Lean Six Sigma in a University Service Environment: Distinct Perspectives of Lean Implementation in Brownfield and Greenfield Projects




Hernandez, Veronica Lopez

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Applying Lean Six Sigma (LSS) in service operations has played an important role in answering the voice of customers responsively. The University Center (UC) at The University of Texas at San Antonio being studied in this research serves as a focal point where students, faculty, and guests converge to create a campus culture. To enhance quality of its service and continuously pursuit improvement, this study aims to apply LSS principles in two distinct areas of the UC.

The first case focuses on a brownfield transformation, the operational efficiency of the joint work between Events Management and Conference Services and the Business Office in regards to the Billing process. Six Sigma's renowned DMAIC methodology and a Lean RACE model were implemented to determine the factors that have been affecting the current performance of the process. Preliminary results indicate that the lack of standard procedures, poor communication and work overload are the main reasons of deficiencies in the UC billing operations. This project aims to develop a LSS framework adapted to the service area which helps to reduce the lead time of invoicing and enhance the flow of the UC operations.

The second case, the Roadrunner Pantry, is a new initiative which seeks to support students in need through a food bank on campus. The purpose of this project focuses on designing a LSS process for a Greenfield. The findings obtained from this LSS Greenfield implementation contribute to encouraging the UC to adopt streamlined procedures that lead to easy identification of new opportunities for improvements.

The two cases demonstrate the development of a culture of continuous improvement from two different angles. Similarity and differences of LSS implementation in the two environments have been discussed in this thesis. Through the development of standards and guides with LSS principles obtained from the projects, the UC sustains the improvements achieved and provides better services to everyone.


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Mechanical Engineering