Operational Excellence February-March News and Highlights


Over the past two months, SMU continued to streamline and implement processes and cost-saving measures in different areas:

  • Facilities has initiated new thermostat settings – 72-76 degrees in summer and 68-72 degrees in winter – to conserve energy.
  • Procurement reported that in ongoing comparisons, prices for hotels and flights available through Concur continue to be equal to or cheaper than rates for those same hotels and flights on other websites.
  • The Admissions Office has streamlined operations by using a Shared Services system for graduate application processing, greatly cutting down on the processing time for applicants and allowing them to receive decisions electronically.
  • Human Resources is undertaking improvements in five key areas – payroll workflow, recruitment, compensation, classification and performance reviews – that will include simplifying and automating a number of processes, and introducing contemporary work tools and more useful reporting measures. Also, training was provided for managers about the transition to the new performance review process, which will be online beginning in 2017.
  • Finance and OIT leaders shared their thoughts in a Q&A about their transition to a Shared Services model.

The Office of Operational Excellence also answered questions about new roles under the Finance Shared Services initiative of personnel who are centralized compared to those within individual schools, and addressed the difference between Building Liaisons and Facilities Managers within the Facilities Shared Services initiative.

Featured News

Ways to Save: A Message about SMU Thermostat Settings

Travel and Entertainment: An Airline Cost Comparison Update

Streamlining Admissions Operations Using Shared Services 

Human Resources Initiative Begins Process Improvements 

Human Resources Provided Training for New Performance Review Process

A Q&A about Finance Shared Services with Associate Vice President Ernie Barry 

An Interview with OIT: How Leadership Made the Shared Services Transition 


FAQ: What are the differences in the roles & responsibilities of the Finance Shared Services Unit Liaisons, formerly Assistant Financial Officers, in relation to Academic Financial Officers? 

FAQ: I understand Building Managers will now be called Building Liaisons, but am confused about their role in relation to Facilities Managers. Can you explain who does what?

By Nick Rallo