Vol. 12 No. 2 - March, 2010

Resource Max engages employees to optimize resources

Collaboration yields creative and practical solutions

resource max
Robert Carlin Photography
The membership of the Resource Max Steering Committee is representative of the initiative’s breadth and reach. Pictured are (first row) Robert Jenal, vice chancellor for administration and finance, and Elaine Martin, DA, director of the Lamar Soutter Library; (second row) James DiStefano, human resources manager for international students and scholars; Melissa Lucas, sustainability and energy manager; Jeff DiCaccio, senior purchasing director; and Paulette Goeden, assistant vice chancellor for administration; (third row) Karen Logan, research associate in biochemistry & molecular pharmacology; David Adrian, business manager for facilities; Randi Wasik, academic administrator for the Program in Gene Function & Expression; John Ryan, project associate for administration and finance; Gary Schneider, PhD, professor of molecular medicine and associate vice provost of research; and Melissa Puliafico, director of the Office of Educational Affairs; and (back row) Scott Dziewietin, Information Systems senior project manager, and Christopher Bunn, information systems business manager. (Not pictured: Leonard McGuire, senior director of administration and finance for UMass Correctional Health.)

As simple as a less expensive box of paper, as useful as freed-up study space in the library. Resource Max is about finding ways to save time, space, materials, energy and, yes, money—and if possible, to redirect resources to their best purposes. “Resource Max is not only about saving money. Its mission is also to improve processes and customer service campus-wide,” said Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance Robert Jenal, whose office spearheaded the initiative late last spring with the belief that collaborating and brainstorming would yield ways to improve customer service despite tightening budgets.

Informal interactions, whether face to face or via electronic communication, from focus groups to an online discussion forum, have been the conduits for widespread staff involvement and buy-in. “We wanted collaboration and customer involvement at all levels. Through Resource Max, users of various internal services come together to identify common concerns, then interdepartmental work groups are assembled to come up with creative, practical ways to address them,” said Paulette Goeden, assistant vice chancellor for administration.

“Resource Max has proved itself as a vehicle to collect employee ideas and channel them to senior administration,” said Scott Dziewietin, Information Systems senior project manager. He and Goeden also emphasized that Resource Max projects often dovetail with other institutional initiatives related to conservation and cost savings, including the campus sustainability initiative Growing Green, and Commonwealth Medicine’s R3 (Reduce, Reuse, Rethink) project.

Less than a year since its inception, Resource Max has realized many successes.

  • Green Computing A pilot campaign at the South Street campus to encourage voluntary shutdown of computer equipment has yielded measurable energy savings.
  • Consolidated printing A planned move from personal, desktop equipment to more networked, multi-user printers and copiers will result in savings on equipment, energy and paper.
  • LabShare An internal, collaborative Web site helps lab personnel tap into core services, share best practices and benefit from bulk and preferred purchasing.
  • Chang Warehouse An initiative to promote recycling and to make unneeded furniture and equipment more readily available to school departments and local non-profits makes one department’s unneeded supplies another’s treasure. An online catalogue will be available in the spring.
  • Office Supply Formulary Quick, easy purchasing from a short list of best-value items saves time and money in every office.
  • eJournals Reducing the number of print journals while increasing online journals in the library has transformed shelving space into new study areas and resulted in multi-year savings on subscriptions.