When the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support Industrial Hardware supply planner stumbled on a database that would save time and money while improving customer service, he had to make other employees aware.
The First Article Test database displays the current status of procurements that require detailed specifications before a part can be used on an end item, Edwards said. Using the database reduces procurement time by eliminating the need to contact the FAT monitor for status.
“What would normally take a day, in some case six to seven days, has been cut down to one to two minutes because you can find out the status yourself,” he said.
Previously, the database was accessible to only two employees, Diann Owens and Eleanor Stokes.
Both acquisition professionals who serve as FAT monitors in addition to their other duties, Owens and Stokes said allowing supply planners access to the database is a “win-win” for all involved.
“This enables the supply planner to get status in a matter of minutes, and only if further information is required will they need to contact post award for additional information,” Stokes said. “This is a win- win for everyone. The customer gets status, the supply planner does not have to wait for post award to respond, and the post-award administrator can concentrate on other work.”
Owens said she agrees. Allowing customers to receive conforming material in a timely manner and impacting the mission positively is beneficial for all, she said.
Eliminating the need to contact the FAT monitors for statuses also saves the organization money, Edwards says.
“It’s a three-year savings of $27,000,” he said, referring to the money saved in manpower hours.
Edwards decided to present this time-saving database as his Lean Six Sigma greenbelt project.
He created procedures to use the database, trained a team of 13 DLA Troop Support Industrial Hardware supply planners, and presented the process and savings to the supply chain’s leaders to complete the project.
Edwards said the project has received positive feedback from his colleagues.
“It has proved to be very beneficial to my group so far,” he said.
Edwards said he is proud to have been a part of a project that is helpful to all involved.
“The database saves time, energy and a lot of stress because it is so detailed,” he said. “It’s a process that works out for everyone.”
A DLA Troop Support Industrial Hardware supply planner presented a continuous process improvement project that will save time and money for procurements with first article testing requirements.