NNPHI Kaizen Program: Johnson County Department of Health and Environment—Supply Ordering Process


Impact Statement: 
Johnson County Department of Health and Environment used a kaizen event to improve the supply ordering process cycle time and increased the order placement and delivery accuracy for all programs in the department. The results included decrease in cycle time – total ordering process time per order from 93 to 16.5 minutes,( 82% ) time and improving the order and delivery accuracy to 100%. This means staff can focus on more value added activities and get the needed resources faster. During the 5 day kaizen event the team worked to understand the problem, identify and root cause the issues, develop, test, and begin installing the solutions. The process was re-sequenced and redesigned to eliminate unnecessary steps, recycle loops, wait time and other wastes. Key process aids were developed such as creating a standard vendor list (by category), creating a list of items than cannot be ordered, training members and distributing P-cards to heavy orderers, shredding non-preferred vendor catalogs, providing budget visibility and codes, creating 1 standard order form, creating a share point site to access the order form and store all ordering documents, creating delivery location rules, granting orderers access to vendor web sites, 5S’ing the one storage room, establishing a kanban ordering system to decrease inventory and standardize ordering, and lastly moving the ordering process from as needed to monthly.

The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment (JCDHE) supply ordering Kaizen project focused on improving order accuracy and decreasing process cycle time. The Kaizen team included seven representatives of front-line staff and program managers to reflect the individuals who actually do the work. The team first determined the present state of the supply order process. Documenting the present state in a process-mapping format took it step by step, which allowed the team to visualize gaps and waste in the process. Next, the team prioritized the current state issues, came up with solutions, prioritized the solutions using 2x2 ranking matrices, and created a future state plan for supply ordering. The Kaizen team was empowered to make decisions for the department in the future process of supply ordering. Testing the future state of supply ordering showed that JCDHE had 69% potential improvement in the cycle time, or a decrease from 365 hours per year to 113 hours per year. Other positive results included labor time savings, including clarification time; a decrease in the number of orders from as needed to monthly; improved receiving (due to increased accuracy); improved morale and Leadership Empowers All People (LEAP) principled environment; improved inventory management; and item standardization.

Organization that conducted the QI initiative: 

Whiteman, D. Public Health Quality Improvement Exchange. NNPHI Kaizen Program: Johnson County Department of Health and Environment—Supply Ordering Process. Tue, 09/26/2017 - 11:20. Available at https://www.phqix.org/content/nnphi-kaizen-program-johnson-county-department-health-and-environment%E2%80%94supply-ordering. Accessed June 21, 2024.

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