February 5, 2015
The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) liquid waste contractor, Savannah River Remediation (SRR), achieved more than $21 million in savings in the first full year of using the Lean Business Management System.
Lean management is an approach that uses continuous improvement that systematically seeks to accomplish incremental changes that improve efficiency and quality.
The savings were applied to accelerate other liquid waste priorities, allowing the company to do more work for the U.S. Government.
Stuart MacVean, SRR President and Project Manager, said employees have always been focused on finding ways to save money. However, using the proven Lean approach has moved the company to a new level.
"Our employees have embraced the Lean system," MacVean said. "So far, nearly 300 of our 2,200 employees participated in Lean events to determine how to systematically and efficiently maximize the use of taxpayers' money. Their efforts are giving the Department of Energy even more value."
The Lean effort to date accelerated closure work on Tanks 5 and 6 a little over a year ago. It also allowed SRR to move employees from the completed work on those two tanks to Tanks 16 and 12, the next two tanks in the tank closure process.
In addition, the Lean process has also reduced the backlog of corrective maintenance items, and allowed SRR to recover from the hard freeze damage from the winter of 2014.
The three core principles of Lean are:
Lean operates on the concept that the customer requirements drive what has value.
SRR began its Lean work in late 2013. Last year marked the first full year of Lean "events" held to focus on various facets of SRR daily work.
"Lean is an outstanding tool that leads to a real return on investment," MacVean said.
SRR is composed of a team of companies led by AECOM with partners Bechtel National, CH2M HILL and Babcock & Wilcox. Critical subcontractors for the contract are AREVA, EnergySolutions and URS Professional Solutions.
Point of Contact: Dean Campbell Dean.Campbell@srs.gov 803.208-8270