VII. REMODELING THE KITCHEN
"If it weren't for Philo T. Farnsworth, inventor of the television, we'd still be eating frozen radio dinners."
Increase in efficiency? Yes, we've shown that.
Loss in production time? Yes, but nothing that we can not recover from.
Effect on morale? Yes, change does that, but we can bounce back from that.
Some things you can't put a cost on, but you believe them to be worth the price you pay.
The result could be an initial loss of business. However, it may be a mistake to simply reduce costs in response to this loss. You could initiate a downward spiral of reduced costs, reduced product availability, and loss of additional business. That is, if you let your "grill man" go, you lose all the customers who want their food grilled. You may also lose all the customers who accompanied the "grilled food" customers. What is needed is a new approach, not radical surgery.
By definition, a customer is someone who wants to do business with you. So why do they go elsewhere? The obvious reason is that you are not providing them with what they want. The even more obvious solution is to offer them what they want. What's needed are new menu items, "specials," and other product changes that are aligned with your customers changing tastes. The problem is how do you know what they want? How do you find out that our customer's tastes have changed without waiting until the customers are lost?
Part of the answer is market research, collecting information on your customers needs. The restaurant owner going from table to table asking the customers "how everything was?" is one way to collect information directly from the customers. Comment cards placed at each table in the restaurant is another. Another way is looking at industry trends. What are the latest directions in food preparation? What new flavors are in vogue? What new style of presentation is attracting customers? Yet another area of research is quality. How is your foods' quality in the eyes of the customer? How often is food sent back to the kitchen and for what reason? Is it poor quality ingredients, bad preparation, or is the food simply too cold or hot?
Once you know what the customers need, you must now plan to change your menu. That's right "plan" to change the menu. You must plan to make these changes not simply change the menu. Without planning, your new menu could be a disaster. You must decide how well new or "special" items will sell and stock up appropriately. You could lose more business if you quickly run out of a new "hot" item on your menu. In addition, new items may require new preparation techniques. New techniques mean your cooks must be trained and gain experience on how to make these new dishes. All of these things take time and planning before you "roll out" your new menu.
Another aspect of retaining customers is price. The price you charge customers must represent value in their eyes. It is not always a simple matter of adding labor, ingredients, and a fixed profit. Sometimes, you have to reduce prices to make up for mistakes in estimating how well an item will sell. Large quantities of ingredients sitting on the shelf are not making you any money. In fact, you have money tied up in those ingredients. Money tied up in inventory means lost profits. Sometimes it is better to lower the price to "move" the items than to let the food rot on the shelf. You may even decide to "give away" your food! Suppose a customer has waited an extraordinary amount of time for their order. Rather than lose any future business with that customer, the restaurant owner may decide to simply pick up the check for the customer as a way of apologizing for the delay.
The bottom line is-maintaining a menu is a continuous process of keeping up with customers changing needs, adapting processes to meet those changes, and updating your menu.
The FAA Logistics Center's Customer Care Center moved to a twenty-four hour, seven day per week service schedule. With the official ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday, September 28, 1998, we can now interface live with our customers at any time, day or night.
The Customer Care Center provides the customer with many types of assistance including part number research, requisition status updates, off-net requisition capabilities, as well as general information and a direct interface to every function at the Logistics Center. The Customer Care Center also provides the customer with a way to voice their concerns related to products ordered through our organization. Customer concerns are captured in an extensive relational database to allow the Customer Care Agents to access resolutions for on-line customers.
The functions and capabilities of the Customer Care Center are being enhanced and expanded continuously. Inputs from customers and co-workers are helping develop the world-class function outlined in the FAA Logistics Center's vision.
The Cusotmer Care Center can be reached at 1-888-322-9824.
While browning meat, mix all ingredients in 5-qt. crock-pot. Add meat after draining fat and cook on low for as long as possible. I cook mine overnight. Serve with Fritos "dip chips" and shredded cheddar cheese.
One of the byproducts of the 1999 reorganization of the FAA Logistics Center has been the creation of Centers of Excellence (COEs). What the Logistics Center has experienced has been more than your typical government rearrangement of bodies and positions. We have undergone a restructuring of our organization. We have moved a group of people (example, Inventory Managers) from one big organization -- where they all were accountable to and under the direction of one division manager -- out to several organizations (product divisions), based on the type of product which is serviced.
How can we be confident that we will have consistency from one group of Inventory Managers in one product division to the group in another product division? Thus the birth of the COE concept. In addition to Inventory Managers, COEs have also been chartered for other functions within the FAALC, such as Equipment Specialists, Provisioners, Production Controllers, and Engineers.
Think of a wagon wheel. The center of the wheel is where all the information is gathered, and also where all the information is distributed to those in the same job series with a need to know. The spokes are the members of each COE who work with the lead of each Center when new work instructions are being written, or when current work instructions are being revised and improved upon. The spokes receive input from the people in their area who feed it to the COE for consolidation and consensus. The wheel (the circle) is the actual group of people conducting day-to-day business for the Logistics Center, using the work instructions developed by their representative COE.
If something new comes up, the COE also works with its members in providing the training (usually hands-on, on-the-job) to all the employees in that job series who are impacted by the change.
Maintaining consistency from one product division to another helps guarantee that the Logistics Center retains its ISO certification. COEs also help ensure that we don't have a dozen different groups of people wasting time and energy working on the same project and not realizing others are already involved.
But beyond that, the COEs, by being centralized points of process improvement and information distribution, help keep our employees abreast of the latest procedures that make our jobs easier and our employees more efficient.
"Nobody ever says, 'Can I have your beets?'"
1 pound ground beef or ground turkey
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9" x 13" baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. In a large skillet, brown the ground beef, onion, and bell pepper over medium-high heat until no pink remains in the meat, drain off the excess liquid. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until well combined. Bring to a boil. Pour the mixture into the baking dish and bake for 1 hour, or until heated through and bubbly.
"Food is our common ground, a universal experience."
The Frog Was Right
The FAALC is an organization within a larger FAA structure located in central Oklahoma. Our very location is one that gives us unique environmental benefits compared to mega-cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago, or Atlanta. For these cities, strategies to improve their environmental position can be readily identified since they have a veritable smorgasbord of complex issues from which to choose. So, it's easy for them to quickly pick one and work to improve it. In Oklahoma City, we really have to work hard to find comparable issues to address. Improvement is more incremental, and "greenness" is harder to achieve for "it's not easy being green."
Our new Technical Support Facility (TSF) is a unique opportunity to be smart about managing our physical environment. It has been designed to take advantage of natural light through windows and skylights. In one particular repair area, we have placed test lighting fixtures on the outside of the building, visible through a row of windows, rather than install them inside as in our original building. Additionally, we've chosen light bulbs that are "greener" than traditional incandescent lighting.
Chop 1 1/2 cups of tightly packed, washed, and dried basil leaves in a food processor or blender. Add 1/2 cup of walnuts and 2 chopped garlic cloves. Process until finely ground. With the machine running, slowly add 2/3 cup of olive oil. Next, pour in 2/3 cup of grated Parmesan cheese, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper. Mix and then set aside.
Cook 1 pound of spinach linguine or fettuccine according to package instructions. Drain and toss with the pesto in a serving bowl. Top with more Parmesan cheese. Serves 4 to 6.PARSLEY GARLIC BREAD
Slice a loaf of Italian bread in half lengthwise. Then, use a butter knife or cookie cutter to cut out shamrock shapes. Cream together 6 tablespoons of softened butter, 1/4 cup of fresh chopped parsley, and 2 minced garlic cloves. Spread the butter on the shapes and bake on a cookie sheet in a preheated 400-degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the bread turns light brown.
GREEN GREEN SALAD
SHERBET WITH FRUIT
1 cup of a type of yeast called "failure"-This too, can be found in every household. It is a type of yeast that teaches lessons in life. Learn from it-Do not dwell on it, and definitely do not add it to the recipe. Substitute 1 cup each of the two main ingredients.
1 cup of "negative thinking" herbs-We tend to have a bundle of this hanging in the pantry. This herb can permeate the entire house. Actually, the appetizer will taste absolutely awful if you add it. Instead, add 1 cup each of the main ingredients.
1 cup of the vinegar "rejection"-This vinegar is exceptionally sour, and readily available on the market. Actually, you will not need to buy it. You probably have it on the shelf, and if you do not, you soon will have. When it comes your way, briefly think about it, and then quickly toss it aside. You guessed it! One cup each of the "choice" and "good attitude" should be added at this time.
1 cup of a sugar called "lack of talent"-This ingredient does not exist. Everyone has many talents, which are sweet and tasty if properly applied. Discover yours, while you are adding 1 cup each of "choice" and "attitude."
As you can see, when finished, this delicious dish will only contain "CHOICE" and "GOOD ATTITUDE." You alone can decide if you want to make a new batch every time you run out and eat it daily. It will satisfy your hunger, while leaving a song in your heart and a spring in your step!"You can tell a lot about a fellow's character by his way of eating jelly beans."-Ronald Reagan
"Congratulations to you and everyone else responsible for this achievement." Gerald Lavey
"Congratulations on being selected for a Year 2000 President's Quality Merit Award! Good Work!" LeAnn Jenkins, Federal Executive Board
"How terrific! Congratulations on getting the award." Bruce Anderson, Wright Consultants
"Congratulations to the FAA Logistics Center in Oklahoma City, OK! This is the FIRST DOT organization to win a President's Quality Award (PQA). This office was also an Excel Team Pilot earlier this month." ONE DOT EXCEL TEAM Newsletter May 2000
Boston-"...Recognition of the FAA Logistics Center for its OUTSTANDING customer focus. And this was especially so when considering that this emergency occurred on a holiday weekend. This truly showed the self-sacrificing spirit of the Logistics Center employees to keep the NAS systems operational. This effort by all involved literally saved the Commercial Airline industry MILLIONS of $'s in delays and rescheduling." Alan Moore, Director of Airway Facilities Service
ISO 9002 Certification-"I am proud to recognize this significant accomplishment...sets a new world-class standard of quality, not only for these two organizations but for the FAA as a whole." Lindy Ritz, Aeronautical Center Director
"This is a very significant accomplishment and I hope you know that. You have done something very important, not only for FAA, but you've done something very important for the state of Oklahoma. We are very proud of you. It's very significant that you are the first federal organization in Oklahoma to achieve this. You are a star." Oklahoma Lieutenant Governor, Mary Fallin
"We are very, very excited at NPR at what you all have achieved here. You've overshot 'good enough for government,' you've gone beyond nationally recognized, and now you shot up into the stratosphere into world class performance." Lance P. Cope, Vice President's National Performance Review
CFC-The Logistics Center shows it is an increasingly caring organization in the community exceeding the CFC goal each year by astounding amounts (FAALC went from 92% of the goal in '96 to 112% in '97 to 138% in '98 to 144% in '99).
The spirit of people helping people is alive and well here at the Logistics Center. Employees responded to this year's Day of Caring project on September 10th with 29 volunteers. They completed two YMCA projects. The first project was to disassemble, relocate, and install playground equipment from the Eastside YMCA at 3900 MLK to the Southside YMCA at 5325 S. Penn. The second project was to paint 5000-6000 square feet of the back exterior of the S. Penn YMCA. The YMCA staff (and certainly the children of the S. Penn YMCA) sends out a warm thank you to the Logistics Center for a job well done.
The Logistics Center raised a whopping $59,060.77! This is unprecedented at the Aeronautical Center for a single organization. We raised 144% of our MMAC established goal, and 118% of our own leadership goal of $50,000. This is another example of how the FAALC serves not only its customers, but also the community around us. Congratulations for your giving spirit that leads the way at Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center in making a real difference in the lives of so many less fortunate.
Reinvention Cookbook-"Recipes for Reinvention" featured in the July 1998 Issue of Government Executive Magazine
"I would like to list a link to the cookbook web-site." Beverly J. Merrill, Army's business process reengineering
"A Taste of Reinvention is a light-hearted approach to reengineering, brimming with fun!" Kerri Rowan, Editor, Health Care Reengineering Newsletter
"What a great, 'refreshing' innovative etc.etc.etc., way to share your reinvention efforts." Lea Chapan, Executive Director of the Denver Federal Executive Board
Strategic Plan-The FAALC's strategic plan was featured in Ted Gaebler's newest book, Positive Outcomes, Raising the Bar on Government Performance. The book used four pages to feature the FAALC strategic plan.
Our Strategic Plan is used by the FAA's Management School in Palm Coast, Florida as the model strategic plan. The International Productivity and Quality Conference also use it to teach other government agencies how to develop strategic plans.
That is why we are collecting recipes. So that what you learned will not be lost.