Since the launch of Project84, a cost-savings initiative brought forth in October 2013 by the 412th Test Wing commander, Brig. Gen. Michael Brewer, the base has used this process as way of collecting ideas from the base populace.
According to Brewer, if everyone on base saved $84 each month, it would ultimately save an excess of $11 million annually.
As of recently, the Project84 team has improved the way the base community submits ideas making the process more efficient and user-friendly.
“The main changes have been the addition of the Project84 icon on the [bottom] taskbar,” said Rodney Cruse, 412th TW Plans and Programs deputy director and Project84 lead. “Adding the icon was approved at the Air Force-level and is now a part of the standard desktop on all computers connected to the Edwards Air Force Base network.”
Along with the Project84 icon, Cruse mentioned that a new idea submission form was also published on the Project84 website.
“We found that some of the categories were mixed together and really should be separated. We wanted to make it a little bit easier to determine what category an idea should be in. It also makes it a little easier for us to process the idea and get [the form] into the system,” Cruse said. “So users on base should see a new and improved form they can use. The [Project84 icon] link will take them straight to the Project84 website and they can click on another button to bring that new form up.”
In addition to the form, Cruse added that there is another webpage button that allows base members to see a list of the ideas that have been submitted thus far along with answers or responses stating whether or not they have been implemented.
“So far, we have about 35 ideas where groups have agreed that an idea is [plausible] and it should be implemented. What the team is trying to determine is what are things we can do [now] and what will [eventually] become projects,” said Cruse. “A couple of the really big projects that are running right now are [the 412th Civil Engineering Directorate's] project involving xeriscaping. They have started xeriscaping based on a Project84 [idea]. This will be a multi-year project but they are making progress with this.”
“The other is a printer right-sizing project that the [412th Communications Squadron] is currently overseeing,” added Cruse. “They estimate approximately $600,000 in savings over the next few years by right-sizing the printers in different organizations, so that project is off and running.”
Cruse also noted that the team is improving their ability to respond to submitters on a timely basis.
“We ran into some unexpected complications that was impacting our ability to provide prompt replies and status information. The 412th Communications Squadron has teamed with Project84 to aggressively insert automation to remove the bottlenecks preventing the prompt communication with the Edwards community,” said Cruse. “Submitters have shown great patience and the Edwards community should see increasing responsiveness throughout April.”
As for the duration of the Project84 initiative, Cruse said they didn’t have a specific date since the program has only been in effect less than a year.
“We’ve spoken with General Brewer about this and we’re not sure at this point, but the team has started focusing on how much savings we have so far and how things are looking for the future and the topic will be part of future discussions with General Brewer,” Cruse said. “We hope to find out, in the near future, if this will be [established] on Edwards or if it will remain a campaign with an established cut-off date.”
“Project84 has been fantastic for the base. We’ve received a lot of submissions and feedback and, overall, I think Project84 has helped improved the communication between the Edwards community and General Brewer,” added Cruse. “Keep the ideas coming and we want to thank everyone for their support.”
To submit your ideas to Project84, e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (661) 275-8484. A Project84 tab will also be located on the bottom of the left-hand column on the Edwards home page, www.edwards.af.mil, and information will be added to the Edwards AFB site on the AF Portal.