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Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany


Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany

Readiness Enabler for Operational Forces  •
MCCS's new software focuses on keeping customers satisfied;

By Cpl. Phuong Chau | | December 19, 2002

How would you like to save time participating in recreational activities' Is it important to be able to do the things you want'

According to a group of Marine Corps Community Services representatives, these issues are important to MCCS customers. Mike Gurr, head of the MCCS Recreation Branch and Semper Fit here; Pat Elliott, local MCCS Management Information System coordinator; and Connie Schaefer, Rec Trac coordinator at MCCS Headquarters, believe serving their customers' more quickly is crucial.

Therefore, MCCS is currently installing software here that will help them serve the base community better. Rec Trac is "an automated recreation management program" being implemented by the Semper Fit Branch at HQMC and MCCS Information Technologies.

In simpler terms, anytime a person uses a MCCS recreational facility, information on what he uses will be stored in a computer. Rec Trac will keep a record of the customer's recreational wants and likes.

Right now, fitness buffs who use the Daniels' Family Fitness Center sign in by hand, filling in information such as name, rank, time, section etc. When someone registers for a swimming class for his child, he completes forms. With Rec Trac, a patron will only be required to slide an identification card through a computer scanner to sign in at the fitness center or register for a child's swimming class. Rec Trac has the ability to read all military ID cards using the barcode located on the card's back. The computer will log in a visit and any other pertinent information that can help MCCS serve that patron better.

MCCS personnel previously kept track of customer information by hand, but with this system, all they will have to do is pull the ready-to-use information from the computer, said Gurr. MCCS can have insight about when the fitness center and other facilities should be open for customers or what the stats are for teams competing in the intramural basketball league.

For the past few weeks, patrons might have been asked to fill out information forms to provide MCCS personnel with personal information for registration into the Rec Trac system, including the patron's Social Security number. Some people have expressed concern about that personal information, but MCCS personnel assured them that necessary security measures are in place to prevent the theft of important information. Once a Social Security number is in the system, neither MCCS personnel nor managers can view the number again.
After spending less than five minutes to fill out the forms, which also ask for the names of family members who use MCCS recreational facilities, the information is logged in and becomes accessible at all Rec Trac enabled facilities. Customers will only have to provide the information once. If the Marine receives orders to another base, the information can be saved onto a diskette the Marine can take to his new duty station.

With the future of MCCS's recreational facilities looking decidedly brighter, customers may be asking when can they use the system. MCCS began installing Rec Trac at the Twin Oaks Golf Course Dec. 12 and, according to Schaefer, it will be operational at all recreational facilities on base by Friday.

Now, customers can reserve recreational issue items such as tents and grills at the MCCS Recreational Issue Point without filling out pages of forms. They can purchase golf games and get tee times quickly and easily. All they will be asked to do is scan their ID card and sign.

According to Elliott, the potential uses for the system are endless. MCCS personnel can keep tabs on the products customers use and the vacations families are inclined to take compared to the vacations single Marines purchase at ITT, another facility that will use the system.

What if most base personnel are buying vacations to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., and few are interested in visiting Wild Adventures Theme Park in Valdosta, Ga. Using Rec Trac, MCCS personnel can track this information and try to offer better prices on trips to Disney. Giving base personnel the best value is what MCCS is trying to do and Rec Trac will help.

MCLB Albany is not the first base to implement Rec Trac, said Schaefer. In fact, the MCCS Division here is one of nine bases to implement the system. The system was tested in 1999 at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., and achieved positive results. After more than three years of testing, the program has gone Corps' wide.

Although the system will be operational by Friday, MCCS representatives warned that inputting everyone's personal information will take time. Although customers will spend five minutes filling out the form, in the long run they may save hours in signing for and purchasing products and services.

With Rec Trac coming on-line, customers will receive better service from MCCS, an organization that has always strived to give personnel here what they asked for.