OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. --
One way to bring the future faster is to be one of eight test bases selected for a three-week software trial.
But why stop there? Why not be the reason the test is successful and the software is implemented Air Force-wide?
The 55th Comptroller Squadron Financial Management Flight began testing a new scanning software, EPHESOFT, in December. The software is used to send documentation to the Air Force Financial Services Center at Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, responsible for the processing and payment of temporary duty and permanent change of station travel entitlements for travel performed outside of the Defense Travel System.
The last time the software was upgraded was around a decade ago. Since then, technology has changed at a rapid pace and issues with inefficiency have grown.
“Previously we had to scan the documentation, connect to a Virtual Private Network, encrypt it all and then send it up to AFFSC,” said Master Sgt. Crystal Doepker, 55th CPTS Financial Operations flight chief. “It would take about two hours for them to get it.”
Furthermore, the company who made the software stopped making it and parts were being taken from other scanners to try and make it work. There were even a few times Airmen had to travel to Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, to use their software.
Needless to say, the flight was excited to test the new software. The first step was getting the team ready.
Airman 1st Class Julie Hubbell, 55th CPTS military pay technician, and Carl Hanson, 55th CPTS information technology technician, reviewed all materials included with EPHESOFT, learning the program and validating it worked. Then, Hubbel trained 12 other finance technicians in the flight.
It didn’t take them long to warm up to the idea, as the new software came with a lot of perks.
This new system is web based and designed to work with other systems without having to be synchronized perfectly to the VPN. There is no longer a need to for encryption or batch loading. The travel vouchers are now delivered within minutes to AFFSC compared to hours by the previous system.
With testing successful, the flight has already implemented the system to their daily work operations.
“My hopes with this system is that it will provide reliable and timely transfer of travel vouchers for our customers,” Doepker said. “With the efficiencies that this system brings, it will reduce any work stoppage or delays in getting travel vouchers to the AFFSC.”