For the past two years, PMC Solutions (PMCS) has provided process analysis services to Bernalillo County (BERNCO), the largest populated county in New Mexico, employing over 2,600 individuals. Recently, PMCS was tasked with supporting an internal BERNCO Lean Six Sigma effort, aimed at identifying the complexity and costs associated with the employee timecard/timesheet process, performed by Timekeepers, to ultimately run the bi-weekly payroll. The projects main goal was to create a baseline measurement of the process, via detailed process mapping and documenting of the Timekeeping key process and sub-processes, in order to establish viable improvement options for the future.
Bernalillo County would like to reduce the overall cost of this process, while facilitating a continuous process environment throughout the County. PMCS began the project by executing our proven “walk-the-process” method, with the Payroll Department, who is ultimately responsible for the process. Next, sixty four (64) Timekeepers throughout the County were interviewed to validate the process, and document all associated activities. Once completed, PMCS Analysts, working with two County employees, further interviewed selected Timekeepers from fifteen (15) divisions, establishing a viable cross-representation of the timed process steps. Throughout the interview phase, PMCS mapped, documented, and identified the resources at each step, by utilizing PMCS‘ proprietary process mapping software inProcess™ v4.5. The process was then reviewed with the Timekeepers to identify any redundancies. These steps were crucial in ensuring that the analysis was well understood and accurately relayed to the County Management Team, which would paint the overall picture of the magnitude of the Timekeepers responsibilities with regards to the payroll process.
In order to provide a detailed step-by-step cost analysis of the process in its current-state, the team took advantage of the “Duration and Cost” tracking feature of inProcess™ v4.5 to establish a cost baseline for the process. While the analysis was specific to the Timekeeper’s role within the process, some cost for administrative functions were also considered. The analysis was then validated based on the process and procedures, using various tools, including inProcess™.
The analysis revealed a costly process that contained steps considered to be “waste,” as well as some non-value added activities. In addition, the analysis showed different variations of the process were being used within the county.
The results of the analysis gave the Bernalillo County Management Team a sophisticated tool that will aide them in making future decisions regarding the Timekeeper process. The team identified the following possibilities:
- Use the analysis to eliminate the identified redundancies and visible logical corrections for a short term solution.
- Use the analysis for a thorough process analysis exercise for streamlining the current timekeeping processes and keeping the payroll tools in existence.
- Use the analysis to establish a thorough process analysis with the outlook of a new 21stcentury payroll timekeeping tool.