Public Works Agency announces $7 million in cost avoidance

VENTURA, Calif. – The Ventura County Public Works Agency has announced that using Lean Six Sigma efficiency programs provided nearly $2 million in cost avoidance this fiscal year, and almost $7 million in cost avoidance over the past six years.

The cost avoidance came from applying the techniques of Lean Six Sigma, one of the world’s most popular management efficiency programs, which uncovered a number of important opportunities for cost savings. These included sharing an expensive backhoe with other county agencies (avoiding the cost of purchasing two), re-evaluating water supply channel management, and improving the discretionary grading permit process.

Under Lean Six Sigma, agency employees and Six Sigma counselors have conducted 175 events, which involve identifying a potential problem and finding ways to resolve that problem with more efficient processes. Lean Six Sigma is based on the principles of continuous improvement as well as making sure processes prevent defects, mistakes and waste.

“The Public Works Agency is transforming into a high-performing organization where continuous process improvement is part of the DNA of every activity,” said Jeff Pratt, Director of the Public Works Agency. “Our people are empowered through trust, communication and safety so our department is fiscally responsible, customer-focused, accountable, transparent, innovative and resource-minded. The Lean and Six Sigma programs and our leadership from the CEO’s office and Board of Supervisors ensure we are the very best.”

The Public Works Agency has been working on Lean Six Sigma projects since 2009, and 281 agency employees have participated in at least one event since then. This year, there were 18 events, out of a total of 175 events over the past six years. As of March 31, 2016, 398 employees have attended training on Lean Six Sigma techniques at the Agency.

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