Department of Agriculture

Wasteful Ordering, Paper & Postage - Two Ways to Save Money

There are many good ideas to save money by altering usage of postage, office supplies, paper, etc. I propose two different and specific avenues to save money, at least within FSIS.

First, there should be a revamping of the FSIS Field Supply Center so that quantities for all products are listed on the website. In this way, if a person orders 10 reams of paper, 10 cases of paper reams are not sent or one dozen gloves does not result in 12 cases of gloves. Having wasteful office supplies comes from poor ordering, whether it is accidental ordering or the inaccuracies of the ordering portal. The service center website needs to have quantities listed for all products, or an e-mail service for all products indicating the amounts ordered and a short period to alter the order if necessary rather than immediate pack and ship. Preferably both.

Second, a SAVE award was given last year for an idea to discontinue printing and sending of notices and directives to all field employees. This was not able to be continued as those without computer access have very limited access to those pieces and are thus at a disadvantage. The paper copies are now again provided, but at greater numbers than needed at establishments. I.e. two establishments in my circuit receive 6 and 12 copies of directives, notices, & newsletters for 3 and 2 full-time staffed employees, respectively, with the latter being a two shift position.

Sometimes the simple things yield significant results, as there are approximately 7,500 inspectors, 1,100 veterinarians, and many more scientific and administrative personnel.

When considering just the 8,600 field personnel, sending multiple, unneeded directives, notices, and newsletters in addition to the frequent ordering mistakes adds up quickly. That is just within FSIS.

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Idea No. 331