2010 Project: Habitat for Humanity ReStore

Posted on Posted in Community Involvement

ASQ Vancouver Offers Expert Business Case Analysis of ReStore Operations for Habitat for Humanity of Greater Vancouver

Left to Right: Sharam Hamraz (ASQ), Tom Riessner Director ReStore Metro Vancouver, Anneke Rees CEO Habitat for Humanity BC, Mark Jarman Manager ReStore

Not in Picture (ASQ Team): Mike St. Yves CGW Project Manager, Tim Reitsma, Mehran Noueparast, Lucian Arsene, Walter Wardrop

Vancouver, BC — November 16, 2010

— Before you invest time and money proceeding with a Business Process Improvement, you need to check the symptoms and causes of your problems. The ASQ Community Good Works (CGW) professionals assisted Habitat for Humanity of Greater Vancouver (HFHGV) ReStore, one of the two project recipients for 2009-2010, to do exactly that. The ASQ-HFH project team brought many years of business experience as part of a multidiscipline team led by Mike St Yves, an experienced Project Manager and process improvement specialist. The team’s first challenge was to understand the unique operational aspects of the non-profit and capture their needs. Non-profit organizations have many of the same challenges as for-profit businesses but without the flexibility to acquire leading edge technology. This means analytical data is limited. So how is an organization to assess problems and make evidence based decisions? One of ASQ’s strengths is the breadth of techniques they can select from to identify and generate data to make problems tangible.

After an exhaustive series of brainstorming sessions the root causes of the ReStore problems became clear. As Mike St. Yves elaborates, “This type of facilitation when applied in business situations saves many hours and thousands of dollars in costs by ensuring the right problem is being addressed. Groups can jump in too early to fix the most visible problem. By taking the time to understand related problems, and build the whole picture you can find surprising wins. Often big paybacks can be accomplished with little effort but you have to gather the evidence first”.

According to Rene Clement, ASQ CGW chair, “The question I get most often from the ReStore ASQ team is, ‘How else can we really help this organization?’ The team’s job was to sort out the symptoms from the root causes then decide on the appropriate area of improvement to focus on.” Using the DMAIC methodology, the project team defined the problem to be “difficulty increasing revenues”. Breaking down the problem further, the team exposed Inventory resident time, Truck Capacity and Pricing as major contributors to this problem. The Team measured the scope, effort to resolve problem and the return on investment for each of the three problems. Once these factors were compared it became obvious that changing Trucking capacity would have the biggest impact on revenue growth.

The Project Team completed a cost-benefit analysis as well as constructing a pricing matrix to improve efficiency. With the recommended changes, the ReStore will be able to achieve a 50% reduction in pickup times, and drive higher revenue without overloading other operational areas. The trucking changes could be self-financed with a payback of less than 12 months.

At the July 14 Habitat for Humanity meeting, the Board discussed the results of the Community Good Works Vancouver ReStore Business Process Improvement Project. They approved the report!

The Board was impressed with the depth and detail of the analysis. A lot of credibility was gained by how the team had reviewed each of the ReStore areas to build a problem list (cause and effect), generated possible solutions to problems and then focused on the high revenue generating actions. The financial case was convincing and the questions were mainly for clarification. They appreciated the detailed work done.

The HfH Board thanked ASQ and ASQ team for delivering a solid project and great potential profit for ReStore/Habitat for Humanity.

On November 15, 2010 Mike St. Yves reported that Re-Store has purchased a 5 ton truck and will be measuring the impact this will have on its operations and revenue.