by Chloe Gutelle, Senior Administrator
Last year, NYCHA residents made over 2.8 million requests for repairs. Over half of open repair requests are for skilled trades. In some cases, residents wait months for even one trade to service their apartment. The wait to complete a repair increases when two or three skilled trades must be sequenced to complete the job. In the Business Improvement Division within Management Services, we’re applying a Business Process Redesign, or BPR, to address inefficiencies in the skilled trades repair process by conducting an end-to-end review. To date, we’ve completed reviews of exterminators and plumbers, and we’re moving to painting and plastering this spring. BPR has three phases: analyze the problem (including time motion studies and meeting with staff); identify solutions that simplify and improve the process; and implement those solutions. We started the skilled trades review with exterminators, which appeared to be adequately staffed but had an increasing backlog. By assessing the operation, we identified ways to better utilize staff to provide a higher level of service to residents. One year later, the Implementation Team, spearheaded by Project Manager Elena Tenchikova, has applied a variety of solutions to improve extermination services—from reinstating routine exterminations to redesigning resident communications. In the review of plumbing, a trade that is in great demand, we identified issues related to supplies, information about the kind of repair needed, and apartment access. Solutions for this project focused on improved training for staff on what information to include on a work ticket to properly sequence a job; changing our policies and communication to residents about scheduled appointments; and working with procurement on innovative solutions to help staff secure the supplies they need. Through these changes, we’ve seen increased productivity, which translates to better service to our residents.