and marking it up would be much more efficient. This will require a culture change for some people but it would save a lot of money in paper, printer ink and printer maintenance.
UCOP already has an agreement with the airlines, to avoid our having to personally pay for plane fares when we travel on University business. I suggest the University have a similar arrangement with selected hotels in Southern California, to avoid employees having to pay out of pocket and then waiting an inordinate length of time to be reimbursed.
Post a list of simple, pro-efficiency videos, online courses, and online tools that show us ways to make better use of our time & resources.
Each location and UCOP could save money on travel if investment were made in state of the art video conferencing facilities. We could maximize the efficiency of our systemwide meetings while reducing costs and time spent on travel. These facilities would be linked and contain at least the following:
- Enough seating for up to 40 participants
- Area microphones throughout the space so listeners on the other end can hear participants
- Two-way video on large flat panel screens that allow participants to see body language in the audience as well as the presenters
- Interactive white boards with image capture technology
I used similar technology during graduate school when my instructors engaged industry experts. I even had a class taught remotely from Arizona. This level of technology works!
Most people have done away with landlines in their homes, but UCOP continues to provide a landline for each employee. In some cases UC provides both a landline and a cell phone to an employee. Some of the people in areas around me do individualized work and don't use the phone for business purposes; all contact is via email so there's a written record. It's a radical idea, but I don't believe every employee needs a business phone on their desk. Do the math - How much would UC save on an annual basis if we got rid of just 10% of the landlines?
Require staff traveling between UCOP buildings, i.e. Franklin to 20th Street or Kaiser, to use the free green bus or to walk. This would cut down on reimbursements for parking in the Kaiser Garage as well as BART tickets. Only in extreme emergencies, we would consider reimbursing this expense as an exception.
Enable the creation of distibution lists by department/unit that are automatically updated with information provided by HR
US mail between UCOP and Campuses
Current situation: Today when sending mail to campuses, it needs to be addressed, and postage added to each envelope seperately and sent through the US mail to each individual. This must cost UCOP tremendously in postage costs, not to mention on the campus end getting it distributed.
Suggestion for time and cost savings:
Coordination of mail at the mail room level at OP
Consolidation of mail going to a campus and sent "bulk" mail to be distributed on the campus (postage cost consolidation) avoiding seperate costs
Eliminate the 3:00 leaving time for employees on days before holidays.
Paperless Travel Reimbursement Processing - Travel reimbursement requests would be filed online directly by the traveler via Connexus.
Simplify Travel Policy.
Permit Contract Sign-off within RGPO - Currently contracts related to grant awards must be signed by someone in Procurement. If signing authority is given to someone in RGPO, this will eliminate the need to send hard-copy contracts back and forth between the Kaiser and Franklin buildings, thus saving time.
Negotiate Master Agreements with non-UC Institutions for Grant Awards - This will reduce the need to repeatedly fill out / file the same paperwork (such as certificates of insurance) for the same non-UC institutions again and again.
Pay Grant Awards Electronically (as opposed to mailing paper checks).
Faster Desktop/Laptop Computers - (1) increase staff efficiency by investing in faster, more powerful computers (2) Keep computer performance high by establishing regular maintenance programs to be conducted via macros and/or in-person by IT Staff.
“ Forever” Stamps - purchase “Forever” stamps as a hedge against increases in postage rates (within reason, since the need to mail hard-copy documents is diminishing.)
Make improvements to use of office space.
Surplus and Outdated Office Supplies - Donate to other UCOP Departments or public Schools
Flat Fee Reviewer Reimbursement (following pilot)
Establish State-of-the-Art UC-wide Budget/Financial System (UC Davis model)
Vacation and other Leave Balances - Establish a central UC pool /separate account on the balance sheet for these balances so there is no associated impact when individuals transfer from one UC campus to another and would also help new grants that take on existing staff with large vacation balances from having to possibly (and unexpectedly) pay the staff in case they leave during the grant period.
Replace UCLA Expense Processing System.
Revised Travel and Entertainment Report for Submitting Expenses to UCLA
UC-wide Contract for High-quality Webcasting Service (goal: reduced operational fees and standardization)
Eliminate the Friday Breakfast.
Simplification of reimbursement submission recently announced is helpful, but beyond the submission process, a much simpler policy should be developed. For example, if we no longer require receipts for less than $75, then do we really need to specify a meal rate versus per diem; I concur with a proposal to have a flat rate: People can opt for flat rate reimbursement with no receipts (for anything; just get a flat rate + airfare and hotel), or they can submit an “actuals”, but have to provide receipts for all costs. Even if flat rate is the lower, many people would prefer to not have the headache of all the paperwork. If their costs are enough higher, they can opt for the actuals but have to provide receipts and may have delays in receiving money due to the review process.
I would encourage an evaluation of the UCOP cell phone and iPad or tablet policy. There may be opportunties for cost savings there. Are we giving out more than is necessary? Are they ways to share costs with employees, allowing those devices to be used for personal use as well?
Each UCOP position should be accessed for the possibility of telecommuting. With the future roll out of [specific technologies], working from home is a great moral and cost saving measure.
The process for fulfilling Presidential or Regental Action Items [...] still uses printed paper and folders delivered by hand to various people around the building. [...] Often times simply forwarding an email to the correct department or person would suffice.
[Review] travel expenses for senior management [for compliance with policy and practice and opportunity to save money ...]
Getting rid of water service or water bottle service and strictly using filters in refrigerators or purchasing [brand] filter pitchers for offices would cut down on the cost of purchasing water bottles and would be more friendly to the environment.
Saving Staff Time -- suggest installation of a U.S. Postal Service vending machine in the lobby inside the secure access gates.
This will eliminate/reduce the need for staff to walk/drive to the post office during business hours to conduct personal business.
Locating the vending machine inside the security gate elimiates the possible concern of use by non-UCOP employees.
Review all reports submitted to the Regents and eliminate those reports that do not provide benefits equal to the amount of work entailed in collecting, reporting and analysising the data. For example, deans and fulltime faculty administrators biannual compensation reports. Using the current, arcane format (individual spreadsheets for each approved compensation action) involving these individuals are reported in the period they occur and then re-reported in the all compensation report for all deans and fulltime faculty administrators.
Please either discontinue the winter break closure, or stop [use of] vacation days.
Each time I need to copy, I need to input user name (6 characters) then Dept code (4 digits) to the Xerox. If I want to scan doc, I also need to put my email address. It is time saving on certain simplification....say no log in for copying less than 5 pages...add a hard code @ucop.edu on the Xerox machines. One more...please ensure all regular users to get rid of banner page. Thank You.
All UC locations implement Career Tracks. Right now, it incredibly hard across location to compare like jobs because employees are in generic titles such as Manager (Functional Area) that does not speak to their function. Therefore, e-mails are sent to locations to have them say who is acting in the role. Sometimes they have the information, sometimes they have to ask leading to lots of time spent getting information that is needed in a usually in pretty quick manner. Furthermore, we have put off completing another Total Remuneration Effort because each location would have to match individuals to survey data titles. Part of Career Tracks is that the titles would be matched to market data so it would be weeks vs. 6 months to complete the market matching portion of us a project.
One e-mail system across all locations leading to one directory to find anyone employed at UC.
One calendaring system across all UC locations.
With all the meetings and conferences UCOP must convene, [...] is there any way to reduce [venue-related] costs without compromising our ability to conduct business?
Bring back the used office equipment and supplies area, where one department could repurpose the castoff materials of another.
Shorten the health and safety briefing at all-staff meetings to 1 minute.
Establish a practice of using double-sided printing on all official documents and internal paper communications. Encourage use of double-sided printing as often as possible.
Provide an option for travelers to take advantage of the best flight/accommodations, etc., deals when traveling. For example, we some times find better flight deals with airlines not affiliated with Connexus but we cannot take advantage of this without jeopardizing our reimbursement.
Let's encourage UCOP to use the stairwells for travel between immediately adjacent floors - in other words, walk up or down one flight of stairs rather than use the elevators (unless you have significant mobility issues or physical impairments). It might save a bit of electricity, and save time for persons who need to travel from floor 5 to floor 12 More importantly, by introducing a bit more physical activity in our day-to-day lives, it might make us healthier!
Supply Room by BASC
It would be so helpful if we had a central supply area were we could “buy” items as needed (charging our department FAU's). This would avoid all the multiple orders from OfficeMax (really, who needs a 10 pack of paperclips or 3 rolls of tape at a time?). With space at a premium there are few places to store the “Costco” sized amounts of product, and when last minute supplies are needed (think the printer ate all of my tent cards and the meeting is in an hour scenario) this would be a lifesaver. Also, the BRC could drop it off there list unless a special product was needed. The space could be housed with BASC and would save time and effort across all departments. We might even find deeper savings by ordering larger amounts at one time.
Travel expenses. Instead of directing every unit to reduce its travel and entertainment expenses by 10%, develop more stringent guidelines for allowable expenses. For example: do not routinely permit meetings to begin after noon on one day and end by early afternoon on the second day; such meetings can be conducted within a single day without the expense of dinner or an overnight stay. Some units conduct all their meetings on a single day; others conduct most of their meetings with the same amount of business over two days. Campus colleagues have called out a perceived expensive “UCOP culture” of two-day meetings timed to accommodate participants' preference not to commence travel outside of normal business hours. Limiting meetings with 6 hours of business to a single day would also relieve pressure on conference rooms.
When people travel, and they are just going from an airport to a conference at a hotel and back to the airport, they should not get rental cars when shuttles (and sometimes even taxis) would be more economical. [Each instance could save] $80-$150. This may cost marginally more time, but could definitely be a cost savings.
[...] We need to hire the right senior managers, then get out of the way and let them do their jobs but hold them accountable - if they (we!) don't do them well, fire them [rather than implement another control or report....]
BRC Payroll should stop contacting employees to verify hours recorded on time sheets. The electronic time sheets were implemented last year, and if an employee enters time and the time sheet is approved by a supervisor, [that should be it.]
Require staff who will travel or entertain, or those who support people who will travel or entertain, to read and pass a training quiz on entertainment policy and travel policy when they are hired and at periodic times after that. And then, if they cannot pass the quiz, there should be some meaningful consequences.
[Regarding] another top down cut being mandated by the President, [...] perhaps some efforts and departments should increase their budget and travel more (ie those folks who campuses rely on, or high value activities), while perhaps others should prioritize their travel more. Consider empowering middle managers to be stewards. [...] We need our senior people to lead on vision and goals, and then empower people to execute and be vested in finding inefficiencies and outcomes.
All PDFs should be designed to be fill-able so you don't have to:
1.) Print - (walk to printer, walk back to desk)
2.) Fill out manually
3.) Scan - (walk back to printer to scan, walk back to desk)
4.) Email - (check your email, then send scanned email along).
If this was done, then we could just:
Save PDF, fill is out, save again, and then send via email. Much faster and simpler and no wasted time/effort/paper.
Most PDF forms I have seen are not set up this way.
This should be done by departments.
Implement Career Tracks on a systemwide basis, This really helps streamline work and allows employees to see what set of skills are needed for career development.
Reinstate the policy that prohibits personal mail and packages or charge a handling fee for personal packages (the rescinded policy is still referenced on the Mail Services page). Many of us have to sort through people's Costco and Williams Sonoma catalogs and we shouldn't have to.
Hire a temp to sit in the mail room and unsubscribe us from junk mail lists. Don't leave it up the departments or individuals--they will never do it and the resulting paper waste and admin effort will continue.
A great number of staff who are ineligible for a work phone use their personal phone for business and this benefits their supervisors and coworkers greatly. Stop providing phones and give a partial cell phone/plan reimbursement to all staff that use their phone for legitimate business purposes. This also eliminates the need for people to have two phones which is very wasteful and inefficient.
Previously when a campus wished an exception to policy from the President regarding a home loan [...], the Chancellors would just write a letter to the President with the request [and an explanation]. The request was normally responded to by the President within a couple of days. This was the procedure for many years. Now the [number of senior administrators' review and approval, and forms involved, can greatly extend the cycle time].
During this time the campus recruit/retention is on hold as many times the housing situation is paramount to whether they accept the offer. The process for these exceptions needs to go back to a much simpler time. [...]
[...] We should purchase an office building that is large enough to house ALL UCOP employees. [...] I recommend that UC purchase the property adjacent to the Franklin building, which consists of a vacant lot and a damaged historical building. The historical building can be renovated with (non-UC) funding traditionally used for such historical projects (donor committee, grants, congressional appropriations, etc.). Rent payments become mortgage payments that will eventually be paid off, reducing long-term operational costs. [...]
I'm new to UCOP and think that the First Friday Breakfast is a wonderful tradition that should continue. It's been a great way for me to build community with other staff members and to network with people I normally wouldn't cross paths with. If cost is a concern, make it every other month, but don't eliminate a fun, casual occasion to have staff at all levels come together with senior leadership in an informal way.
Create a system-wide marketplace where UC departments post needs such as ""I need a document translated"" or ""I need a website redesign."" The UC community could then respond to project proposals based on their available talent and resources.
Instead of hiring external vendors to do this work, we could pay our own students to do translation work, or we could connect with a faculty member teaching a course on web design who might take on our project as an engaging classroom exercise for free.
The possibilities go well beyond these two examples, and the establishment of a marketplace has the potential to foster inter- and cross-campus collaboration. Best of all, the marketplace would create opportunities to reduce our reliance on expensive external vendors while giving students and teachers valuable real-world projects that could replace recycled classroom exercises.
*Mandate the use of Connexxus for business travel and enforce that. Connexxus allows so much flexibility (you can book online, with an agent, with UC Travel or with BCD, etc), but it also ensures that all of the UC agreements are used. This means that employees do not lose money or have to go through higher levels of approval to get their reimbursements. Also, they can have their airfare pre-paid which means one less out of pocket expense. Lastly, more regular use of Connexxus means faster turn around when reimbursements are being sought, because Connexxus helps to enforce that travel is booked and paid for within UC policy.
*Fewer meals at meetings. When there are systemwide or all day meetings, I can see the need for meals at meetings. You want to make the trip or the time spent worth it, and providing meals helps to support this. But quite often we see meetings scheduled from 11:30 to 1pm, which may be the only time all participants are avaialble, but it also can appear on the surface that the meeting was planned just to get the meal paid for by UC. We spend a lot of money for catered events, so it is worth looking at to see if there are cost savings available in this area.
*Less travel, when possible. We have some very nice video conference rooms, and it seems that we could be encouraging the use of these more often. Yes, sometimes meeting in person really makes a difference. But looking into how many systemwide or UCOP/campus meetings could maybe be done electronically could really help to streamline travel costs.
*When any travel over $500 had to be pre-approved by the EVP, we saw a lot of very creative ways to get to/from their travel destination without the expense exceeding $500. Since that went away, travel costs have gone up, and we've seen an increase in the amount of personal travel appended to business travel. While personal travel may not increase the cost of the overall trip, it does create more work and more documentation requirements.
*We all need to work together closely to form partnerships. Especially the centralized units (ITS, BRC, UCOP Budget, Local HR, etc.) We all share the same customers....UCOP personnel. We should be partnering with each other and our customers to ensure that we are protecting UC and meeting our customer's needs.
[Let's review consultant contracts awarded prior to the new approval process to look for additional] function(s) could be easily done inhouse.
Is there any way that all of the local campus or medical center procedures can be posted with the corresponding policies in one place for ease of access?
Please review air travel change fees, which can add to the overall cost of travel.