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A cut above
Kevin Larsen, a meat cutter at the Malmstrom commissary, prepares porterhouse steaks for packaging Aug. 18. (U.S. Air Force photo/Valerie Mullett)
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Malmstrom commissary comes out on top

Posted 8/19/2009   Updated 8/19/2009 Email story   Print story


by Senior Airman Dillon White
341st Missile Wing Public Affairs Office

8/19/2009 - MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. -- The Malmstrom commissary received an overall score of 98.1 percent during a "no-notice" Defense Commissary Agency IG inspection Aug. 12 and 13, earning the highest score so far this year for a commissary in the continental United States. 

The inspection is broken into three "Key Result Areas;" Patron Satisfaction - 94.6 percent, Leadership Issues - 101.8 percent and Personnel and Assets Management - 100 percent. 

"We're all on cloud nine," said Jerry Osborn, commissary grocery manager. "Everyone really came together as a team, worked hard and all our employees did a great job." 

The team inspected areas of the commissary including, but not limited to: grocery, meat, produce, customer service and satisfaction, and management and pricing. 

"The inspectors showed up at the door and said 'well, let's get started,'" said Jerry Contreras, commissary store administrator. "In addition to the inspection criteria, the inspectors went out on the sales floor and interviewed 15 patrons on customer satisfaction. Of the 14 areas rated in the interviews, we scored a 4.8 out of a possible 5 on courteous, friendly and helpful employees." 

The team also interviewed employees on five leadership areas including teamwork, supervision, communication, rewards and recognition, and fairness and treatment of others. Malmstrom scored higher than the DeCA average. 

Leadership was also inspected in personnel and asset management, training and evaluations, and progress management. 

"We have three managers, myself included, with less than a year's experience," Mr. Osborn said. "To see a score this high again in our careers is unlikely." 

Mr. Contreras said the high score was a reflection of the managers' abilities to conduct self assessments after reading inspection reports from other bases, communicate with their people and ensure they were in compliance. 

He attributed this achievement to all the people associated with the commissary, including: commissary employees, contractors, vendors, vendor stockers and baggers. 

"They didn't procrastinate at all when they found things that needed to be fixed," Mr. Contreras said. "Since the I.G. report came out, we've been inundated with congratulatory e-mails." 

The commissary's high score was also a direct result of team Malmstrom's support, Mr. Osborn said. 

"Everyone on this installation supports us by shopping here and helping with things like case-lot sales," he said. "Thirty to 40 Airmen from [341st Civil Engineer Squadron] will come over to put up tents for the case-lot sales and the first sergeants work with us to provide meals during the holidays to families who need it. It's a total team effort."

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