We were employed by Derby City to carry out a HMEP Lean Review. The application of a HMEP Lean Review can aid transformational change when applied to working practices with increased efficiency and effectiveness. But it requires “Buy In” from the people within the organisation and we worked with the service delivery teams to re-evaluate the benefit they bring through their work.

Whilst a LEAN review uses the employees to understand the processes and work involved its main focus is on the service delivery and therefore we were acting as the end user in many cases evaluating the activities and removed activities that don’t create value for the customers. The outcome of a LEAN project is a better customer experience at a reduced cost

This led to a re-design of some working practices with a focus on service improvement at the lowest cost.

The project involved setting up a management team which would take ownership of the project and this team decided to review the following areas:

  • Highway Assets
  • Highway Operations – Planned
  • Highway Operations – Reactive
  • Safety Inspections
  • Traffic & Transportation
  • Structures
  • Winter Service
  • Highway Drainage
  • Highway Design
  • Public Rights of Way

We carried out in depth interviews of all the staff in the above areas, taking approximately a day to sit at the individuals’ desk and see what tasks were undertaken and what processes were being carried out.

This led to a number of recommendations which offered the Highways Service potential for efficiencies, cost savings, quality improvements and service reengineering considered beneficial to service outcomes.  Benefits identified from the preferred solution, will allow the Service, better:

  • control over quality and cost of service delivery
  • capability to reduce duplication of works
  • capacity to ensure timely reactivity to customer and inspector identified defects
  • uniformity for priority setting and service provision across the City
  • relationships with contractors, partners and stakeholders
  • customer satisfaction and decrease in litigation as a result of qualitative and quantitative improvements

Our recommendations included:

  • A new survey strategy delivering data fit for purpose, cheaper than the current contracts that were in place
  • Changes to the safety inspection regime including the introduction of cameras into vehicles to be used in any litigation
  • The movement of data from the Gully cleansing system into the asset management system so the data can be used more effectively
  • The introduction of new materials ensuring lifecycle plans can be met e.g. cold applied antiskid surfacing with a guaranteed life of 8 years

All these recommendations were well received by the staff and management as we delivered more savings than they expected.

We are now in the process of rolling out and monitoring the recommendations and making changes were necessary, as the regular assessment of service delivery is important for ongoing improvements and to secure stable levels of highway maintenance funding for highway authorities from the Department for Transport (DfT).