REDUCING THE WASTE AND ADMINISTRATIVE BURDEN OF THE DEFENSE TRAVEL SYSTEM THROUGH A PROCESS IMPROVEMENT APPROACH
Burleson, Christopher L.
Terrian, Jerry I.
Rorick, Jerremy T.
Summers, Don E.
Sullivan, Ryan S.
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The Defense Travel System (DTS) was established with the intent of streamlining the Department of Defense’s (DoD) travel claims and reimbursement process for users. The DTS has fallen short of expectations, far exceeds budgetary estimates, and perpetuates a culture of rigid rules and cumbersome administrative processes that burden the warfighter. The research presented here outlines the background and current process of the DTS, and examines leading process improvement techniques including Lean Six Sigma and the Theory of Constraints. This thesis theorizes that a paradigm shift in the DoD’s culture to a focus on human integration and process improvement will result in decreased costs, increased savings, and improved user satisfaction. In an effort to address the research question, "How can we reduce the administrative burden of the DTS on the warfighter?" this research concludes that the removal of the administrative voucher approval requirement coupled with an online chat capability will significantly enhance the overall efficiency of the system.
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