R.I.S.E Proposal Launches an Enterprising Solution

Facilities Management (FM) leadership launched the R.I.S.E. (Recognizing Innovative Solutions by Employees) program, encouraging our staff to create innovative solutions to improve efficiencies, decrease costs, and/or enhance customer satisfaction. The R.I.S.E. employee recognition program is open to all FM staff, and staff can submit their ideas using the nomination form located on the Intranet. Once submitted, the Employee Engagement Committee (EEC) will review the project, ask clarifying questions, and prepare to present the project to senior management for consideration. During the review process, the EEC identifies a liaison to work closely with the staff member (or R.I.S.E. champion) who submits the project to help gather quantitative and qualitative metrics for project needs. After the project is presented, senior management decides if, how, and when the project will be implemented. If approved, the R.I.S.E. champion, along with the EEC liaison, begins project implementation and provides quarterly updates on progress. 

Joe Lestanguet, FM Inspector Planner and Estimator (IPE), submitted a R.I.S.E. proposal in Fall 2020 and had it approved in early 2021. This approved proposal has the potential to save the campus thousands of dollars annually. It also increases customer confidence in our team and systems by reducing HVAC after-hours environmental alarm calls. The project focuses on adding and recommissioning HVAC and environmental alarms to 17 buildings across campus. To show the problem and possible savings from fixing the issue to the committee, he shared information he collected over the last few years on time spent responding to alarm calls after hours.  

With the help of EEC liaison Justin Lewis, Joe gathered the necessary metrics to show what needed to be done, along with an estimate of how much it would cost. To date, $40k has been spent on supplies and labor to replace or upgrade the alarm systems in known problem buildings.  

HVAC controls supervisor Miguel Campos and technician Eric Davis have been working closely with Alarm shop IPE Cuong Lam and technicians John Steel and Jim Griebel to add additional alarms and provide better alarm descriptions, giving the end user of the alarm more information on how to respond.   

With simple changes and customer approval, calls have already been reduced from 157 calls annually to approximately 90 calls annually. Since the average call takes 2.2 hours, this is starting to show the return on investment. The project is on track to save about $14k annually. By the end of 2023, the aim is to reduce the calls to approximately 50 annually. If this goal is achieved, $23k will be saved every year. 

Although Joe has had this idea for a while, the R.I.S.E. program provided leadership buy-in and additional funding that allowed him to complete these projects earlier. This project’s return on investment should take about four years and significantly improve FM’s response times to emergency calls.   

Have an idea? Do not hesitate to apply for the R.I.S.E. program today! 


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