FORT BAGG, N.C. - In today's struggling economy, Fort Bragg has implemented a program that has saved the Army more than $90 million in the last four years.

The Lean Six Sigma program is designed to manage output and the quality of output, said Rick Clements, acting director of Plans, Analysis and Integration Office.

Under LSS, money is viewed as calculated savings, explained Melissa Visek, an LSS continuous improvement specialist. The savings are defined in terms of cost savings, cost avoidance and operational benefits.

In other words, how much can Fort Bragg avoid wasting any resources or finances, all while improving productivity and efficiency'

One change that has been implemented to save money has been the standing up of a new ID card appointment system, which reduces the amount of wait time for obtaining a new card, Clements said.

Instead of losing the valuable resource of productivity, "It's cost avoidance by getting the Soldiers back their time," he said.

Since the change with the ID card appointment system this fiscal year, there has been an estimated savings of $266,000, Visek said. Over the lifecycle of the project (through fiscal year 2016), the savings will be almost $2 million.

Another LSS project that aids Fort Bragg has been the Garrison Communication Plan, implemented in 2009 to deliver command messages, added Clements. The red, amber, green command messages are disseminated through the Public Affairs Office.

The plan is an operational benefit that improves communication to the civilian workforce with the quality and timeliness of messages, Visek said.

A cost-avoidance savings that was another LSS project has been the streamlining of the informal complaint process through Equal Employment Opportunity. Complaints are checked to ensure that they meet regulatory guidelines, Visek said. This verification avoids a waste of installation resources.

According to Visek, if an installation management command employee is interested in introducing an LSS project, the person should contact a director. The United States Army and Special Operations and the Forces Command each have their own programs, she said.

Certification in the LSS meets the criteria of green, black or master black belt. Those trained to obtain a green belt must undergo two weeks of training; to get a black belt, the employee must undergo four weeks of training; a master black belt trainee needs three weeks of training and must already hold a black belt, said Visek, who has attained black belt status.

Currently, Fort Bragg has 18 persons throughout various organizations who are trained as green belts.

"Everybody should be constantly improving, (and) as you are doing your job, you should be seeking ways to improve the processes," said Visek, citing the ID card appointment system change as one of Fort Bragg's very best success stories.

Page last updated Fri August 27th, 2010 at 12:17