By Paul Lu
A team of Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering students completing their ISE 495 senior capstone project were recognized for a job well done by the Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control (LACACC).
The seniors recently took part in a process improvement project for LACACC, where they assisted in redesigning the organization’s current animal surrender process. The project spanned over two semesters, during which the students designed and implemented a new digital form and signage and improved communication between the customer and the care center. The project culminated in the team presenting their work to the LACACC Executive Committee on November 1st, 2023, where the project was well received.
The student team was comprised of ISE seniors Cole Force, Patrick Gallo, Danica Liau, Amira Ottosson, Cinthia Sanchez Alvarado, and Samantha Valdovinos. They were supported by coaches Ted Mayeshiba and Melissa Price.
Redesigning and Digitizing the Customer Input Form
Previously, the care centers used paper forms to gather information from pet owners surrendering their animals. The team found this process to be one of the root causes of loss of data about some animals brought into the care center. To fix this, the team evaluated and created a form that reordered the questions to get the most important information first. From there, they digitized the form so that customers could access it before stepping foot in the care center. Additionally, the team translated this form from English to Spanish and Mandarin, making it accessible to a broader audience.
Improving Signage at the Care Centers
Previously, signage at some of the older care centers was lacking. To fix this, the team designed new signs that the care centers could post for customers to easily navigate to where they need to go. They also created signs with a QR code pointing to their new digital form. This would allow customers to scan the code and fill out the form on their phone while in line, in case they had forgotten to fill it out at home. The signage would also alleviate long wait times at the care centers, another issue the team noticed.
Improving Communication Between Customer and Care Center
Previously, the care centers were seeing issues with customers not having the information they needed. The team saw this as one of the root causes of why customers were not providing all the information on their pets. To fix this, the team designed and suggested improvements that could be made to the current LACACC website that would simplify and emphasize the information they want to give to pet owners. Additionally, to ensure that center staff understood all their new solutions, they created how-to guides and communicated with their customer relations team so that everyone was informed in the process.
The team started with defining the client’s needs, initial concepts, preliminary design review (PDR), critical design review (CDR), detailed designs, implementation, verification and validation, and customer acceptance.
The team utilized various Industrial Engineering and Systems Engineering tools and techniques to facilitate this project. Their impressive results were recognized by the client’s project sponsor — so much so that the sponsor requested the team present their project activities to the LACACC Executive Committee.
Well done, Team LACACC!
Published on December 18th, 2023
Last updated on December 19th, 2023