Sandia Lab News
February 13, 1998


Labs Support
Sandia is the leader in helping to improve education through the use and implementation of modern quality principles. Last year "cascaded" training through the Strengthening Quality in Schools program included 23 school districts, 102 school teams and 500 people in five regions of New Mexico. Over 3200 educators were recipients of the training. (Division 3000)

The Vacation Donation Plan (VDP) enables Sandians to help colleagues during family emergencies. The VDP is an optional employee-paid plan that allows employees with unused vacation to donate all or a portion of that time to another employee who has an emergency requiring that employee to be away from work and otherwise not be paid. Since the VDP's May 15 implementation, 35 employees donated a total of 572 hours to five employees in need. These five employees used up a total of 235 donated hours. (Division 3000)

Two defined curricula for manager candidates and managers were finalized. The Pre-Management curriculum consists of three classes designed for individuals who have an interest in becoming a manager. The New Manager Curriculum consists of three classes specifically designed for newly promoted managers. The new Training and Education Data System (TEDS) was implemented. TEDS provides Sandia with a comprehensive system for capturing training and education related data and summarizing information in various web-based reports. (Division 3000)

The new Human Resources Information System was completed using commercial software, enabling the transformation of Sandia's business practices to those more commonly used by commercial enterprises. Human Resources, Benefits, Payroll, Timekeeping and Employee self-service were included. The challenge of combining a complex information system with cultural change and new unproven technologies makes this a monumental achievement. The project was delivered on time and within budget. Open, timely, and effective communications helped prepare Sandia's workforce during a period of significant change that will touch virtually every employee in some way. (3000, 4000, 8000, 10000)

A successful labor agreement was reached with the Security Police Association. The new five-year contract was bargained following settlements earlier in the year with the OPEIU and MTC Unions. The three labor organizations represent about 18 percent of the employees at the New Mexico site. (Division 3000)

A three-year effort to redesign employee classifications has been implemented with the leadership of the Human Resources Compensation staff and a lab-wide team of Technical, Technician, Administrative, and Management personnel. The Integrated Job Structure (IJS) provides clear alternative career paths, simplifies classification processes, and uses occupation descriptions to facilitate market matching. Salary bands for each level of each career ladder are developed from market survey information. The IJS is a competency-based, market-oriented structure with common concepts and philosophies for all ladders. (Division 3000)

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More than 450 employee positions were eliminated through a combination of employee transfers and a voluntary separation incentive program. For the second year in a row, no involuntary layoffs were needed. In addition, more than 460 contract associate positions were eliminated. Our success was the result of tremendous teamwork across the Laboratories starting with senior management and involving many others who were committed to finding a resolution acceptable to both the Laboratories and to the employees involved. (Division 3000)

Human Resources Division 3000 achieved an overall score of Outstanding (97) in its recently completed FY97 DOE Lab Appraisal self-assessment, a significant improvement over last year's score of Outstanding (90). The six measures covered progress in the following areas: line ownership of diversity, cost savings and cycle-time improvement in the staff augmentation process, implementation of the integrated job structure, demonstration of line-of-sight through completion of performance management forms, successful union negotiations and utilization of feedback to improve customer satisfaction. (Division 3000)

Reengineering has been successfully deployed. What began as critical reviews of human resources, sites management, information systems, and finance by the external red teams have resulted in major improvements in cost, efficiency, cycle time, and customer satisfaction. FY97 costs for financial, information, human resources, sites management and procurement services were about $174 million, down $43 million from the $217 million paid for these services in FY95. (4000)

The Integrated Information System organization has provided several web-based capabilities that support the concepts of electronic commerce, data capture at the source, and desktop self-service. Electronic time entry and timecard approval and review are now available on the web. Electronic expense reports can be entered electronically with automatic e-mail notification for approval. Employees have the ability to change their personal work-related information via the web. The cost planning tool, WebSPIN, became available, and a workflow application to handle foreign travel requests was introduced. (4800)

Sandia completed its first corporate-wide customer satisfaction process. The intent of the process is to provide customer feedback directly to program and project teams for tactical action and to corporate and business unit teams for strategic and operational actions. The emphasis of the customer satisfaction process is on analyzing results, developing corrective measures, implementing actions, and validating progress. This emphasis assured a closed-loop process that concentrated our efforts on using the feedback from the customers to improve customer satisfaction with Sandia. (4500)

Entrance to tech areas 1 and 4 is almost completely automated. At present, 33 automated turnstiles and 31 automated doors provide access to limited areas and buildings. The first automated vehicle gate opened in November 1997. More than 200,000 gate entries are made per month. Two DOE security appraisals resulted in no automated access deficiencies. Payback on gate investment averages less than two years. (5800, 7400, 7800, 8800)

Divisions 7000 and 14000 partnered to analyze the systems, from exterior utilities to production process tools, that are critical to the success of the Product Realization Enterprise mission. The analysis identified the relationship between facilities systems and process equipment. A comprehensive maintenance program was then developed that will increase reliability while reducing both production process variability and costs. This maintenance program, combined with the alignment of ES&H professionals to address day-to-day customer problems, provides an integrated support system for our customers. (7500, 7800, 7900, 14000)

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The Foreign National Management Program was formed to fully integrate required reviews and approvals for hosting more than 2,000 foreign national visitors yearly at Sandia With the tremendous increase in visitors, the integration process is providing a cost/time savings, and a one-step process for Sandia hosts. A segment of the program is the briefing of the host and foreign national, a DOE first. (7400, 4600, 3500, 8800, 8900)

When building 810 (CNSAC) was occupied, the remaining occupants in building 836 were regrouped and move people were relocated from the MO's north of 802 into 836. the occupancy of Bldg. 836 was increased by 45 people, providing space for a new interactive training room. This project, the prototype for the Laboratories Space Consolidation initiative, demonstrated that effective space planning and utilization can contribute to the goals of improving organizational efficiency and reducing operating costs . (7800, 7900, 2000, 2100, 5500, 6500, 9700, 12300)

Tech Areas 5 and 3 received a major infrastructure improvement in FY97, a new natural gas supply line. This project was funded by the DOE/HQ In-House Energy Management program and piggybacked on a General Plant Project (GPP) to provide natural gas to the Inhalation Toxicology Research Institute. Design and construction were completed in FY97, with individual building fuel conversions (propane to natural gas) ongoing in FY98. The project has three major benefits: reducing the annual heating fuels cost by $70,000, eliminating the LPG tank farm in area 5, and significantly reducing the trips made to areas 5 and 3 by propane fuel trucks. (7800,7900)

Facilities Express, which completes small modifications to customer space, now offers a competitive low bid process and per unit fixed fee contracting to customers whose scope of work is well defined. The new processes reduce cost overruns because 95% to 98% of the costs are fixed when the construction contract is placed. This partnership between our customers, Procurement and the Facilities Express team has saved our customers $150,000 in the last six months. Our FY98 goal is to double the number of projects using these new processes. (7900, 10200)

The California Site employed the principles of teamwork, resource sharing, and centralization of support functions to enhance business unit efficiency during FY97. Accomplishments include:


The consolidated staff augmentation contracts completed their first full year of operation. The cost savings for the first year was approximately $7 million and cycle time has been reduced from up to six months to less than 30 days. There have been 607 contract associates brought in under these contracts and 80 separations, for about 537 current active participants. (10200)

Procurement and Accounts Payable teamed to implement a Web site for Sandia's suppliers. It allows viewing in real time their Requests for Quotation (RFQ), contracts, and invoice status and history. That site on Sandia's external Web can be found at http://partners.sandia.gov. The Web application is Sandia's first to give our supply chain partners limited access to internal working databases. It is a valuable tool in allowing suppliers to both view documents and perform analysis that could only be provided in the past by a Sandian. (10200, 10500)

In FY97 Sandia received $4,517,000 in one of the largest gross receipts tax refunds ever granted by the State of New Mexico. Using an interpretation of the existing New Mexico gross receipts tax law, and working against statutory deadlines, Accounting Services personnel gathered source data covering more than 100 Sandia projects spanning two fiscal years costs' to develop and substantiate the refund amount. The state granted the refund with zero adjustments, a testament to the quality of the proposal and the expertise of the Sandia employees involved. (10500)

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Business Objects was chosen as the new corporate standard financial reporting software and implementation has begun. The Financial Management Tools and Process team, consisting of Division financial representatives, CFO staff, and CIO staff, produced specifications for standard reports and software performance. Financial reporting using the package will eventually replace portions of the corporate and local systems currently in use, thereby providing cost savings and efficiencies to the Labs. (10500)

One-day placement of contracts and amendments at selected universities is now possible thanks to a new policy developed by Procurement Center 10200. As Ordered Agreements (AOA) have been established with 26 major universities. A Sandia requester can now submit a cost proposal that has been pre-approved by an AOA university's contracts office, and the contract can be placed in as little as one day. Seventy percent of university contracts and amendments are now eligible to be awarded in this manner, greatly cutting processing time and expense. (10200)

Purchasing & Special Programs Center 11400 provided new contract forms that significantly enhance university partnering by reducing the concerns of many universities over the contract terms and conditions as well as significantly streamlining the contracting process to purchase commercial items. (11400)

The Benefits and Tax Center 11200 had the following accomplishments in 1997: Overseeing our outside counsel litigation cost management program. Annual costs have decreased by 33 percent ($192,000 ) year-to-year from FY96. FY96 costs were already at near "all time" lows, having been brought down compared to FY'95 levels by approximately $760,000 or 55 percent. (11200)

Under the direction of Executive VP John Crawford, the corporate policy development and deployment process was successfully reengineered. A new business rules hierarchy and corporate policy model were implemented; five VP policy sponsors were appointed with specific roles, responsibilities, and accountabilities; and the number of corporate policies was reduced from 132 Sandia Laboratory Policies to 24 Corporate Policy Statements. An electronic-based delivery system was launched, providing employees immediate access to the most current official business rules. (15100)

The Audit Center introduced Control Self-Assessment (CSA) during FY97. The auditor uses CSA to assist the customer (management and staff) in defining risk (consequences and impact) associated with not meeting management's objectives. The process identifies areas needing improved controls and helps organizations make the best use of self-assessments. CSA provides management with a better understanding of risks and controls, allows organizations to better align resources with risk, and helps organizations meet their objectives. (12800)

Scores of legislators, congressional staffers, industry representatives and media attended the Intelligent Machines Expo held on Capitol Hill. The event was sponsored jointly by Sandia, DOE, and the Robotics and Intelligent Machines Cooperative Council at the request of the House and Senate Manufacturing Task Forces. The Expo gained support for a national intelligent machines initiative and resulted in a call from Congress that will establish Sandia's new Robotic Manufacturing Science and Engineering Laboratory as one of several National Testbed Centers. These testbeds will facilitate government, industry, and academia collaboration in the rapidly expanding intelligent machines industry. (9600, 12600, 4500, 12100)

Sandians have always been generous helping others with their time and money. In recognition, Sandia/Lockheed Martin was honored as the 1997 Outstanding Business in Philanthropy. Sandians contribute over $1.5 million annually to United Way of Central New Mexico and 50,000 hours plus annually in volunteer community work. This year, Sandians worked with Martineztown House of Neighborly Services - about 200 lab workers spent 2000 hours helping with more than 20 neighborhood projects. Our community involvement makes a positive difference in our communities. (12600, all involved Sandians)

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Last Modified: February 12, 1997