Medals and Prizes 1 (1140x641)
The project team members (from left): Sofyan, Gao Ming and Aefy

Procuring medals and prizes with ease

At a university as large as NUS, the procurement of medals and prizes during the annual Commencement ceremonies involves many departments, and the process can be tedious and time-consuming.   

“We interviewed various stakeholders from schools, faculties and other relevant units across the University and applied Business Process Re-Engineering techniques to identify opportunities for improvement,” shared Aefy Raib, Assistant Manager at Organisational Excellence Transformation Unit (OETU), who was part of the project team. The team also comprised Chua Gao Ming, Assistant Manager at OETU and Sofyan Bin Ramlan, Assistant Manager at the Registrar’s Office (RO).

After mapping and verifying ‘As-Is’ workflows, the team explored several ‘To-Be’ states of the process. This led the team to separate the procurement process streams for university-level awards and faculty-level awards.

“The change aims to reduce the time spent on coordinating the handover of medals between different parties, and to generate tangible savings from the elimination of internal dispatch services,” said Gao Ming. “It also allows faculties the flexibility to procure medals according to their internal timelines.” 

The project team also decided to reduce the number of checks on the medals. Previously, comprehensive checks were conducted when the medals were handed from the suppliers to RO, and subsequently to the departments for further checks. The team found that the re-work rate over the past three years was less than 0.88%, where these medals were sent back to the supplier for minor aesthetic imperfections.

“Given the low re-work rate, our team proposed to simplify this process by removing intermediary checks, and providing guidelines to address common concerns regarding the procedure,” said Aefy.

The interview process with stakeholders also revealed that schools and faculties depended on RO for email reminders and queries about the procurement steps and procedure changes. “To address this issue and to improve efficiency, our team expanded the existing procurement guide to provide more details and included a ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ section which would serve as a refresher for staff,” said Sofyan.  These ‘To-Be’ processes worked out effectively and the guide was helpful in addressing queries from colleagues.

“This project is emblematic of the ongoing continuous improvement and OE efforts at RO, and our fruitful partnership with OETU.  It provides a good example of how we can make use of Business Process Re-Engineering to challenge existing conventions and processes, in order to reach more efficient, effective and user-friendly outcomes, which we can make use of in future efforts,” said Registrar Mr Rajaram Ramasubban.

Looking ahead, RO has plans on improving accessibility of the procurement guide, reviewing and maintaining the changes made in this new process.

Organisational Excellence is a strategic initiative undertaken by the University to develop best practices for an efficient and world-class administration to better support NUS’ Vision and Mission. It aims to bring about improved work processes and policies as well as create opportunities for talent development and growth.


Other Stories