Workforce has a Voice with the Beneficial Suggestion Program

Story Number: NNS191105-06Release Date: 11/5/2019 2:08:00 PM
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By Kim Koonce, Fleet Readiness Center East Public Affairs

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. (NNS) -- Fleet Readiness Center East employees who come up with a money-saving idea have a chance to earn a portion of that savings, under the depot’s Beneficial Suggestion Program. Leaders credit the program with generating cost-saving ideas while it rewards suggestors for their innovation and hard work.

Fleet Readiness Center East’s Beneficial Suggestion Program gives employees the opportunity to improve the way the depot does business – whether by increasing the life or quality of the product, reducing costs or improving delivery times. David Griffith, beneficial suggestion coordinator at FRCE, said the program gives employees added incentives to suggest process improvement ideas.

“The program benefits the entire FRC as a business in reducing costs in labor and material. An additional advantage is that the suggestor gets a monetary award based on the amount of the first year of savings,” he said. This year alone, suggestors have received cash awards ranging from $75 to $3,000.

Byron McGraw and Ashton Brinson, aircraft mechanical parts repairers in the Rotor Head Landing Gear Shop, recently received $2,230 each for their idea to create aluminum go-gauges to measure spindle lug liners on H-53 rotor head hinge pin assemblies. These liners are not always the correct size when they arrive from the fleet or the manufacturer, which has resulted in thousands of dollars in rework each year. McGraw and Brinson thought the gauges would help them ensure the liners were the right size before they began work on the hinge pin, which would eliminate the need for this costly rework.

The men discussed their idea with their supervisor and their shop’s estimator and evaluator, who recommended they use the Beneficial Suggestion Program to help speed their idea into implementation.

“We were told to do a beneficial suggestion because it would be a faster process than if we just requested this new tooling,” said Brinson. “We didn’t have to wait for the engineer to come over and do the design and measurements, because we did all the legwork.”

Griffith said the suggestion goes through a six-step review process involving the supervisor, the BSP coordinator, and a series of subject matter experts. He said suggestors should talk to their supervisor and other employees who have submitted suggestions to be sure the package is as complete as possible.

“I’m a big believer in working with your coworkers who have been through the process before,” he said. “Word of mouth goes a long way, so you should be able to find someone who can give your ideas or feedback.”

McGraw and Brinson say the hard work they put into their beneficial suggestion paid off in ways they didn’t expect.

“We heard horror stories, like it takes six years to get stuff done or you’ll never get paid for it,” McGraw said. “I said I didn’t care about the money. I just want the tooling to do my job.”

Brinson said he would encourage his coworkers to give the Beneficial Suggestion Program a try. “I think the biggest thing is just getting your suggestion out there,” he said. “Even if you get rejected, at least somebody has heard your good idea.”

FRCE is North Carolina's largest maintenance, repair, overhaul and technical services provider, with more than 4,000 civilian, military and contract workers. Its annual revenue exceeds $720 million. The depot generates combat air power for America’s Marines and Naval forces while serving as an integral part of the greater U.S. Navy; Naval Air Systems Command; and Commander, Fleet Readiness Centers.


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