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Customer survey goes electronic.

Customers of the Military Traffic Management Command now have an opportunity to provide immediate feedback on the command's transportation services.

MTMC customers can provide their comments--kudos, complaints or observations-via a MTMC Web site.

"We're building the process to hear from our customer," said Lee Strong, coordinator, Distribution Analysis Center. "We'll take action on what customers tell us."

Previously, there was no specific route for MTMC customer comments by phone, e-mail or letter. Each comment received was handled on a case-by-case basis.

"The focus is about the job the Military Traffic Management Command is doing," said Strong. "We want to hear from our customers at installation, unit, command and service headquarters' transportation offices."

"There is no formalized process now. There is no one looking at an issue from the customer's point of view. We want to view MTMC from the outside better."

The customer response form is now a separate Web window on the MTMC site at The prompt for the comment window is accessed by clicking on either of the specific program tabs on the home page--Freight/Cargo or Passenger or Personal Property. Then, go to "What's New" and click on "Overall MTMC Customer Satisfaction Survey.

This will lead to a window with general MTMC comments and four subwindows: Freight domestic distribution, freight global distribution, passenger program and personal property program.

The initiative is part of MTMC's 2002 Strategic Plan, said Strong. It has the full support of Maj. Gen. Kenneth L. Privratsky, Commander, who was a customer of the command while at the Defense Distribution Region East, Defense Logistics Agency.

"We are keeping it short and sweet," said Strong. "With the subwindows, customers will find they may draft comments to MTMC quickly and accurately."

Initially, the Web-delivered comments will come to the Distribution Analysis Center. At a future date, a customer relationship management organization will be developed at the MTMC Operations Center, Fort Eustis, Va.

Comments will be rushed to appropriate MTMC offices and functions, said Strong. At the same time, the center will track the performance trends over time.

"We want to see continuous improvement," said Strong. "If we're not doing better, we're not doing our job."

Strong gets a lot of customer calls already.

"One of the best things in the world is to help people--just shuffling paper is not very rewarding," said Strong. "This has been a real team effort with functional people from operations, passenger and personal property and information management."

MTMC transportation office customers are enthusiastic about the idea.

"As long as it's not a `black hole' it sounds like a good idea," said Lisa Divine, Transportation Officer, Naval Surface Warfare Center and Crane Army Ammunition Activity, Crane, Ind.

"My opinion is that there should be some e-mail notification after you send a response. If you do not hear back, it is not beneficial. You should get some feedback at the end of it."

Are there many occasions when Divine has to contact MTMC?

"Absolutely!" said Divine.

"Two weeks ago, we had trouble with the tenders," said Divine. "The (military) services changed some information on the tenders. The MTMC people were aware of the problem, but I think you were overwhelmed with calls from shippers who were asking the same question."

Additional support came from the Transportation Officer of Fort Campbell, Ky.

"I believe we're all becoming more customer oriented," said Mike Bowers, who has held the position since 1993.

"We're trying to bring in best business practices in the Department of Defense."

The surveys will be helpful if they are used to improve the performance of the Defense Transportation System, said Bowers.

"I think they're great if they're really looked at," said Bowers, who has worked in the transportation office that supports the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) for the past 20 years.

What test would Bowers use as to the effectiveness of MTMC's new system?

"If I have a lot of unsatisfactory marks down--and don't have time to write comments," said Bowers, "I'll know the system is working if they call me up and ask what went wrong."

MTMC is listening. The suggestions from the field will be incorporated in automation and philosophy in MTMC's new customer response system, said Strong.

"Absolutely, we are customer driven," said Strong.
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Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Jul 1, 2002
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