New report details millions of dollars in state efficiency savings

December 23, 2014

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OLYMPIA – Gov. Jay Inslee’s implementation of lean management across state government is helping simplify paperwork, shorten wait times for driver’s licenses and save millions of dollars.

On Wednesday, Gov. Inslee’s Results Washington initiative released a report detailing examples of 18 improvements. Among them: Holding down lease costs, cutting phone costs and reducing wait times for business documents, public records and vehicle collision reports.

“We’re using proven private-sector principles to make state government better,” said Inslee. “These changes are improving customer service, saving money and helping agencies handle growing workloads with existing resources.”

The examples cited in the report total $5.92 million in savings, $27.4 million in costs avoided and $3.16 million in additional revenue.

In September 2013, Inslee issued an executive order that expanded state employees’ use of lean management, a set of principles and tools pioneered by Toyota. Since then, state agencies have reported hundreds of improvement efforts.

“It’s still early in this effort, but we’re encouraged by the progress we’ve seen so far,” said Wendy Korthuis-Smith, director of Results Washington. “Lean management is all about customer-focused continual improvement. That’s the workplace culture we’re trying to build.”

Examples include:

  • By eliminating a backlog of lease renewals and improving how it uses market data, the Department of Enterprise Services expects to avoid $8 million in additional lease costs for state facilities over the next five years.
  • The Office of Administrative Hearings, faced with a surge in cases that overwhelmed their outdated case management system, used existing staff to build a faster, reliable replacement, rather than spending $150,000 to buy a replacement system.
  • A team of employees at Consolidated Technology Services helped convert the state’s 30-year-old long-distance phone network to a new service, saving $2 million a year.
  • The average response time to public disclosure requests at Department of Transportation headquarters has been cut by 58 percent, from 24 days to 10.

Media Contact 

Rich Roesler
Results Washington
360.902.3055