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[Sandia Lab News]

Vol. 51, No. 3        February 12, 1999
[Sandia National Laboratories]

Albuquerque, New Mexico 87185-0165    ||   Livermore, California 94550-0969
Tonopah, Nevada; Nevada Test Site; Amarillo, Texas

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1998 was an incredible year for Sandia to reach out to our communities. Employees gave the most ever to United Way ($1.9 million) and Shoes for Kids (425 pairs of shoes). Sandia volunteers partnered with contractors ($13,000 material/labor) to renovate a classroom and improve the playground at Cuidando los Niņos, a daycare for homeless children. More than 650 volunteers spent three months constructing the Lockheed Martin/Sandia house. Sandia with United Way and Albuquerque Public Schools started the Rocket Reader program where nearly 100 volunteers tutor struggling readers. (12600)

Human Resources Center 3500 concluded a multiyear Human Resources (HR) reporting reengineering project. Commercial software, new tools, and revised methods were employed to reduce indirect costs while providing quality service without shifting costs. Results: (1) reduced annual cost more than 70 percent ($480,000/year); (2) reduced full-time equivalents almost 60 percent; (3) reduced scheduled report delivery time an average three days; (4) increased online accessibility by 400 percent; (5) increased customer satisfaction rating to 99.2 percent; (6) earned a 1998 President's Quality Award. (3500)

In partnership with other organizations, Sandia's Corporate Training, Development, and Education program developed six courses that can be delivered electronically to employees' computers via the Internal Web. More than 14,000 completions have been recorded, translating into cost savings of more than $2 million. This technology allows individuals easy access to training and increased efficiency and effectiveness of delivery. Each course is designed using cohesive learning objectives to ensure consistency in content. Interactivity is embedded throughout to enhance students' learning. (3500, 4400, 4800, 7400, 7500, 2900)

Three key elements have been integrated to enable an employee's performance to be reflected in his or her pay: (1) formal performance assessment based upon specific work objectives and attributes; (2) employee's placement within a job structure that reflects classification and levels within classifications, based upon specific criteria; (3) software that "hard-wires" the elements listed above into a starting point salary recommendation. The intent is to use the salary money pool to differentiate among levels of contribution and to reward key talent. (3500)

The Web-based Expense Report (WebER) allows employees to submit electronically any reimbursable business-related expense to their manager for approval. Customer acceptance has been extremely high -- current use is 85 percent of all possible submissions. The software has made the employee reimbursement process quicker, cheaper, and more accurate while ensuring consistent enforcement of Sandia policies. WebER replaces the manual process associated with paper Employee Expense and Reimbursement vouchers and is available to Sandia employees who have access to the Web. (4800)

The white tent on the east end of Area 1 is a staging area for materials to be used in the new Process and Environmental Technology Laboratory (PETL) now under construction. The best value selection criteria used to award the PETL contract was the first major construction contract awarded using criteria other than the traditional method of low net price as the award basis. A team from 1804, 7832, 7926, and 10231 helped select a contractor that gave Sandia the overall best value. (1800, 7800, 7900, 10200)

A Sandia-wide team evaluated more than 600 internal systems for Year 2000 (Y2K) issues and applied a triage remediation process that will result in all DOE mission-essential and Sandia-critical systems being repaired by August 1999. An independent team identified unacceptable Sandia Y2K consequences and the organizational interdependencies that could lead to those consequences. The interdependencies are now being addressed by Sandia's Y2K team. (4400)

In 1998, the SALUD Health Promotion Program and the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) received President's Quality Awards for their proactive, results-oriented approach to enhancing the mental and physical well-being of employees. High levels of customer satisfaction and cost-effective programs implemented by SALUD led to its selection as one of five Gold PQA winners. The EAP was recognized with a Turquoise Sandia President's Quality Award for its commitment to continuous improvement of client services. (3300)

Sandia's Family Assistance Center (3300) was cited as a model program that integrates existing American Red Cross community assets and demonstrates how support for families/friends of accident victims can be managed in a caring environment. Sandia Medical Services was acknowledged for planning and preparedness activities for small scale and major medical emergencies (3300). Sandia's paramedics responded to a mass casualty balloon accident last October, took command of the incident, directed the triage of the victims, and coordinated transportation within 45 minutes of the initial call. (3300, 7500).

We have implemented an integrated planning system, where business direction is driven by a Strategic Plan, deployed through an Operational Plan, monitored and corrected through a Corporate Scorecard, and documented by an Institutional Plan. This planning system is used by executive leadership to improve the overall effectiveness of the laboratory and strengthen and ensure the alignment between Sandia strategy and those of DOE and Lockheed Martin. The system provides timely information to DOE and several other constituencies. (4100)

A team of Sandia human resources (HR) professionals traveled to Russia to conduct a series of HR workshops at weapons facilities in Snezhinsk and Moscow. For the first time, the Russian federal nuclear complex involved technical leadership, executive management, academic leaders, and city officials in discussions of HR issues that are serious enough to jeopardize the missions of nonproliferation and weapons dismantlement. The workshops were so well received that the team will return to Russia in 1999. (3500, 5300)

The Common Operating Environment Development Team developed -- and the Computer Support Units (CSU's) implemented -- an automated software distribution process for MS Office 97, Norton AntiVirus, and Adobe Acrobat Reader. This process reduced deployment time from 15 to four months, with average installation times reduced from several hours to 15 minutes when compared to the MS Office 95 deployment. Conservatively estimated cost savings were more than $3 million. As a result of this work, Sandia now has the capability to deploy applications to more than 7,000 desktops without personal visits. (4400)

The Foreign National Program continued to mature under Congressional and DOE scrutiny. Sandia Security fully integrated reviews/approvals for hosting more than 2,000 foreign visitors. Hosts have a one-step process for Albuquerque-based interactions with their foreign counterparts. The new Electronic Foreign National Request System will network hosts' requests with coordination/ approval authorities, simplifying the process and saving time. (7400, 4600, 15100, 3500)

Sandia sent more than 2.2 metric tons of nonirradiated nuclear fuel to a fabricator in Lynchburg, Va. The ten nuclear fuel assemblies shipped were part of a reserve core for the NS Savannah nuclear freighter, christened in 1959 as part of the "Atoms for Peace" program. After Savannah was decommissioned in 1971, ten assemblies were brought to Sandia for NRC accident testing. Only one assembly was tested and, along with its nine sister assemblies, remained in long-term storage until disposition was accomplished in late September 1998. (7400, 7500, 10200, 12600, 6400)

The Facilities Business Unit (FBU) developed Internal Lease Agreements for 41 buildings and approximately 2.7 million square feet of space. These lease agreements are designed to establish clear roles and responsibilities, define the level of services that will be provided, clarify ownership of structures, systems, and components, and establish measurable performance criteria. The Internal Lease Agreement is our "tool" for quantifying FBU Services against the specific needs of our customers. (7900)

The Power Systems Modernization (PSM) program is upgrading electrical transmission and distribution systems at Sandia/New Mexico. The project was first proposed at a budget of $57 million, but the scope was later reduced to fit within the available budget of $36 million. However, the PSM team was able to reduce costs, increase efficiencies, and apply savings to implement the complete intent of the original proposal. This has resulted in an electrical distribution system that is safer, more reliable, and less costly to operate and maintain. (7800)

The Building 911 Alteration Project provided for the 21,000 sq. ft. comprehensive renovation of California's "front door" for employees, site visitors, and the general public. The project required relocating building occupants and establishing a temporary visitor entrance on the opposite side of the site. The renovation of the 1950s-era building includes a larger video conference room, enlarged visitor lobby, meeting rooms, and enhanced security and visitor space, plus an elevator to satisfy requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The design provides an energy-efficient environment with modern building systems throughout. (8500)

Sandia completed implementation of its Integrated Safety Management System (ISMS) on schedule at the end of FY98, resulting in a successful DOE verification during October and November 1998. ISMS involves extensive and continuous teaming of line management, ES&H coordinators, ES&H support teams, and ES&H program owners to define ways to operate efficiently and safely. Key steps included custom implementation within each division, VP briefings to DOE and Sandia senior management on progress, and division self-assessment aimed at continuous improvement. (All Organizations)

The synergistic relationship between the Waste Management/Pollution Prevention staff and line organizations led to recognition of excellence in areas of energy management, waste reduction, water conservation, air emissions, fleet maintenance, and environmental restoration. Sandia exceeded its aggressive waste-management and reduction goals. It treated and disposed of 252 cubic meters of radioactive waste, recycled 646 metric tons of solid waste and 109 metric tons of hazardous waste, reduced water use 30 million gallons, and eliminated three tons of air emissions. (7500)

Logistics Services implemented two programs that offer direct dollar benefits to other Sandia organizations. One program provides that equipment requiring upgrade is either traded in or sold, with the proceeds used to directly offset the cost of a replacement item. The other program provides that excess property no longer required by Sandia is sold on the open market with the proceeds returned directly to the owning line organization. This program returned $278,000 in FY98 to line organizations and expects to return $646,000 in FY99. (10200)

Sandia Corporation successfully negotiated a five-year extension of the Management & Operating contract with DOE for Sandia National Laboratories. Sandia and local DOE management were able to craft a mutually beneficial contractual arrangement that retained Lockheed Martin as the parent corporation. This action was accomplished with the personal involvement of Sandia, Lockheed Martin, and DOE executives. (15100)

Based on the results of an internally generated asset/liability study, the pension fund investment staff increased the amount of money invested in international stocks from 10 percent to 20 percent of the pension fund. This should improve the long-term expected risk/return tradeoff of the pension's investments. This project involved the movement of approximately $250 million to one existing and three new international stock managers. The staff structured the transition to the new managers in a way that saved almost $3 million in transaction costs. (10300)

Sandia has implemented a commercial software reporting package, Business Objects, that enables easy retrieval of current and historical financial information. The use of standard reports and queries will result in significant cost savings to the Labs and facilitate the transition to the Oracle financial system in FY2000. The implementation team won a Turquoise Sandia President's Quality Award. Partnering among the customers (divisions) and the CFO and CIO was key to the project's success. (10500, 10300, 4800, 5400, 2100, 3500 and division reps)

Accounting Services Dept. 10501 in the Controller's organization, with assistance from organizations 9321, 9324, and 11010, prepared and successfully defended a tax assessment appeal before the Nevada State Board of Equalization. The impact of this appeal is an annual reduction of $600,000 in Nevada property taxes and a corresponding reduction in the overhead cost on Sandia projects. (10500)

Patent and Licensing Center 11500 achieved new highs in filing patent applications (143) and issuing new patents (89) in FY98. With the support of the line organizations, Patent & Licensing has expanded its staff to include two new patent agents. (11500)

The Environment, Safety, & Health (ES&H) Manual Committee revitalized the ES&H Manual. Confusing and at times unnecessary detail made this important reference document difficult to follow. A number of structural and formatting changes added clarity and resulted in a more user-friendly and accessible manual. (ES&H Manual Committee and 7500).

Legal Division 11000 continues to reduce costs by effective litigation management. Of seven cases pending on 10/1/97, three were terminated successfully and another dismissal was expected soon. Two cases filed during FY97 were settled or dismissed within weeks of filing. The Division and its outside counsel are moving aggressively to determine the merits of cases to effect satisfactory resolutions or to pursue dismissal where the case lacks merit. (11000)

New services and upgrades from Video Services have brought the Bldg. 962 auditorium in Area 4 to state-of-the-art. Full operator audio-visual event support is now provided at no cost to customers. A new preproduction system allows customers to have live broadcast-quality video-taping of events. (12600)

Sandia's Space Consolidation program moved more than 400 people into "good" space and more than 350 people out of substandard or temporary space, while keeping overall moves to a minimum. As a result, Sandia vacated and removed 29,000 sq. ft. of substandard space, reserved 15,000 sq. ft. of space for "turnaround" space, saved more than $1.4 million in lease, operations, and maintenance costs, and significantly improved space utilization in three major buildings -- 823, 821, and 962. (7900)

Last modified: February 12, 1999

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