Congressional Hearings Postponed:
From Mike Howard AAFES COO:
Operation ARROW (Automatic Replenishment Roll Out Worldwide) kicked off 22 February 2010 and involves a 24 week commitment of converting 1,200 Plan-o-grams (POGs) to RMS Auto Replenishment and targets 140 worldwide main stores. This program represents a major strategic shift in the AAFES operating mode by turning on the Oracle Retail Merchandising suite (formerly known as RETEK) to replenish our main store facilities. This initiative will also help us better execute defined POGs, improve sales, deliver a consistent merchandise image and introduce merchandise into our assortment. Over time we will take this functionality to all store formats.
POGs have been around AAFES for about 25 years; however, they have never taken on the importance they now represent. POGs now take on a huge role in how we drive the retail business, and the way AAFES will operate in the future. Now, more than ever, POGs drive replenishment and particularly the function of Operation ARROW. POGs are now used to determine assortments in every main store.
In FY ‘09, each store completed POG surveys identifying the POG size it carried. That information is literally what RMS Auto Replenishment uses to define the assortment and generate orders. Gone are the days when POGs loosely guided a store’s stock assortment and where operators could supplement category assortment with “cherry picking” SKUs for items on POGs. The stock assortment, as defined by the POG survey data, is literally what stores will carry, except in Direct Store Delivery (DSD) categories with undefined POGs.
With POGs determining stock assortments, the selections are standardized and will help predict item demand for better AAFES-vendor collaboration. The Sales Directorate (SD) has worked hard to make sure that established best sellers are included down to the lowest POG size, with gradually expanded assortments for each larger POG level. The determination of a best seller comes from worldwide statistical performance.
RMS Auto Replenishment is the right tool and this is the right time. POGs are now being defined for Shoppettes and will be completed for all troop stores by the end of 2011. AAFES is moving forward with this type of standardization even to the smallest retail store.
In addition to supporting Operation ARROW, Oracle Retail technologies include Centralized Inventory Management, to include DSD, Pricing, Allocation, Replenishment, RETEK Data Warehouse and Forecasting. These technologies will enable AAFES processes to improve sales, profit and inventory as we prepare for the future.
SD has also assumed additional responsibilities regarding retail product ordering and purchasing. By assuming these responsibilities, we are establishing defined inventory plans and formal processes that will continue to assist us with right sizing inventory while maintaining a high level of customer service.
So what do these changes mean for our vendor community? It means …
As we move forward, AAFES is leading the charge on many cost-cutting changes that involve new functionalities and processes. As a valued vendor, we extend our hand to partner with you in an effort to ensure your success while building a culture of customer loyalty and continuous improvement.
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The following commissary items were posted to the ALA Web site as of 10 a.m., 22 April:
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Active duty Soldiers enroll in the program when they have a Family member who has a physical, emotional, developmental, or intellectual disorder requiring specialized services so their needs can be considered in the military personnel assignment process.
"The Army EFMP leads the uniformed services and the nation through a model of support for Soldiers and Families with special needs by connecting and supplementing existing national networks of support and services with local military and civilian resources," Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch, IMCOM commander, said.
A mandatory enrollment program, EFMP works with other military and civilian agencies to provide comprehensive and coordinated community support, housing, educational, medical, and personnel services to Families with special needs.
"The needs of EFMP are great, and much work remains to be done, particularly in the areas of communication and program standardization. We must have seamless program standardization from garrison to garrison," Sharon Fields, FMWRC EFMP manager, said.
This vision EFMP has been working on for the past year is scheduled for a July 2010 implementation.
With many of the garrisons becoming joint-based communities, this standardization should work seamlessly for all EFMP Families in every service.
Efforts are ongoing to help EFMP Families transition smoothly to communities where their special needs will be met with comprehensive and coordinated services. Soldiers can then focus on mission readiness, knowing their Families' needs are met.
"The command knows what's needed. When Lt. Gen. Lynch visits a garrison, he always pulls together a focus group of parents who are enrolled in EFMP because he wants to hear their concerns and suggestions to make the program better," Fields said.
According to one mother, EFMP is wasting no time in making good on its promise.
Sgt. 1st Class Fernice Morton, Fort Lewis, Washington. Equal Opportunity Advisor has a son enrolled in EFMP.
"I was selected to go to the EFMP Summit after attending an EFMP workshop at Fort Lewis, Wash. While there, I was in respite care transition between contractors and the Army Community Service (ACS) staff was always available to assist me every step of the way," Morton said.
Antoinette Hill is a volunteer who is the spouse of a retired Soldier with an EFMP daughter.
"I have witnessed the evolution of this program for more than 30 years, and the stars are aligned for great potential. While the nation is focused on the military, we are focused on collaborative EFMP partnerships and the partners are stepping up. Families, warriors and survivors are better served and EFMP better fulfills the promises of the Army Family Covenant," Hill said.
Families need to remember where to get the helpful information.
"Army Community Service (ACS) works hand in hand with the EFMP at the medical facility. While the medical services are responsible for the paperwork for enrollment, at ACS we provide everything (support, information and links) you need," Susan Moyer, Army Community Services EFMP Manager at Fort Carson, Colo., said.
According to Moyer, services that parents and individuals are searching for are right at their fingertips.
"ACS is like a 'yellow pages' for special needs information,” Moyer said.
As the EFMP Summit drew to a close, Lt. Gen. Lynch summed up the way ahead.
"Take care of our Soldiers and Families, one Family at a time. To do this, we’ve got to fix this program so it works better and we have to get the word out. When I was a young commander, no one told me about EFMP. I had to learn about it on my own," Lynch said.
In the near future, FMWRC EFMP will implement a system that fully supports Families with special needs at five pilot locations: Fort Belvoir, Va.; Fort Campbell, Tenn.; USAG Grafenwoehr, Germany; Fort Leavenworth, Kan.; and Fort Lewis-McChord, Wash.
Also in the near future, the Army will identify what's required for joint services to participate in this program.
For more information, visit Family Programs at Army OneSource.
Army and Air Force MWR's Can Get Free Event Bibs from www.OperationBeFit.com.
Having a pet show? Bicycle Race? Marathon? 5K Walk?
All you have to do is go to www.operationbefit.com/events to list your event. Click on the banner at the bottom of the page to complete the event submission.
After the MWR submits their event, they are given the opportunity to complete another request for numbered tyvek bibs with a tear off number for their specific event.