Rachel Ostwald works with the Denver Parks Department in the Southwest District, which includes the parks of Kenyon, Barnum, Ruby Hill, Washington, and Rosedale. She earned her MBA with a focus on Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise from Colorado State University and worked as a Sustainable Agriculture Peace Corps Volunteer in Ecuador. Rachel went through the Peak Academy Black Belt training in June and, in just two months, completed a series of innovations that serve as examples for other Parks’ districts.

Wash Park

On one such innovation, Rachel collaborated with her supervisor, Jill Coffman, and Ali Weber, the Southwest District staff assistant, to develop an equipment inventory tracking system for all of the Southwest District’s five sub districts. Prior to the development of the system, Southwest didn’t have an inventory tracking system to show the equipment each supervisor had at each shop. After taking the Black Belt training, Jill and Rachel decided they needed a process for tracking inventory and purchasing new equipment in order to better share resources and to avoid duplicate purchases.

Rachel and Ally Wash Park

Rachel Ostwald and Ali Weber hold up a photo of their supervisor, Jill Coffman

Rachel went to each shop to collect the information and then created a spreadsheet, which includes many filters such as status, location, type, ID, and a photo for easy identification. Prior to the change, Rachel estimated that an entire work week per month (1 week/mo of wait time= $1600/mo= $19,200/yr) used to be wasted on calling and trips to various shops to track down equipment. Currently, that wait time is reduced to less than 15 minutes per piece of equipment (1 day/mo= $320/mo= $3,840/yr); saving approximately $15,000 per year in reallocated time. Rachel said, “To clarify, an entire work week was not spent actively looking for each piece of equipment, instead projects had to be rescheduled or pushed back which equated to about a week of missed opportunities per month due, in large part, to an inefficient inventory system”.  Now that an efficient inventory format is in place, Rachel hopes to roll out the innovation to the other Parks’ districts, which will foster greater collaboration and even further cost savings.

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