Two UCF teams were honored in the 2016 Prudential Productivity Awards.

The program founded by Florida TaxWatch recognizes and rewards hard-working state employees who develop and implement innovative cost-saving and efficient improvements.

The first group, UCF Research Foundation Financials Project Team, includes Rebecca Vilsack, Kim Smith, Kristal Jackson, Dorann Mullins, Elena Wilson, John Gyory, Patricia Kentish and Mieraf Tadesse.

Professionals from both the team and UCF Finance & Accounting joined to complete a project that increased capabilities for managing contracts and grants, produced automated billing and enhanced financial reporting, to name just a few. By using in-house Oracle PeopleSoft Financials and Supply Chain Management modules, the team resulted in a significant cost savings of $233,000 to the university in software, licensing, maintenance and consulting fees.

The second group is the AM Physical Inventory Project Team, which consists of Varsha Das, Marcia Maukonen, Glen Carlson, Rebecca Vilsack and Tereasa Clarkson.

Financial & Accounting’s existing asset physical inventory system software required an update that was estimated to cost approximately $70,000 with an ongoing maintenance of $10,000, as well as other scanning equipment needing updating and replacement. The team researched and implemented lower cost solutions for software approximately $5,200 and $2,800 for equipment, with a total cost savings of $72,000 for the first year and a forecasted savings of $9,000 in the subsequent years for ongoing maintenance.

The UCF employees and about 605 other individuals and teams recently were presented with monetary and plaque awards for their cost-effective solutions and productivity improvements that have improved the state.

“State workers commit themselves to improving the Sunshine State each and every day, many of whom go beyond the call of duty often without any recognition from government leaders or the very people they serve,” said Florida TaxWatch president and CEO Dominic M. Calabro. “The Prudential Productivity Awards is the only program in the state that recognizes and honors the achievements of the most productive and innovative employees in Florida state government.”

The awards program has encouraged state agencies to replicate cost-savings models developed by its winners. As a result, an estimated $9 billion has been saved.