JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas –
One of the latest examples of Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph's commitment to the Air Force's "cost-conscious culture" can be found on the location's south side, where Bldg. 895 has been transformed into the 902nd Force Support Squadron's Community Services Mall.
The longtime home of arts and crafts, wood skills, framing and engraving, the facility now also includes outdoor recreation and information, tickets and travel, which were formerly housed across J Street West in Bldg. 897.
"Everything's in one place now, so it's more efficient for the customer," Marianne Clark, Community Services Mall, Wood Skills and Auto Skills director, said. "That's what it's all about."
Clark, who managed Outdoor Recreation and ITT for nine years, said the mall, which was renovated in 2012 to allow for the consolidation, provides "one-stop shopping" for customers.
She said the mall is also a "good cross-marketing" tool since it exposes customers to all the leisure and recreation activities available at Randolph with display areas for all products and services.
Clark said another convenience for customers is standardized hours of operation for ITT, Outdoor Recreation, framing and engraving, which are open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. The auto skills center, which remains in Bldg. 873, and the wood skills center, which is on the west end of the Community Services Mall, retain their same days of operation, Tuesday-Saturday.
Consolidation has also resulted in staff efficiencies, including fewer employees, the ability of all cashiers to handle framing, ticket and Outdoor Recreation sales, and better customer service, as well as management efficiencies such as simpler organization and no redundancy from multiple managers, she said.
Steve Knechtel, 902nd FSS acting Community Services Flight chief, said centralizing business operations and consolidating the staff of leisure and recreation activities help reduce costs and increase profits, an effort that is in tune with the Air Force's pursuit of a cost-conscious culture.
He said the gradual reduction of arts and crafts activities such as photography, ceramics, sewing, wood crafts and stained glass facilitated the consolidation effort by making more space available in Bldg. 895. The last arts and crafts classes were conducted at the end of 2011, and most of the equipment, supplies and inventory items for these activities were sold.
"Bldg. 895 has seen an increase in available space, making it a prime location for a centralized operation," Knechtel said.
Prior to the consolidation, the arts and crafts classrooms were converted into the Community Services Mall's customer service area, and the stained glass area was transformed into office space.
Knechtel said the relocation of furniture, computers, telephones, office supplies and other items was completed Sept. 24 and the Community Services Mall opened to the public the next day.
Clark said the mall's employees played an important role in the smooth consolidation.
"We have a great staff," she said. "They all know what they're doing, so it was a very easy adjustment."