JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. –
The 437th Aerial Port Squadron Personal Property Movement team held the grand opening of their new self-help room July 9 at Joint Base Charleston - Air Base.
The self-help room provides customers with visual management instructional boards and computer access to travel information as well as bank account information to retrieve routing numbers, so users can quickly and properly fill-out their travel voucher.
"The room can be used to assist customers with primary changes in station, temporary duty assignments, do-it yourself moves or even local move vouchers," said Senior Airman Erika Williams, 437th APS PPM counselor.
The room also has an instructional video playing, so customers can conduct last minute checks on their travel vouchers before presenting them to a 437th APS PPM Traffic Management representative.
"The reason for creating the room is due to suggestions from customers on how to speed up the travel voucher process," said Williams. "Ultimately the customer will receive their move reimbursement quicker and can pay their Government Travel Card off within the 30-day limit."
The Personal Property Movement team used an eight-step problem solving process called OODA: Observe, Orient, Decide and Act, to uncover and fix the issues.
A random sample of 17 travel voucher packages were reviewed for processing times and the average time for a travel voucher at Joint Base Charleston to be completed took 11 to 13 days.
The team looked at the issue and set improvement targets.
"Our goal is to reduce the processing timeline by 50 percent," said James Lombardo, 437th Maintenance Operations Squadron AFSO21 green belt facilitator.
The team then determined five root causes for the lengthy process and solutions for them.
"Everything in the self-help room to include visual aids, copying machine and computers, will help save time," said Williams. "We created this room not only to help our office with processing the travel voucher packages, but to help Airmen complete the packages correctly and save them as much time as possible."
A 90-day evaluation of the new process began April 2.
Since then, 224 travel vouchers have been processed with nine reworks, translating to an overall 4.1 percent average error rate. The prior process rework rate had been around 10 percent.
"We did 10 more random vouchers during the 90-day evaluation and the check showed a 2.6 day processing time per voucher," said Williams.
Williams, being a key team member, explained the entire process from start to finish including how this will positively impact Airmen to Col. Albert Miller, 437th Airlift Wing deputy commander, Lt. Col. Jeffrey Hayden, 437th Maintenance Group deputy commander, and the 437th AW command chief, Chief Master Sgt. Larry Williams, during the grand opening ceremony.
"On behalf of Col. (Erik) Hansen (437th AW commander), thank you all for making this process easier on our Airman," said Miller. "We love to instill processes that will save our busy Airmen time, and on a personal note, I look forward to using this new room when I submit my travel voucher as well."
Chief Williams followed with a few remarks of his own.
"This one room provides the personnel here at Joint Base Charleston with a great set of tools," said Williams. "This doesn't just affect Airmen. Sailors are welcome to use this room as well and that is why this is a true joint base project."
Members of the 437th APS Traffic Management team are in the process of setting up a similar room at JB Charleston - Weapons Station.