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Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany


Readiness Enabler for Operational Forces  •
Employees reap benefits from Beneficial Suggestions Program

By Colie Young | | October 10, 2002

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Two current and one former employee of Marine Corps Logistics Bases will soon receive combined monetary awards of $7,552.19 because their Beneficial Suggestions for improvements were implemented.

Thomas Pevlor, Donald Sink, and Norman Reese from Albany's Maintenance Center submitted suggestions that resulted in an estimated $288,133.77 in savings and benefits to the government. By turning in beneficial suggestions for their improvement proposals, the trio has turned their bright ideas into an additional "payday" for themselves.

Pevlor, an Albany Maintenance Center employee since 1996, reevaluated the Maintenance Center's process for infantry gauge repair and realignment. A long-standing process rejected and scrapped bore sight gauges that were out of tolerance. Pevlor's suggestion offered substantial annual savings to the Marine Corps. The suggestion recommended repairing and realigning the bore sight gauges in the Infantry Weapons Gauge Program for reuse instead of scrapping them. By using the former tool and die maker's expertise, not usually associated with this process, the gauges in most instances could be salvaged, Pevlor reasoned. The annual cost of replacing scrapped bore sight gauges was $162,623.61, as opposed to Pevlor's recommendation that will cost approximately $984.84 annually. 

The other two suggesters, Reese and Sink, submitted a combined idea. Reese, who recently retired, had worked at Albany's Maintenance Center since 1983, and Sink has been employed there for 24 years. The two put their heads together and studied the method of discarding damaged air ducts in Assault Amphibious Vehicles. 

Similar to Pevlor's recommendation, Reese and Sink figured damaged inserts in AAV air ducts could be replaced instead of discarding an entire unit. By totally replacing the units, the government bore an annual total cost of $133,835. Reese and Sink's suggestion dwindled that annual labor cost to a meager $5,035. Their suggestion, according to Charles Lyon, Benny Suggs Program analyst, has been passed on. 

"Due to the savings realized by their recommendation, this repair procedure they came up with has also been adopted at Maintenance Center Barstow," Lyon said.

Lyon added that the analysts who review Beneficial Suggestions are guided by LogBases Order 12450.2H, and they carefully draw information from the subject matter experts and perform the analytical work for each suggestion submitted.

"The analysts are responsible for conducting the investigation, coordinating and consolidating the information, and preparing recommendations to members of the Executive Steering Committee," said Shirley Stiles, Beneficial Suggestions Program administrator. 

"Suggestions must have value definable in terms of tangible and/or intangible benefits," Stiles pointed out. "They should describe three things:  (1) the process, problem, difficulty, or circumstance that prompted the suggestion; (2) the suggested change; and (3) where and how it can be used, what it will accomplish, and how it will benefit the command, the Marine Corps, or the government in terms of tangible or intangible savings/benefits, if possible."

According to the Order, eligible suggestions simplify or improve operations; save time needed to complete a task; speed up production; increase output and enhance productivity; improve procedures, operating methods or equipment, workspace layouts, and/or organizations; save materials and/or property; save manpower and/or money; or improve safety conditions. However, some instances do not qualify for Beneficial Suggestions Program awards. These are listed in LogBases Order 12450.2H as 'normal job expectancy.'

If a recommendation for improvement falls within the normal job responsibilities of the suggester, it does not qualify as a Beneficial Suggestion.

The former Beneficial Suggestions Program, or Benny Suggs for short, has been reengineered as a MarCorLogBases Program to encourage employees to focus on ways to improve processes, enhance safety, make Marine Corps activities and functions more efficient and effective, and improve the quality of life for Marines and Civilian-Marines.

Suggestions can be for new or improved operating methods, techniques, products, or ideas that enhance productivity, safety, and/or morale.  The Logistics Operations and Business Center's Business Process Improvement Office administers the "new" Benny Suggs Program. Suggestions based on tangible savings and benefits are now tracked after implementation to determine the actual savings realized, and the suggester is paid by the organization receiving the savings/benefits out of the actual savings.

The five analysts of the BPI Team continually work to improve the overall process of the Beneficial Suggestions Program.

"We've drastically improved the timeframes for making things happen," said Col. Stephen Foreman, commander of Albany's Maintenance Center. 

"From the time the employee makes a submission, the assigned analyst is required to respond to that employee within 30 days, " Stiles added. "Right now an analyst will make initial contact with the suggester in about seven days, providing point of contact information (name, phone number, e-mail address, etc.)."

According to Stiles, although this new process helps employees track their Beneficial Suggestion, the BPI Team has a slight backlog they are working.

"Unfortunately, we are also working the backlog of suggestions that have to be processed in addition to the ones we receive under the new program," Stiles revealed. "New suggestions relating to logistics are coming in from other commands, such as 29 Palms, Calif., Camp Lejeune, N.C., and Yuma, Ariz., to name a few.

If the suggestion has merit for implementation, it is offered to the other MarCorLogBases installations, Headquarters Marine Corps and other commands."

Suggestions for improvements vary though. If a suggestion is made that improves morale or quality of life, the BPI Team works with the Base Command Inspector's Office and the Base Commander's Office regarding those suggestions. 

"Suggestions that are implemented with tangible savings and/or benefits generally reap a monetary award for the submitter," Stiles pointed out. "However, there are provisions for non-monetary awards as well for adopted suggestions with intangible benefits, safety improvements, etc."

Suggestions may be submitted electronically or by using OPNAV Form 5305/1, Department of the Navy Suggestion. The suggestion may be typewritten or hand-printed with supporting information attached as enclosures, and it must be signed and dated by the suggester.

To submit electronic suggestions, Stiles said employees should go to the MarCorLogBases home web page, scroll to the bottom and select the 'Beneficial Suggestions Program' from the drop-down menu, or type in the following internet address: https://intranet.matcom.usmc.mil/bsp.

"A form is provided from the website for electronic submission," she said. "If hardcopy forms are not available, contact the BPI Team at (229) 639-5575 or autovon 567-5565 to get a form sent to you. "The electronic submission gets the suggestion into the system faster; however, we will take them in any form we can get them," Stiles stated. 

The MarCorLogBases program is an easy way for government employees to cash in on their good ideas, while improving and enhancing government operations and saving taxpayer dollars. Pelvor's recommended award was for $4,008.19, while Reese and Sink were designated to receive $1,772 each for their submission.

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