Eighth Army holds training on cost-saving system
Chris Jackiw teaches a General Fund Enterprise Business System class at Yongsan Garrison.

YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea - "To be clear, the task before us is not to reduce the department's top-line budget," said Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates recently.A,A "Rather, it is to significantly reduce its excess overhead costs and apply the savings to force structure and modernization."

A new computer system being introduced across all components of the Army may prove to be the new tool financial planners and managers use to reduce overhead costs.A,A

The General Fund Enterprise Business System, GFEBS for short, is being introduced to financial managers across the Korean Peninsula to assist in reducing the cost of doing the Army's business.

"Right now, the measure of success in financial management is 'have I spent all my money," says Capt. Kevin M. Linzey, GFEBS training coordinator for Eighth Army.A,A "GFEBS is designed to record dollars, man hours, equipment hours and even facility costs and tie those resources to outputs.A,A With this information, operational managers can more effectively use resources."

GFEBS is a Web-based computer application being described as an asset and accounting management system that will "standardize, streamline and share critical data" across all components of the Army.A,A

It is expected to replace more than 80 legacy computer systems currently in use.

"Large budgets produce a consumption based-culture that focuses on accomplishing the mission," said Chris Jackiw, GFEBS instructor.A,A "We need a culture shift from accomplishing the mission at any cost to accomplish the mission considering the cost."

Cost management is the reality of any manager and leader.A,A Decisions are made everyday where to expend resources.A,A GFEBS captures all the costs of decisions, not just monetary expenditures, and makes that information accessible to all levels of management.

"We only have so many hours in the day, only so many people in the organization, only so much equipment, money or other resources," said Linzey.A,A "By understanding costs, commanders can make the best use of their resources."

The three, one-day training sessions conducted in Korea were aimed at collecting information of financial operations specific to Korea.A,A From this, cost-management models will be built with validated financial information of Army business operations here.

Implementation of GFEBS is being completed in seven "waves" and began July 2006 at Fort Jackson, S.C., home of the Army's finance school.A,A Currently, the program is in the fifth wave and is anticipated to be complete in 2012.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16