For UW Creative Communications (C2), which handles mail, print, and copy services on campus, budget cuts have proven to be a blessing in disguise.
Creative Communications has recently introduced a fresh working method known as the “lean process” to find ways to make its units more efficient and reduce waste. The Lean process is based on the goal of producing with less of everything including inventory, labor, and equipment. Brought on by the economic recession and budget cuts to the UW, this process has forced C2 to be more critical and innovative than it has been in past years.
“We were trying to position Mailing Services from a 1970s model to something that was modern,” said Steven Roberts, manager of Mailing Services, a branch of C2.
The lean model was popularized by Toyota in 1980 in an attempt to cut waste and streamline the manufacturing process. Roberts said the lean process has already been adopted by many UW departments and is still spreading across campus.
Roberts and his Mailing Services team have begun collaboration with C2’s other departments to cut costs while providing an improved product to customers. Besides C2’s interdepartmental collaboration, further changes have so far included the recent opening of a campus mailing store Monday in the basement of the Communications Building.