Savings Reach Far Beyond One Department

As several stories in this issue illustrate so well, efficient maintenance — whether for machinery or for our health — starts with planning, proceeds with execution, and, if all goes well, gratifying benefits ensue. Judging by the results St Louis Metro achieved with their preventative maintenance program and IndyGo’s health insurance savings, the outcomes can be transformative.

The efficiencies these agencies achieved in two major cost areas of maintenance and healthcare have ramifications that extend far beyond two budget lines. That’s where these programs get interesting.

Staffing Metro’s newly added rail line was made possible by efficient bus maintenance. With more efficient bus maintenance staffing achieved through predictive planning, Metro found they needed fewer buses and drivers available to rescue stranded passengers and, as you might figure, less overtime and far fewer complaints to address. All these efforts freed up people and funding for the rail operations.

IndyGo created easy access to healthcare and found willing participation among employees and their families, a change from some families not having a family doctor. This has led to reduced healthcare costs, and subsequently, less reliance on unreliable federal funding for capital and operating expenditures. The ultimate validation that IndyGo is doing things right came from unanimous council approval of a $6 million budget increase — a request that would not have been considered by the agency or the council prior to instituting their healthcare reforms.

These stories wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the bumps along the way and both agencies made it clear there was inertia to overcome, but that too became part of the transformation challenge.

Tell us about your victories over the status quo at your agency, what you accomplished in your initial transformation and what benefits emerged, possibly beyond what you considered possible. We’ll pass along your tales of challenge and triumph to our readers.