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Process improvements save time, money

  • Published
  • By Kendahl Johnson
  • 75th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Although changes to the procedures for ordering and storing medical supplies might seem minor, the impact of recent improvements has been significant for the 75th Medical Group professionals.

Initially, there was one major storage area for all four of the MDG clinics.  The logistics team created four smaller storage areas, one for each clinic.

“We noticed some confusion from where items were delivered and who was being charged,” said 1st Lt. Zachary Lewis, Medical Logistics Flight Commander in the 75th Healthcare Operations Squadron. “Creating separate storage areas has allowed us to better analyze supply usage and adjust ordering accordingly.  We’ve been able to cut down on waste and reduce additional expenses through wholesale ordering.”

The effort is part of the Air Force’s Expeditionary Logistics for the 21st Century, or eLog21, transformation campaign that integrates and governs logistics transformation initiatives to ensure the warfighter receives the right support. ELog21 promotes data sharing, collaboration and better decision-making across the entire Air Force supply chain to increase availability and reduce operations and support cost.

Lewis said one of the biggest benefits of this continuous process improvement is allowing medical professionals to focus on patients rather than worry about supplies.

“With multiple individuals managing supplies, there was a lot of waste,” he said. “By centralizing ordering, we’ve not only eliminated the waste, but we’ve eliminated the burden and are letting medics focus on being medics.”

Lewis said leadership has been supportive of the initiative and feedback to the changes has been positive.  He said they are about halfway through the process but anticipates when complete, there will be a cost savings of about 8 percent over the course of the year, or roughly mid to high four figures.