Army Honors Local Employee for Cost-Savings Efforts
U.S. Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) recently honored federal employee Marcie Ballard for her efforts that saved $20 million in travel costs and other several significant accomplishments, a news release said.
Ballard, who lives in Pinehurst, received the Commander's Award for Civilian Service. It is the Department of the Army equivalent to a military Army Commendation award.
Ballard is the command's chief for process integration, futures and learning division of the knowledge management office. She is the latest of two USASOC recipients of the Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt. She spearheaded a Lean Six Sigma project to research travel costs and explore cost-cutting measures, a news release said.
Verified cost savings as a result of the project was $3 million per year and $21 million over the future years' defense program, Ballard said. For 11 months, the cross functional team led by Ballard evaluated the travel process and how to find efficiencies in it.
"The whole solution was piloted and implemented by 3rd Special Forces Group," she said. "The solution began with a policy letter that required use of the lowest cost airport for departure and arrival, use of checklists to prevent errors at each level of the process and required receipts for all claims, ensuring vouchers were filed in a timelier manner.
"The results of the solution revealed a much higher cost savings. With the strain of budget cuts, this became an invaluable tool. Other commands are now looking at replicating the project."
"This is a true cost savings to the command," said Col. Kurt Sonntag, USASOC's chief of staff, as he presented the award to Ballard. Sonntag complimented Ballard on her achievements and cost savings to the command in a presentation at the command headquarters recently.
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