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For the past five years, coinciding with the competitive threat from contract operators, numerous papers and articles have been presented on reengineering and optimization efforts during their early stages. Unlike those papers, this one takes a look-three years later- at two different plants that took two different approaches towards improvement. One of the plants examined, a 60 million gallon per day (mgd) plant in the Southwest went from 80 full time equivalent employees (FTEs) to 38 FTEs through reengineering. The other plant, an 18 mgd plant in the mid-Atlantic region went from 44 FTEs to 31 FTEs, through optimization. Both plants had multiple unions and the improvements occurred with labor cooperation. The paths taken at the two plants were different and produced different results in terms of FTE reduction. There were a surprising number of similarities in the qualitative results. Both efforts were deemed to have succeeded. The paper identifies which approach is preferable based on starting conditions and expectations.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2000-01-01

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