Williamsville Central School District

Williamsville Central School employees at work.

Faced with increased pressure from New York State budget constraints and other economic demands, Williamsville Central School District decided in 2010 to start addressing its overall operational effectiveness with Lean Six Sigma after learning of its successful application in government. Changes are being made, money is being saved and operations are becoming more efficient in the transportation, facilities and child nutrition system departments of Western New York’s largest suburban school district.

The Approach

  • Introduced a cross section of 18 key managers to components of a business management system and Lean Six Sigma concepts
  • Created a Value Stream Map to understand the flow of operations in the child nutrition system and identify improvements
  • Brainstormed improvements for facilities and transportation departments by examining communication breakdowns in events preparation, time factors of snow removal and processes of special field trips
  • Reviewed child nutrition department staffing and job functions to better align people, materials and equipment
  • Trained 55 facilities managers and custodial staff in supervisory skills

The Impact

  • Realized actual savings of $280,000 over 18 months
  • Cafeteria: reorganized kitchen storage and added white boards to improve employee communication, bolster food safety measures and decrease stress, translating to a better student experience
  • Lunch preparation: cut preparation and cooking time, both by an estimated 2 hours (turkey lunch)
  • Snow removal: lowered the instance of school delays caused by malfunctioning equipment through instituting an emergency plan that involves a call list, two-way radios and backup equipment
  • Transportation: strengthened district policy by developing and implementing a training program with more cohesive instructions