DAF reaches $3 billion cost savings across enterprise

  • Published
  • By Debbie Aragon
  • AFIMSC Public Affairs

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas -- The Air Force operational acquisition community recently achieved a huge goal: saving the Department of the Air Force more than $3 billion. 

“This is a very important milestone as we strive to accelerate change and get after the Secretary of the Air Force’s priorities with a limited budget,” said Brig. Gen. Lance French, Air Force Installation Contracting Center commander. 

Using AFICC’s Cost-Savings Tracker, a SharePoint-based data tool, the DAF tracks budgetary savings and cost avoidance achieved by operational contracting units across the enterprise and allows for tailored reporting to wings, major commands, DAF, Department of Defense and federal category managers. 

Most importantly, the tracker provides a visual representation of unit savings left in their operations and maintenance budgets, enabling commanders to reinvest those funds into other mission essential capabilities. The CST also promotes more focus on strategic cost management than pure budget execution.

For example, the DAF’s category management approach emphasizes strategic cost management practices to generate cost savings and avoidance on current requirements, allowing units to fund other high-priority or mission-essential needs that would remain unfunded otherwise, said Pete Herrmann, AFICC Business Intelligence Branch chief. 

“Each dollar saved can be reprioritized to mission-critical requirements and over the past 6 years the field has submitted 1,232 entries into AFICC’s Cost Savings Tracker,” French said, with each entry requiring “acquisition professionals to apply business acumen, critical thinking and good old fashioned hard work to achieve these savings.”
The tool has created a movement and the necessary change management through its deliberate process and training for making better business decisions and optimizing lethality and readiness, Herrmann said. 

The work of the 31st Contracting Squadron at Aviano Air Base, Italy, is an example of that mindset. That unit contributed the entry that put the Department of the Air Force over the $3 billion milestone. 

“Aviano’s innovative enterprise Viper kits contract saved $70.8 million in costs,” French said. “What is so exciting about this initiative is that it began with a mission problem (how to efficiently hot refuel F-16s) and ended with a wing contracting squadron putting an enterprise contract in place with decentralized ordering that is getting used across the enterprise. That is mission-focused business leadership in action!”