The Air Force Installation Contracting Center is set to launch a new dashboard in the coming weeks that will help installations save money with custodial services.
The Custodial Services Dashboard directly supports category management, a federal government-wide initiative that drives organizations to strategically manage costs for common goods and services.
The Air Force’s CM program focuses on improving requirements to maximize mission capability per dollar spent, said Chris Hoff, AFICC Facilities and Construction category advisor.
Developed in-house, with contractor and Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center subject matter expert support and in coordination with the Air Force Civil Engineer Center, the dashboard will collect data from installations – to include square footage, custodial costs, custodial services and service providers – in a central location.
“By having this data in one location, we can see what each base spends by cost per square foot and determine who is spending more than others, what’s the Air Force average, and what we can do to drive best practices and keep costs under control,” Hoff said.
The cost data within the dashboard is normalized to account for locational cost factors to allow for an apples-to-apples comparison, he said.
Hoff and a small team have been working on the dashboard prototype for a few months. They demonstrated the most recent version to AFCEC, AFIMSC and Rich Lombardi, Air Force deputy chief management officer, in early March.
After seeing the dashboard, Lombardi selected custodial services as one of the first cost avoidance savings tracking pilot projects in support of category management.
The tool, produced to support the facilities and construction CM category led by Terry Edwards, AFCEC director, also supports AFIMSC in its mission to make the best use of limited resources in managing and operating installations.
“We’re improving our planning and budgeting processes to keep our program financially healthy, our performance oversights ⎯ finding ways to assure contractors deliver the right services at the right time and place ⎯ and our contract acquisition oversights through tools like this custodial dashboard,” said Russell Weniger, AFIMSC’s Facility Operations Branch chief, who’s responsible for the oversight and budgeting of the Air Force Custodial Services Program.
With the dashboard now loaded with data collected from 80 bases by AFIMSC, through its annual call, and tweaks made based on feedback from key stakeholders at all levels, it’s ready to launch in the coming weeks.
“We’re just doing a final cleanup of data from installations and expect to go live soon,” Hoff said.
“Typically when you get a tasker or data call at an installation, you often don’t know what the data is for or how it’ll be used,” said Steve Brady, AFICC’s Enterprise Innovation Division chief, “and you probably never hear back from the requestor again.”
In this case, Hoff’s team is taking the data that installations provide and aggregating it to enable installations “to examine how they’re performing compared to others. They can then apply other category management tools to refine custodial requirements, restructure contracts, build tighter cost estimates and manage vendor relationships,” Brady said.
“Arming installations with cost-per-square-foot benchmarks will help them better negotiate future contracts,” Hoff added. “When we’re able to roll up installation information to an Air Force (enterprise) level, we’ll be able to see how costs are trending from year to year and determine how effective the tools have been.”