Advancing effectiveness, efficiency, and financial sustainability

The Operational Excellence Program Office advances UC Berkeley’s financial sustainability by offering expertise, services, and tools to support ideas that generate new revenue, reduce costs, or improve administrative operations.

The Operational Excellence Program Office is a vital part of our university’s effort to establish a sustainable financial model for the future. “We can’t cut our way to excellence,” John Wilton, Vice Chancellor, Administration and Finance, has said.  In response to the significant financial challenges we face, Berkeley is acting on a multitude of fronts: increasing revenues, reducing costs, and ensuring that our administrative operations are as effective and efficient as possible so that we can direct every available dollar toward Berkeley’s world-class research and teaching.

The Operational Excellence (OE) Program Office is staffed by a service-focused team of campus employees with expertise in project management, change management, strategic planning, campus engagement, financial analysis and planning, metrics, and communications.  Drawing upon best practices in each of these areas, we can work with our campus community to produce successful outcomes -- from helping to build early-stage ideas to providing project management expertise that delivers results. 

Over the past  three years, the OE Program Office has demonstrated that a disciplined project management methodology can produce significant results in cost savings, administrative efficiencies, and quality improvement. Based on our track record of success, John Wilton, the Vice Chancellor of Administration and Finance, has asked the OE Program Office to apply our expertise to generating new sources of revenue--in addition to grants, contracts, and philanthropy--by tapping into the wealth of creativity throughout our campus and helping units bring promising ideas to fruition.   

The OE Program has achieved more than $63 million in cumulative savings to date and is making great progress towards our goal of achieving $75 million in annual savings.  We are also in the early stages of building out our Revenue Generation Program, which is helping campus units to develop and start entrepreneurial projects in support of their academic goals.

Highlights of OPerational Excellence Program Accomplishments 

  • BearBuy has enabled significant system-wide changes, which have already resulted in almost $18 million in procurement-related savings and has put us on track to achieve $33 million in savings by 2016.
  • IT Productivity Suite, which includes bConnected (Google Apps for Education's calendar, mail, and document-sharing applications), along with a suite of Microsoft and Adobe applications, has saved the campus over $4 million to date, with projected annual savings of over $3.7 million by 2016, through standardization, cost-effective third-party contracts, and campus-wide software licenses. 
  • Cal Planning and Cal Answers are providing our campus with access to better financial data and more efficient decision making tools, which allows managers to spend more time analyzing data as opposed to conducting transactions.
  • Cal Planning has successfully enabled our campus’ first all-funds budget.
  • Cal Answers is helping to empower our Berkeley community with accessible, reliable, consistent, and secure analytics to support informed planning and decision-making
  • Cal Student Central is improving the student experience by providing a one-stop resource where students can go for key transactions related to financial aid, fees and billing, registration and enrollment.
  • Campus Shared Services has completed the first of four implementation phases and is now providing information technology, human resources, and business and financial services support  to administrative and "early adopter" academic units, who are also receiving Research Administration and Academic Personnel support.
  • Unit Restructuring, which greatly streamlined and simplified our organizational structure, has saved the university $41 million to date.