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IID board hears plan to improve efficiency

November 21, 2001|By RUDY YNIGUEZ, Staff Writer

The plan on how the district will implement the savings found in a recently completed efficiency study for the Imperial Irrigation District was presented to the IID Board of Directors on Tuesday.

In addition to the savings identified in the study, IID employees have identified, though not quantified, additional savings, according to the project manager.

IID Information Technology Manager Gabe Marcial said the efficiency gains were found and the district is moving to implement them.

Marcial's implementation plan was unanimously approved by the IID board.

Marcial said the plan is to form a coordinated team, identify and prioritize opportunities for improvement, develop solutions and implement the solutions. The implementation is expected to take three years.

Marcial and other district officials said the improvement process must be an ongoing process and not one that ends when those efficiency gains identified in the study are reached.

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The $875,118 study identifies yearly savings of $31.6 million, with an expected one-time investment of about $10 million. Overall, the study says the net present value of the savings is estimated at $217 million.

Marcial said the easiest and highest priority of the study's efficiency gains, and already under way, is to implement the district's reduction in vehicles.

Of about 439 transportation vehicles, 123 assigned to zanjeros and supervisors will no longer be taken home. The remainder, while also assigned to specific persons, are not taken home. All of the vehicles will become part of a car pool. The change in vehicle use is expected to be completed by the end of March.

The efficiency study states $2.12 million annually can be saved through a reduction of 263 vehicles, with a one-time investment of $40,000. Overall, IID could save $15.11 million. Whether this number of vehicles can be cut is still being considered.

Other priorities, in order, are water fulfillment, that is, moving idle zanjeros to maintenance, and water system automation; computer improvements; governance, including organization, policies, incentive plan and performance management; customer care and billing and customer-service projects.

Teams have been formed for each of the areas being studied, and district employees, not just management, will participate.

"We will have to do this every day," Marcial said.

Members of the so-called process review team praised the efforts of the district in moving the savings forward.

Holtville-area farmer John Hawk said it is great that management will include employees in the implementation.

Imperial-area resident Toni Holtz said it is obvious the board is serious about the issue and she appreciates it. She urged the board to include members of the process review team in the implementation team meetings.

Calexico-area farmer John Pierre Menvielle urged the board to provide a regular update on the issue, and praised district staff for finding potential gains not in the study.

>>Staff Writer Rudy Yniguez can be reached at 337-3440.

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