Through our Process Excellence program, we ensure high-quality results are sustained through the creation of robust and repeatable processes. As a show of good stewardship, we optimize the use of state and federal funds to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our internal and customer-facing processes. An example of Process Excellence at work is our ISO 9001:2015 certification which helps us focus our resources and document our processes. The Port of Virginia is the only port in North America certified to the ISO 9001:2015 standard.
By equipping port colleagues with time-tested tools and methodologies, the Process Excellence program shifts us from department-centric thinking to process thinking. Our Process Excellence program ensures that processes (old and new) are documented to drive consistency and clarity in all that we do. The focus on process helps us identify impediments and develop solutions with measurable and lasting impact. Additionally, it creates a central repository that colleagues can access on an ongoing basis. In 2016, these tools were used to empower a cross-functional team of internal and external stakeholders to troubleshoot existing issues hampering productivity on one of our marine terminals. In less than two months, the team developed and implemented practical solutions that improved productivity by more than 5 percent.
Process Excellence not only addresses our day-to-day processes, but it also links to our strategic goals. In 2016, a new process for capital prioritization was created that aligns asset planning, the master plan and budgeting efforts. As 2016 came to a close, we launched a series of organization-wide process improvement initiatives that will guide our efforts in 2017. The topics include: Looking at how we hire, continuing to optimize how we identify projects and use grant monies, and improving and standardizing how we change our Schedule of Rates.