340th CPI team finds way to pay members faster

  • Published
  • By Janis El Shabazz, 340th Flying Training Group Pubic Affairs

Show me the money!


Thanks to a recent continuous process improvement event held here, the 340th Flying Group Financial Management section will be able to show official travelers their money a little faster.


A six-month review of the travel voucher submission\completion processes revealed that 17 percent of vouchers were paid beyond the 30-day 340th Group standard, said 340th Group Process Manager, Lt. Col. Sara Linck.


“Unsubmitted vouchers needlessly tie up funds and prevent members from satisfying their government travel card requirements in a timely manner,” said process owner, Maj. Thallas Lumpkin, 340th FTG comptroller. In addition to delays, Lumpkin noted that some Airmen had to pay their government travel card debt with personal funds to prevent delinquencies and late fees.

Members from across the group assembled for the CPI event to determine root causes of voucher delinquency and identify fixes to bring the group’s average overdue rate from 17 percent to less than 5 percent outstanding more than 30 days by September.

“In addition to any action items that the CPI team puts forward, the timeliness of voucher submissions is the one area that every Airmen can directly impact,” said Master Sgt. Amy Whitman-Rector, team lead and 340th FTG financial analysis section chief. “To reduce the chances of a voucher being returned for corrections, Airmen should read their orders thoroughly and know exactly what their entitlements are.”

Whitman-Rector said problems in assembling complete travel voucher packages for payment caused some vouchers to be returned for correction or additional documentation, contributing to voucher processing and pay out delays.

“We took a ‘team process’ focus, as opposed to a ‘people’ focus,” said Linck. “Concentrating on how a team functions is more likely to reveal more accurate root causes that inhibit efficiency.”


The team used brainstorming to generate potential countermeasures and they created an affinity diagram to group like ideas and build consensus. They used the “5 Whys” technique to identify the root cause for the delinquencies.


During the event outbrief, team leads recommended countermeasures to 340 FTG Deputy Commander Lt. Col. Janette Thode, who stood in for improvement process champion, Col. Allen Duckworth, 340th FTG Commander. Proposals included:


  • Provide more ARCNet duty scheduling, orders specialist guidance, and travel voucher processing training.
  • Improve the voucher submission and feedback process, including standardized feedback on vouchers returned for corrections.
  • Improve SharePoint submission process/tracking to ensure supervisors are aware of voucher processing, and update email addresses to members’ DTS profiles to correct feedback\corrections breakdown.
  • Improve access to DTS through innovation – submit a request for creation of a DTS mobile application through innovation channels.


“Our champion approved our recommendations, and we believe planned actions, once implemented, will significantly improve voucher processing,” said Whitman-Rector. “When money is obligated for too long, it indicates that we have members who may have not been paid for their time, and illustrates inefficiencies in the voucher process, which ultimately impacts the group’s ability to fully execute mission goals.”


Whitman-Rector and CPI team members will continually monitor the process to identify any needed fine-tuning and ensure improvements stay on track.