Contracted Motor Pool
WVU eliminated its institutionally operated motor pool and contract with the private sector to meet its car rental needs. This program resulted in substantially reduced capital vehicle inventories and added convenience and safety aspects to rental operations, including offering newer cars. It also shifted the burden of insurance coverage to state procurement cards and removed the vehicles (and associated depreciation) from the balance sheet. No positions were eliminated due to this change. Through this action $100,000 of annual savings has been realized.
Contracted Student Refund Processing
To provide a more efficient method of delivering student financial aid and expanding refunding options (ex. check, debit card, wire transfer, bank account), WVU contracted its student refund processing to a bank. This program provides aid refunds in various forms (check, debit card, wire transfer or bank account) and in a more rapid and secure environment. The contract has also resulted in improved service to students due to the opening of a branch bank in the student union and the offering of bank products and services developed specifically for college students and their parents. No positions were eliminated due to this change. Through this action $56,000 of annual savings in postage expense and check printing costs has been realized. The contract with the bank also provides incremental revenues from licensing fees.
Mountaineer Temps Program
WVU employs 700-900 temporary employees each year to meet short-term staffing needs. By operating this service in-house rather than using a firm such as ManPower or Kelly Services, WVU saves approximately $1.4 million per year.
Photocopy Management Program
WVU replaced its traditional photocopy machine rental/leasing/purchasing arrangements with simply buying “copies” from an external vendor. Departments receive professional advice from WVU Printing Services and the external vendor to determine the appropriate copier model. The program provides standardization among campus copiers which will benefit future document management efforts. This program has resulted in improved service to departments who are no longer “on their own” in dealing with issues such as selection of a copier, installation, removal, parts, toner or overage charges. It also eliminated the complex accounting at both the departmental and central levels associated with lease purchase arrangements. Copier usage is reviewed annually and a determination is made about whether the copier is appropriate for that location based on copy volume and usage of expensive functions. Annual savings of $900,000 have been generated due to this new strategy.
Workers Compensation Insurance
WVU recently gained the ability to select its own Workers Compensation Insurance Carrier. WVU selected a new carrier that provides better coverage than it enjoyed previously and provides a state of the art information management system that allows WVU to collect and analyze data on past claims. This information helps identify risk areas/activities for the review and prevention of future losses and will allow WVU to transition into a modified self-insurance program (and realize additional savings). This transition resulted in annual premium savings of $600,000.
Procurement Document Retention
To reduce the amount of paper-based documentation that is retained by both central administration and the operating units for procurement, WVU worked with the WV Department of Administration and the WV State Auditor’s Office to develop a policy (and process) that allows paper-based procurement documentation to be retained for only two to five years. Previously, WVU was instructed to retain all paper based documentation for the life of the procurement card itself (which could easily span a decade). At the same time, WVU also implemented an electronic document retention process where all requisitions, purchase orders, invoices and travel settlements are retained centrally in an electronic format. This eliminates the need for the colleges to retain any of this paper based documentation. Exact dollar savings are difficult to quantify as the true savings associated with these projects are reflected in the amount of space that may be used for a more productive purpose than storage of purchasing documents. The elimination of this paper also offers a safety related benefit since old paper does present a fire hazard. A hidden savings is that filing and retrieval of documents is faster now that they are digital.
Internal Loan Program
WVU has avoided over $2.5 million in external finance costs by loaning its own money to campus units. Units can borrow money from WVU to fund capital costs. Some of the items financed in this way have included athletics field turf, buses and buildings.
Improving the Custodial Warehouse
An inventory analysis of items stored in the Facilities Management warehouse resulted in elimination of 84 stock items. Special purpose items were eliminated in favor of items that have several applications. A thorough review of the cost and quality of products, tools, and equipment that are available and selection of items that best meet the University’s needs resulted in an annual savings of $145,000.
Since 2006, WVU has invested $27 million in replacing old utility equipment with new energy efficient equipment and systems. Another $9.75 million of utility replacement projects is planned for the upcoming year. This initiative has resulted in reduced energy and water consumption on campus and annual savings of $3.4 million per year.
As part of its recent bond transaction, WVU elected to refinance several of its outstanding lease-purchase agreements based on the savings that could be achieved in the current interest rate environment. The original amortization periods were used for all refinancing. WVU refinanced the Child Care Center and Nursery School buildings, the Engineering Southeast Addition building and two phases of its energy performance leases for annual savings of $265,000.
The Parking Department implemented a student enforcement program that has resulted in elimination of five unfilled enforcement staff positions. The department has also invested in technology that shows the enforcement staff which parking spaces have been paid for eliminating the need for the parking staff to check every parking spot. Instead they can just go to the spaces that show as empty and ticket any vehicles in those spaces. This efficiency allowed for a reduction of one enforcement staff position. These changes resulted in an annual savings of $66,000.
PRT Boiler Replacement
The PRT is in the process of replacing the boilers that heat the guideway system. Three boilers have been replaced with more energy efficient units resulting in annual savings of $60,000. The last boiler is expected to be replaced next year and is anticipated to provide another $40,000 in annual savings.
Building Service Level Definition
Recognizing that resources are limited and must be used intentionally, WVU has developed and assigned an appearance and cleaning level standard to each campus building based upon its age, usage and condition. Implementation of these new building service levels and the purchase of new technology advanced cleaning equipment (described further here) have allowed the Facilities department to eliminate 10 vacant positions and reduce its overtime expenditures, an estimated savings of $178,500.
Renegotiation of Dell Computer Contract
A newly negotiated, two-year contract with Dell has already saved the University $100,000 on spring and summer purchases of desktop computers, laptops and monitors. The savings range from $100 to more than $300 per machine. In the current fiscal year, WVU has spent about $5 million on hardware, and $3 million of that went toward desktops. Under the new pricing structure, similar spending could produce a savings of $600,000 during the budget year starting July 1.