DEFENSE MAPPING AGENCY
Reinvention also produced a paradigm shift in DMA's production philosophy. The "old" DMA produced maps and charts which were then warehoused until needed. The "new" DMA is focused on maintaining updated map and chart databases so products can be produced as needed, where needed. This approach has resulted in healthy reductions in response times and improved delivery service. Accomplishments include:
- Employee ideas resulted in process improvement life cycle savings of nearly $60 million.
- Percentage of production work completed "first time right" has increased every year since
1992, reaching 94 percent accuracy in 1994.
- Twenty four hour turnaround for shipping customer orders reached 86 percent in 1995
with 96 percent accuracy.
- Employee complaints were reduced from a high of over l200 in 1992 to approximately 25
- Supplier performance in providing DMA quality products increased from 84 percent in
1991 to over 93 percent in 1994.
- The level of positive customer satisfaction increased from 45 percent in 1993 to over 70
percent in 1995.
Perhaps the greatest success story of DMA's reinvention was the impact the Customer Support Team had on achieving the Bosnia Peace Accord. In early November 1995, the Joint Staff asked if DMA had the capability to support the talks in Dayton, Ohio. Within 10 days the team was activated and deployed on-site providing mapping products and geospatial digital services. Through the innovative use of POWERSCENE a virtual electronic fly-through display, the negotiators were able to visualize, in three dimensions, the boundary lines they were creating. This support helped make the peace process successful. Additionally, the on-site team deployed over 100,000 map products, issued over 30,000 and manufactured over 4,000.
The seven-member Administrative Support Reengineering Team briefed Air Force Maj. Gen. Philip W. Nuber and members of the Executive Board Nov. 6. Endorsing the plan in part, General Nuber requested more information and time to accommodate projected plans to incorporate DMA into a new agency.
"You've proposed things that are fundamentally different than ever seen [in DMA] before," General Nuber said. He said their movement is on track and called the effort one of the most difficult and emotional processes DMA has attempted to address -- but one that has his full commitment.
The team reported that many similar job descriptions with different titles and series within the administrative field exist in DMA. Their plan calls for the creation of four new career profiles that will absorb the 16 job titles within the six administrative grade series, affecting about 495 positions.
To complement the career profiles, the team recommended Pay Banding throughout the administrative field. Pay Banding groups occupational series and grades into a range level, replacing the current 10-step within grade pay structure. The team cited the Navy's recent successes at China Lake, Calif., a test project for the Office of Personnel Management.
The team also recommended job rotation and the development of an Administrative Support Review Board. Under the plan, the board would monitor the process of filling administrative vacancies, organize focus group meetings, job rotations, mediate all administrative support performance reviews before formal protest and establish a best practices administrative electronic handbook.
The team's plan also asked that the administrative work force assume such other duties as equipment custodian and the office troubleshooter for software problems. The plan reported that the agency could save $765,000 per year if they assumed equipment custodial duties. Members also recommended that administrative personnel be assigned to the new Customer Help Desk to enter data and respond to general questions.
General Nuber tasked the group to brief the work force and report the feedback to him. He also instructed them to coordinate with other organizational elements for "buy in" to their plan.
In developing the plan, team members surveyed DMA management, the work force, private industry and government agencies like Central Imagery Office, Central Intelligence Agency and the Defense Investigative Agency. They discovered that these private industry and government agencies have embraced reengineering efforts throughout their organization except for the administrative fields.
As DMA moves forward in its administrative reengineering effort, it may prove to be a model for other agencies. Team members said they already have received outside inquiries about the team's progress.
To implement full scale usage of the card within DMA, DMA's Procurement and Contracts (PC) organization recognized that the functions required of purchase card holders had to be simple. Users had to feel just as comfortable with funding, ordering, tracking and reconciling the requirements of the IMPAC card as they feel with their own personal credit cards; otherwise, frustration and resentment would result.
One of the major problems was a simplified method of reconciling the funding and bank statement with records in the finance and payment offices. After streamlining the purchase card process to reflect DMA's reinvention initiatives and investigating other agencies' lessons learned, PC decided that the best solution was a multiuse database. Analysts faced three hurdles: no existing purchase card commercial software, insufficient funding for outsourcing, and limited knowledge of feasibility. Knowing the importance of a realistic solution, the analysts assigned to the project decided to create the database themselves.
After receiving two days of formal training in the database language, two procurement analysts wrote the code, together with visual tools, and developed a prototype program in seven weeks at an approximate cost of $20,000. PC immediately implemented a pilot program in DMA's Micro Purchase Division. The analysts monitored initial problems and spent another month incorporating corrections and improving the database.
For a small fee, DMA purchased the rights to distribute the database with a run-time version of the underlying commercial software to each user. The result has been phenomenal. Once trained, users find the database extremely friendly, and it eliminates manual paperwork and the feeling that users were doing procurement's job. Now, users are able to quickly order their requirements with the IMPAC card using a verifiable database that captures their orders for funding, delivery, reconciliation, and audit purposes. DMA estimates a monthly labor savings of approximately $30,000 throughout the agency.
PC has distributed over 120 copies of the database software throughout the government. Recipients have consistently praised the program for its usability and its ability to simplify purchase card tasks.