News: DLA Troop Support intern designs process to check orders with one click
Story by Dena Selkow
PHILADELPHIA - Darrell Hughes seeks efficiency in everything he does.
That’s what led the Pathways to Career Excellence intern with Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support Medical to design a process to check the status of unfilled orders more efficiently, he said.
It previously took Hughes about one hour to call 10 vendors for a status check, he said. With the new automated process, he shortened that time to about 34 seconds.
The time savings really adds up, since Hughes’ team typically has about 150 unfilled orders monthly, he said, which took about 15 hours of time on the phone. The manual process came with its own set of problems.
“With phone calls, you get the wrong number, wrong person or people don’t call back,” Hughes said.
The improved electronic process involves an email requesting order status generated to each vendor with the push of a single button, Hughes said. Not only is the process more efficient, but it also supports DLA Director Navy Vice Adm. Mark Harnitchek’s “Big Idea” of decreasing operating costs.
“The customer, in my opinion, would be delighted to know UFOs are being addressed, and the electronic process frees up my time to tend to their other timely requests,” Hughes said.
This project was the perfect match for his continuous process improvement Lean Six Sigma green belt project, he said. Every person working toward green belt certification must complete an improvement project with measurable results, said Henry Jansen, branch chief in the DLA Troop Support CPI office.
Hughes completed his green belt and black belt training programs. He said the next step toward earning his black belt is working with other offices on an automation project. That will serve as one of his two black belt projects.
Hughes is the first Pathways to Career Excellence intern with DLA Troop Support Medical to attend Lean Sigma Six black belt training, and is on his way to getting that belt, DLA Troop Support Medical Supply Support Division Chief Yvonne Poplawski said.
Hughes said he is hopeful that he can tailor the process for other offices throughout the organization, and has already met with other offices’ team members to show them the system’s benefits.