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Systematic Layout Plan for Baystate Benefit Services

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Presentation on theme: "Systematic Layout Plan for Baystate Benefit Services"— Presentation transcript:

1 Systematic Layout Plan for Baystate Benefit Services
Stephen Aiello, Adam O’Hara and Sokly Saing Advisor: Professor Cullinane Northeastern University Spring 2007 Baystate Benefit Services | 22 River Street | Braintree, MA | Tel: | Fax: |

2 Company Background Employee benefits brokerage in Braintree, MA
Started as a two person operation in 1993 Negotiate employee benefits and provide administrative services Currently has a staff of 12 office employees and 5 brokers Employees are cross-trained and capable of performing many functions Services include: COBRA – Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act FSA - Flexible Spending Account Customer Service I’d just like to quickly go over the company background for everybody. It started as a two person operation in 1993 and over the past 14 years they’ve grown into one of the regions most successful employee benefits brokerages. They negotiate employee benefits and provide administrative services for their clients. They currently have 12 office employees and 5 brokers. Because of the small size of the company, all employee are cross-trained to provide flexibility.

3 Problem Description Lack of work flow design Storage Concerns
Rapid expansion led to addition of new employees Placed where there was room and not by function Storage Concerns Required to maintain files for ten years Office used as file storage is unorganized, full Files being stored in offices, hallway Supply closet Baystate’s success required them to add new employees over the years to handle the increased workload. As more people came into the company, they were seated wherever there was room available. People with similar functions were located no where near each other and this caused an unorganized flow of work and information throughout the company. Another problem they have is storage. The nature of their business requires them to store documents for up to ten years at a time depending on the type of document. Space has become so limited, storage started spilling into the main hallways and any spare space has turned into piles of bankers boxes. Their supply closet is experiencing the same problem with excess material clutter and over spillage into the main office.

4 Objectives Improve the flow of information and work through Baystate
Identify capacities for each process and means of improvement Address storage issues in both file storage and supply closet Our objectives were to improve the flow of information through the offices while identifying their capacities for each function within Baystate. We are also addressing the storage issues for their claims documents and the supply closet.

5 Methodology Before moving forward, 5S initiative was carried out.
5S was necessary to establish standardized organizational procedures Sort, Set-in-Order, Shine, Standardize, Sustain Systematic Layout Planning (SLP) Developed by Richard Muther in 1973 Step-by-step procedure for planning facility layouts Ideal for analyzing and designing work/information flow Meant for industrial facilities but flexible for our use Our first step was to carry out a 5S initiative to remove excess material from the office.

6 Input Data & Activities
Design of interview questions What are primary and secondary job functions? What resources are required? Where does work originate from? Where is finished work stored? Are there any constraints? Interview response analysis Defined main functions and activities COBRA FSA Broker support Identified flow of materials and information Created initial flow diagram Determined relationships between people and resources Constructed activity relationship chart

7 Initial Flow of Work and Information

8 Activity Relationship Chart
Record keeping tool to organize data One of the most important tools for planning layouts Rates importance of closeness between resources and people

9 Activity Relationship Chart
Broker, Broker assistant and Account Manager form main core of brokerage function. Brokerage support staff includes Client Prospector and Client Materials Coordinator. Office Manager is important to overall function of the business. Two claims administrators (COBRA, FSA) must be located close to their support staff.

10 Activity Relationship Diagram
Departmental functions are visible Supporting services are visible Interoffice relationships identified Next: Identify Space Requirements

11 Space Requirements Two Methods Converting Method
Empirical Useful in non-production facilities No constant work Detailed calculations not warranted Account for space currently existing and design accordingly Office Layouts Requirements Table Helpful in determining actual space required Accounts for personnel, resources, and furniture One of the first steps in generating alternatives is to determine how much space each attribute requires. We used two methods to determine these requirements. The first is the converting method where you establish what space is being occupied and what will be required. This method is very empirical and has a strong correspondence to Baystate’s operational situation due to the nature of the work and the unpredictable arrival rates – which rule out the calculation methods. In this application the space that will be required is any additional space that can be freed up as Baystate wished to make room for future expansion. The second method was to create a space requirements table which will give us a better, quantifiable, idea of the actual space needed. This documents….TRANSFER

12 Space Requirements - Office Layout Requirements Data
all aspects of the facility. Each resource and item was measured and accounted for. Additionally, we needed to make sure each person had enough space between their desk and wall for mobility. In the left most column, you’ll find each person listed by function. Included with this information is the square footage of their office as well as whether or not their office is private or open. CLICK…the middle column contains information on the standard items included in most offices, such as a table, desk, chair, telephone, and/or a computer. Here the size of every desk was noted as well. CLICK….and finally, in the right column, is the size of every other item found in each office…including filing cabinets, bookshelves, and printers. This information is imperative for logging space requirements and determining proper layouts. CLIIIIICK

13 Space Available Finite Leased space Open and Closed Offices
After documenting the space required, we take a look at the space available. Baystate’s available space is limited to what they already have…as all other space within the facility is occupied. Furthermore, they can not change any of the permanent structures in the space they occupy. This is not the ordinary situation, however the only down side is that it limits the alternative design phase. As a whole Baystate is a closed office – which indicates the space is separated by permanent structures. However these offices…CLICK…are the open offices which contain multiple employees with no or only temporary movable partitions dividing the space. Conversely, these offices…CLICK…are the ones which are smaller and contain permanent partitions.

14 Space Relationship Diagram
A space relationship diagram combines...

15 Modifying Constraints & Practical Limitations
For initial design concepts, three constraints were given Office Manager must have private office Broker must have private office Cannot affect physical layout of building Facility is not owned by Baystate No additional space available for rent Cannot simply add new resources Not a feasible solution Lack of space for new resources Before generating any realistic alternative designs, constraints and limitations had to be considered. Baystate’s initial constraints were that the office manager and broker needed private offices and again, we could not alter the physical layout of the offices because they lease the space. Revisiting another previously mentioned constraint, it was not possible to acquire more office space because the facility is at rental capacity.

16 Develop Layout Alternatives
Three initial designs Create functional departments Maintain relationships Provide access to necessary resources Bring designs to Baystate for feedback Such as: What is good about the designs? What is bad about the designs? What aspects do you wish were included? Are there any relationships you see that have been violated? In developing design alternatives, our primary focus was to create departments with employees that share similar functions and job responsibilities. While creating these departments, we tried to maintain the established relationships and allocate the required resources that was necessary for each employee to do their job. These resources being things like brochure printers, scanners, and stamping machines. These alternatives were then to be brought back to the company for their interpretations of the plus and minus’ as well as general evaluation

17 Design 1 Supply Closet Broker FSA Broker Support Office Manager
Resource Room COBRA FSA Admin Client Prospector File Storage

18 Design 2 Supply Closet Broker COBRA Broker Support Office Manager
Account Manager File Storage FSA Admin FSA

19 Design 3 Supply Closet Supply Closet Broker Broker Support FSA
Office Manager Account Manager COBRA Utility Office FSA Admin File Storage

20 Company Feedback Account Manager required private office
Keep majority of employees on main floor Change arrangement of desks in FSA Department Facilitate communication between Broker and Client Materials Coordinator

21 Final Design Supply Closet Broker Support FSA Broker Office Manager
Account Manager COBRA Utility Office FSA Admin File Storage

22 Evaluation – Work and Information Flow Improvements
Broker Support Broker FSA COBRA FSA BROKER SUPPORT Office Manager Account Manager COBRA FSA Admin Utility Office File Storage

23 Evaluation – Capacity Information
To/From Fax To/From Office Manager To/From File Cabinet Employee Times/ day Dist (old) Dist (new) Off. Mgr. (Old) Off. Mgr. (new) Files (old) Files (new) FSA Claims 4 51 18 12 30.5 15 2 21 Service Coord. 7 26 Website Maint. 8 Materials Coord. 42 COBRA Claims 50 Dist. Diff (ft): 1188 1255.5 210 Time Saved (min): 6.6 1.17 Total Time Saved (min): 14.77 Total Time/Day (min): 14.77 Total Time/Year (hrs): 59.07 Claims/Hour 5.63 Additional Claims/Year: 332.81 Additional Clients/Year: 4.01

24 Evaluation – Storage Improvements
Offsite storage was acquired three miles from the office Removed all files except those from most recent year Able to remove all files from offices and hallways Overflow of supply closet was addressed in 5S initiative Supplies moved out of hallway and back into storage room On hand inventory identified

25 Recommendations & Conclusions
Dedicated fax machine for FSA department If processing capacity is reached, a new full time FSA employee would double capacity 9,466 claims per year To add new employees, office would need to go paperless Remove need for physical storage Free up space for new employees COBRA and customer service metrics should be tracked Better look at how business is performing and growing

26 Questions? Company Background, Problem Description, Objectives, Methodology, Input Data & Activities, Initial Flow, Activity Relationship Chart, Activity Relationship Diagram, Space Requirements, Office Layout Requirements Data, Space Available, Space Relationship Diagram, Modifying Constraints & Practical Limitations, Develop Layout Alternatives, Designs, Company Feedback, Final Design, Evaluations, Recommendations & Conclusions Baystate Benefit Services | 22 River Street | Braintree, MA | Tel: | Fax: |

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