Original Date: 11/03/1996
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Work-for-Others Program
Oak Ridge Centers for Manufacturing Technology (ORCMT) continues to conduct an aggressive Work-for-Others (WFO) program that provides full-cost recovery for work performed, helps maintain critical core competencies, and assists in reducing general plant overhead. Simply defined, WFO is work performed at Department of Energy (DOE) facilities but funded by a non-DOE source. The DOE charges the customer the absolute minimum in administrative costs based on a full-cost recovery. Initiated in 1993, the WFO program benefits U.S. industry and other government agencies by providing scientific research, manufacturing skills, and technological competitiveness. ORCMT’s efforts to streamline its WFO program include improving the contracting mechanism, simplifying the payment methods, assisting business developers in acquiring new business, and providing easier assessability of its facility for customers.
Like most government industrial sites with similar programs, ORCMT offered its customers exceptional technical performance but a time-consuming administrative process for entry into the WFO program. Completion of the administrative process, filled with numerous forms and susceptible to delays, usually took four to six months after the customer’s request. ORCMT regarded this timeframe as unacceptable. Getting customers’ products and processes introduced into the market place required a timely response by the WFO program. In response, ORCMT pursued an aggressive continuous improvement initiative to streamline the administrative process, shorten the cycle time, and eliminate obstacles.
After reviewing its administrative process from request to approval, ORCMT eliminated unnecessary forms and simplified cumbersome ones. In addition, unproductive steps were omitted while other steps were performed in parallel or in advance where allowable. With approval by the Department of Energy (DOE), ORCMT revised the contracting mechanisms so customers could have a better understanding of the terms and conditions when working with DOE facilities. By expanding the areas where visitors could go without an escort, ORCMT improved the accessability of its facilities for WFO customers. This effort doubled the area and made the entire east end of the facilities accessible to visitors. ORCMT also designed a business-development toolkit which assists business developers in acquiring new business. The toolkit includes information on ORCMT services, industrial selling, cost estimating, proprietary information, licensing, and other valuable information needed to increase revenue.
Since implementing these improvements, ORCMT has reduced its administrative process to six days, and substantially decreased its administrative costs. In addition, the number of firms using ORCMT’s WFO program has increased by 300%.
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