As the Arizona Department of Transportation responds to Gov. Doug Ducey’s call for state agencies to continuously improve all aspects of their operations, employees at the Tucson Equipment Services shop have implemented multiple ways to handle their jobs more efficiently.
Technicians once rolled tires across a repair facility to reach a machine used for repairs. Now, the machine is located next to the tire storage area, along with tools needed for the job, resulting in fewer steps and less time to repair tires.
Drawers housing tools and supplies have been color-coded according to content, size and use, making it easier to find parts when they are needed.
“The littlest details make a big difference,” foreman Harry Edwards said.
Instead of storing containers of wiper fluid, technicians make the fluid by adding tablets to water within a vehicle’s wiper fluid chamber, which frees up space.
“One of the things we’re challenged to do as employees is look for opportunities to improve upon what we did yesterday,” Sonya Herrera, director of ADOT’s Administrative Services Division, which includes Equipment Services, said. “And I think the Tucson shop is a great example of how small changes, when added together, lead to a huge improvement.”
Devin Darlek, ADOT Equipment Services administrator, noted that continuous streamlining costs nothing in many cases and saves time and money. It also spurs healthy competition among all 23 ADOT Equipment Services shops.
“Process improvements are contagious,” Darlek said. “All employees are excited about this and are working to plug in their own ideas.”