New process improves vehicle maintenance turnaround time

New process improves vehicle maintenance turnaround time

Senior Airman Tanner Roush, 55th Logistics Readiness Squadron vehicle maintenance journeyman, performs a periodic maintenance inspection on a vehicle inside the vehicle management shop at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. November 6. A new "Jiffy Lube" type service was started to increase vehicle maintenance turnaround time. (U.S. Air Force photo by Charles Haymond)

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. --

The vehicle management flight of the 55th Logistics Readiness Squadron recently received the 55th Wing Innovator award for creating a process that dramatically decreased the amount of time it takes to return vehicles turned in for maintenance back to customers.

Prior to the change, the average turnaround time was 2-3 weeks for all vehicles, whether it was a complex or minor maintenance issue.

“Everything that comes through the door gets racked and stacked,” said Deivis Bliujus, 55th LRS vehicle fleet manager. “The harder jobs take more time, which causes the stack to get bigger and bigger and the easy stuff wasn’t getting turned out in a timely manner.”

To address this gridlock, Bliujus came up with an idea to create a designated section to provide annual periodic maintenance inspections and oil changes for Offutt’s fleet of more than 500 vehicles. He turned to his NCO in charge of the customer service center to make it happen.

“If a vehicle came in for just an oil change, it might sit for two weeks depending on the work load and priority,” said Tech. Sgt. Seth Barrett, 55th LRS NCO in charge of the vehicle management customer service center. “So we initiated this plan to start our own version of the ‘Jiffy Lube.’”

Barrett said his team has completed PMIs and oil changes on 118 vehicles since the section stood up in late June. Now they are returning three out of four vehicles brought in for service within 24 hours.

“We’ve got a higher mission capable rate than I’ve seen at a lot of bases,” Barrett said. “We actually just hit 95 percent. So 95 percent of the base’s vehicle fleet is in commission.”

Barrett said the fleet management and analysis office was receiving multiple calls per week regarding the status of maintenance. Now they  average only one or two per week, which are typically related to the more extensive repair jobs.

Master Sgt. Kevin Beavers, 55th LRS vehicle management superintendent, says new “Jiffy Lube” type service has improved both production numbers and customer satisfaction.

“This is a way for us to focus on the customers,” he said. “It’s smart, our numbers are better and customers are happier.”