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Systematic Layout Plan for Baystate Benefit Services. Stephen Aiello, Adam O’Hara and Sokly Saing Advisor: Professor Cullinane Northeastern University Spring 2007.

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systematic layout plan for baystate benefit services

Systematic Layout Plan for Baystate Benefit Services

Stephen Aiello, Adam O’Hara and Sokly Saing

Advisor: Professor Cullinane

Northeastern University Spring 2007

Baystate Benefit Services | 22 River Street | Braintree, MA 02184 | Tel: 800-601-3570 | Fax: 781-356-7365 | www.baystatebenefits.com

company background
Company Background
  • Employee benefits brokerage in Braintree, MA
  • Started as a two person operation in 1993
  • Negotiate employee benefits and provide administrative services
  • Currently has a staff of 12 office employees and 5 brokers
  • Employees are cross-trained and capable of performing many functions
  • Services include:
    • COBRA – Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act
    • FSA - Flexible Spending Account
    • Customer Service
problem description
Problem Description
  • Lack of work flow design
    • Rapid expansion led to addition of new employees
    • Placed where there was room and not by function
  • Storage Concerns
    • Required to maintain files for ten years
    • Office used as file storage is unorganized, full
      • Files being stored in offices, hallway
    • Supply closet
objectives
Objectives
  • Improve the flow of information and work through Baystate
  • Identify capacities for each process and means of improvement
  • Address storage issues in both file storage and supply closet
methodology
Methodology
  • Before moving forward, 5S initiative was carried out.
    • 5S was necessary to establish standardized organizational procedures
    • Sort, Set-in-Order, Shine, Standardize, Sustain
  • Systematic Layout Planning (SLP)
    • Developed by Richard Muther in 1973
    • Step-by-step procedure for planning facility layouts
    • Ideal for analyzing and designing work/information flow
    • Meant for industrial facilities but flexible for our use
input data activities
Input Data & Activities
  • Design of interview questions
    • What are primary and secondary job functions?
    • What resources are required?
    • Where does work originate from?
    • Where is finished work stored?
    • Are there any constraints?
  • Interview response analysis
    • Defined main functions and activities
      • COBRA
      • FSA
      • Broker support
    • Identified flow of materials and information
      • Created initial flow diagram
    • Determined relationships between people and resources
      • Constructed activity relationship chart
activity relationship chart
Activity Relationship Chart
  • Record keeping tool to organize data
  • One of the most important tools for planning layouts
  • Rates importance of closeness between resources and people
activity relationship chart1
Activity Relationship Chart
  • Broker, Broker assistant and Account Manager form main core of brokerage function.
  • Brokerage support staff includes Client Prospector and Client Materials Coordinator.
  • Office Manager is important to overall function of the business.
  • Two claims administrators (COBRA, FSA) must be located close to their support staff.
activity relationship diagram
Activity Relationship Diagram
  • Departmental functions are visible
  • Supporting services are visible
  • Interoffice relationships identified
  • Next: Identify Space Requirements
space requirements
Space Requirements
  • Two Methods
    • Converting Method
        • Empirical
        • Useful in non-production facilities
          • No constant work
          • Detailed calculations not warranted
        • Account for space currently existing and design accordingly
    • Office Layouts Requirements Table
        • Helpful in determining actual space required
        • Accounts for personnel, resources, and furniture
space available
Space Available
  • Finite
  • Leased space
  • Open and Closed Offices
modifying constraints practical limitations
Modifying Constraints & Practical Limitations
  • For initial design concepts, three constraints were given
    • Office Manager must have private office
    • Broker must have private office
    • Cannot affect physical layout of building
  • Facility is not owned by Baystate
    • No additional space available for rent
  • Cannot simply add new resources
    • Not a feasible solution
    • Lack of space for new resources
develop layout alternatives
Develop Layout Alternatives
  • Three initial designs
    • Create functional departments
    • Maintain relationships
    • Provide access to necessary resources
  • Bring designs to Baystate for feedback
    • Such as:
      • What is good about the designs?
      • What is bad about the designs?
      • What aspects do you wish were included?
      • Are there any relationships you see that have been violated?
design 1
Design 1

Supply Closet

Broker

FSA

Broker Support

Office Manager

Resource Room

COBRA

FSA Admin

Client Prospector

File Storage

design 2
Design 2

Supply Closet

Broker

COBRA

Broker Support

Office Manager

Account Manager

File Storage

FSA Admin

FSA

design 3
Design 3

Supply Closet

Supply Closet

Broker

Broker Support

FSA

Office Manager

Account Manager

COBRA

Utility Office

FSA Admin

File Storage

company feedback
Company Feedback
  • Account Manager required private office
  • Keep majority of employees on main floor
  • Change arrangement of desks in FSA Department
    • Facilitate communication between Broker and Client Materials Coordinator
final design
Final Design

Supply Closet

Broker Support

FSA

Broker

Office Manager

Account Manager

COBRA

Utility Office

FSA Admin

File Storage

evaluation work and information flow improvements

COBRA

FSA

BROKER SUPPORT

Evaluation – Work and Information Flow Improvements

Broker Support

Broker

FSA

Office Manager

COBRA

Account Manager

FSA Admin

Utility Office

File Storage

evaluation storage improvements
Evaluation – Storage Improvements
  • Offsite storage was acquired three miles from the office
    • Removed all files except those from most recent year
    • Able to remove all files from offices and hallways
  • Overflow of supply closet was addressed in 5S initiative
    • Supplies moved out of hallway and back into storage room
    • On hand inventory identified
recommendations conclusions
Recommendations & Conclusions
  • Dedicated fax machine for FSA department
  • If processing capacity is reached, a new full time FSA employee would double capacity
    • 9,466 claims per year
  • To add new employees, office would need to go paperless
    • Remove need for physical storage
    • Free up space for new employees
  • COBRA and customer service metrics should be tracked
    • Better look at how business is performing and growing
questions

Questions?

Company Background, Problem Description, Objectives, Methodology, Input Data & Activities, Initial Flow, Activity Relationship Chart, Activity Relationship Diagram, Space Requirements, Office Layout Requirements Data, Space Available, Space Relationship Diagram, Modifying Constraints & Practical Limitations, Develop Layout Alternatives, Designs, Company Feedback, Final Design, Evaluations, Recommendations & Conclusions

Baystate Benefit Services | 22 River Street | Braintree, MA 02184 | Tel: 800-601-3570 | Fax: 781-356-7365 | www.baystatebenefits.com