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.