DLA, AF collaboration saves time, money Published Oct. 15, 2012 By Jenny Gordon Robins Public Affairs ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- The Maintenance Movers team here - comprised of members from the Defense Logistics Agency-Aviation, DLA-Distribution and the Air Force - has created a turnaround when it comes to handling property - a 97 percent difference in one instance. The team conducted a lean event at the end of December, and by March, it started to see some very interesting results. By redesigning the flow in a warehouse inside Bldg. 645, where avionics parts are staged and processed, it improved the way daily business was conducted. For example, by doing such things as creating standard operating procedures, and reconfiguring workstation layouts and drive-through truck patterns, improvements began to show within just a few weeks. Communication among the three entities played a vital role. "Part of our plan was to improve our maintenance turn-in process by forward-locating inductors in Bldg. 645, reducing the number of touches and the processing time of assets for the customer," said Gary Stillman, Performance Excellence Division chief with DLA. "We started to see the benefits almost right away." By applying lean principles and tools, a standardized process took shape that reduced an asset's processing time by 97 percent in just a few short weeks, from a baseline of 90 hours to less than three hours. Another target that was exceeded was a 77 percent reduction in the number of times a piece of material is handled prior to induction. Prior to the lean event, what's known as frustrated material, or material taken from a maintenance compound to be stored in a trailer, had been sitting aside until an employee could perform additional research. Now that step has been eliminated by sending the material back to its point of origin and correcting any mistakes on the front end. "That basically gets the material on the shelves much more quickly, thus making it available for the warfighter," said Stillman. "By doing the lean event, we were able to get material back into the supply system, forward-locating employees into the maintenance compound - all at a big cost savings."