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ITT soon available where Airmen shop
Six installations are participating in a pilot program designed to offer Airmen the option to make vacation or recreational plans while shopping at the exchange. The six installations are Keesler Air Force Base, Miss.; Royal Air Force Station Lakenheath, England; Little Rock AFB, Ark.; Luke AFB, Ariz.; Patrick AFB, Fla. And Tinker AFB, Okla. (Courtesy Graphic)
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ITT soon available where Airmen shop

Posted 10/1/2013   Updated 10/1/2013 Email story   Print story

    


by Sammie King
Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs


10/1/2013 - JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas -- Airmen at six bases will soon be able to make vacation or recreation plans while shopping at the Exchange, thanks to a test program implemented in August.

To increase overall efficiency, and improve customer service, the Air Force Personnel Center Services Directorate and the Army Air Force Exchange Service are placing ITT operations in Exchange malls to streamline the Information, Tickets and Tours program, AFPC officials said.

Test installations are Keesler Air Force Base, Miss.; Royal Air Force Station Lakenheath, England; Little Rock AFB, Ark.; Luke AFB, Ariz; Patrick AFB, Fla. and Tinker AFB, Okla.

"We are looking forward to what we believe will be significant savings and efficiencies," said Sandra Hillard, AFPC community and leisure section chief, "while providing customers 'one-stop shopping' opportunity."

ITT offices, which will be open five days a week including a weekend day, will also offer a value-added concierge service to the community that will include publicity, information and possibly reservations for such force support squadron programs and events as outdoor recreation trips, fitness specials, youth programs and more.

"Providing concierge services means that customers will have one trusted source when they have a question about travel, the installation and/or local community. If an ITT staff member does not know the answer, they know who to contact. The customer may benefit by saving a trip to an office that's closed, or by saving time and resources thanks to the information ITT provides," Hillard explained.

This concept was previously implemented independently at MacDill AFB, Fla.; Fairchild AFB, Wash.; and Dyess AFB, Texas, said Hillard.

"We discovered from these installations the importance of serving our customers under one roof and decided to expand this partnership to six more locations. This is one of many concepts being tested under the Services Transformation Initiative which are intended to transform how the Air Force provides morale, welfare and recreation programs and services at the installations."

Data collected during the test, slated to end in August 2014, will be used to determine if the initiative is reducing operating costs, increasing foot traffic and/or generating additional revenue for ITT and the Exchange, said Hillard. Additional revenue benefits Airmen because the Exchange contributes to the installation Morale, Welfare and Recreation funds through dividends each year.

Although data collected will help determine whether or not to expand the program, not all of the 75 worldwide ITT functions will merge with an exchange.

"We have ITT operations in high traffic areas that we are not interested in moving, such as a building in front of the BX/commissary or a very active community center, military personnel section and outdoor recreation. If the test is a success, we're hoping our partnership will grow by adding more ITT offices into the exchange," she said.

"Flexibility of customers being able to shop in a convenient one-stop shopping area is definitely a hallmark of this partnership, and quality customer service is something all our force support activities strive for," she said.

The ITT program has long been popular with Airmen looking for affordable entertainment and recreation options, Hillard said.

"The Air Force has a central ticket program operated from Services. We provide the best discount ticket price to 75 installations to make sure that customers are getting the best bang for their buck! Another superb convenience offered at the test installations is the pager service. Customers will get a pager so they can have lunch or a cup of coffee and shop the Exchange while they are waiting to be served at ITT," she explained.

Caring for Airmen is what ITT is all about, she said. The program provides leisure activities for everyone, whether they're 1 or 101. Services and products include discount tickets to over 80 attractions, bus tours and leisure travel packages, and more.

"It's an amazing source for fun, provides Airmen with an outlet to build resilience and boosts morale," said Hillard.

In addition to the customer convenience, the ITT/exchanger merger will improve business operations, Hillard said.

"The Exchange has 2,000-plus customers a day, whereas, because of their locations, our ITT operations may have fewer than 2,000 per week. We started tracking the number of customers served in January and will compare numbers quarterly. We're gaining new customers and providing more information on travel, and customers are making reservations and purchasing discount tickets more than before."

Test bases are already reporting success, she said.

For more information about tour and travel opportunities go to www.aftravelonline.com. For news and information about other quality of life programs, go to www.usafservices.com.



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