Sanofi Volunteers + Continuous Improvement Know How = Success for Midland School

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Sanofi Volunteers + Continuous Improvement Know How = Success for Midland School

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Joel Gross (left) and Bill Kelley shared their continuous improvement expertise as volunteers during the Sanofi Season of Solidarity.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015 - 4:30pm

CAMPAIGN: Sanofi Foundation for North America

CONTENT: Press Release

January 28, 2015 /3BL Media/ - For most nonprofit organizations, resources are tight. Hiring specialists to provide professional expertise can be out of reach. That’s why the Midland School in North Branch, N.J., is grateful for all Joel Gross and Bill Kelley, Senior Manager and Manager, respectively, of Global Services Continuous Improvement did to share their process improvement skills at special education school dedicated to the individual, academic, social, emotional and career education needs of children ages 5 through 21, with developmental disabilities. 

When the Sanofi Season of Solidarity came around, Joel and Bill had an idea. Why not combine volunteering with their expertise, continuous improvement?  Asks Joel, “What better way to demonstrate our desire to help than by sharing Lean tools and techniques with those who devote their time to serving others?” Over two days, Joel and Bill observed and listened, and then guided the team in developing solutions to address some of Midland School’s operational challenges. For example, some of the school’s students have jobs off campus under the supervision of Midland staff. These students are required to leave for their jobs by 9 a.m.  But for a myriad of reasons, only about half the student employee vehicles were able to depart on time. Bill and Joel reviewed some Lean principles with school staff and worked with them to fully understand the problem and identify quick solutions.

In true kaizen spirit, Bill and Joel created a prototype for a visual attendance board designed to help improve the process and result in more timely departures. Today, the system is working well. “We have the board on our wall, and we use it every day,” says Jane Wilkie, Midland School Work Center’s Transition Supervisor. “The system Joel and Bill built is an enormous time saver. It enables us to quickly move individuals from the Work Center to the job site, and if they are not present, to secure a substitute. Their work has made a huge positive impact on our day-to-day operations, and we are grateful for Sanofi’s help.”

Employees benefit as well from meaningful volunteer experiences that provide them with the opportunity to apply their skills in a different environment. “Witnessing the dedication and passion from the school’s staff and program participants was extremely inspiring. I’m hoping we can continue to partner with Midland School again,” says Bill.

As Jackie Campbell, Analyst, NA Corporate Social Responsibility notes, “One of Sanofi’s North America Corporate Social Responsibility organization initiatives is to encourage and promote employee volunteerism and give back to the communities in which we live and work. Skill-based volunteerism is not only a significant facet of Sanofi’s volunteerism platform, but more notably, permits our employees to donate their skill, knowledge, experience and time assisting non-profit organizations, that otherwise would not be able to afford such professional services, enhance and expand their programs.”

Keywords: Social Impact & Volunteering | Education | Midland School | Philanthropy & Cause Initiatives | Sanofi | continuous improvement | kaizen | lean | season of solidarity

CAMPAIGN: Sanofi Foundation for North America

CONTENT: Press Release

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