As part of an Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st Century initiative, a recent equipment exchange program was implemented from Jan. 25 through Feb. 22.
The main goal of this initiative was to find, share and redistribute supplies between units instead of having each unit purchase new ones.
During initial planning, the team set up a SharePoint site in order to track and make supplies available to Airmen and units with access to it.
However, only select members were able to update the site, said Capt. Luis Rosado-Medina, 86th Logistics Readiness Group executive.
More than 100 personnel representing 86th Airlift Wing units were trained in the AFSO21 procedures.
They were shown how to manage the SharePoint site and given guidelines on what they were looking for in office storage closets.
“During the training, I told them that we don’t need to have closets full of supplies,” said Master Sgt. Shannon Huffman, 86th Material Maintenance Squadron readiness NCOIC. “I explained that having a clean and organized storage room is important for people to be able to find the supplies needed.”
First, the team needed to “clean house” and get all the supplies neat and orderly. When that was finished, the next step was to document all supplies and make them available to the base.
“More than $200,000 in supplies were found and posted on the website with more than $34,000 of that being redistributed,” Rosado-Medina said.
Some of the office supplies available were toner, reams of paper, folders, surge protectors, pens and notepads. Along with that were a few “not so ordinary” items like a treadmill, elliptical machine and video camera.
“It is critical for us to save the Air Force money,” Huffman said. “We need to be responsible with the dollars that we are given and being able to share our assets is important.”
Despite their best efforts, Airmen were finding misplaced office supplies after purchasing new ones just weeks before, Rosado-Medina said. This new process will hopefully help units avoid excess spending.
“Any opportunity units have to avoid costs of purchasing something new and freeing up office space is worth utilizing a process like this,” Rosado-Medina said. “Every dollar we spend on pens is less bullets and less gas we are able to put on aircraft.”
AFSO21’s framework can assist any unit in implementing ways to save time and money. The program also encourages everyone to look at their processes and find ways to improve them.