News>Osan commissary cashes in as overseas winner again
A customer shops in the produce section at the Osan Air Base commissary. For the second year in a row, the Osan commissary won the Dan Daniel Award for Best Large Commissary Overseas. They are tops among the Defense Commissary Agency’s 247 stores worldwide, and the awards are named in honor of a government official who protected the commissary benefit and championed quality-of-life issues for the military and their families. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Stefanie Torres)
by Staff Sgt. Stefanie Torres
51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs
5/30/2012 - OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- For the second year in a row, the Osan Air Base commissary won the Dan Daniel Award for Best Large Commissary Overseas, a feat unmatched by any other store overseas or stateside.
Their efforts were distinctive among the Defense Commissary Agency's 247 stores worldwide.
The award is named in honor of a government official who protected the commissary benefit and championed quality-of-life issues for the military and their families.
"The best part about the commissary is the people," said Wayne Walk, DeCA Korea and Guam zone manager. "They have a great team that works together. They are professional, dedicated and they communicate, which is something that you have to do to make a good team."
Osan's commissary brings in approximately $1.7 million a month in revenue. That accomplishment, underscored with a very high customer satisfaction, and with 10 percent less unit cost than other stores puts them at the top of the list.
The store is graded on three different areas; accountability, customer service survey and unit cost.
"It takes a year to win the award," Walk said. "You have to be good all year long and make the customers happy all year long."
The commissary trucks in approximately $500,000 a day in products that have to be accounted for, including making sure the prices are correct.
Winning for an overseas store has its challenges, he said.
"One of the things we have to consider when working overseas is the transportation," the zone manager said. "You have to forecast 45 days out. That's how long it takes to order, get it from the states and put it on the shelf. So that's magic."
"The next thing is keeping our customers happy. A lot of people lose sight that we are overseas and think we can't get everything that they want, and I think we actually do a great job of that."
Osan is also able to take in special orders from customers, which help in customer satisfaction.
"The whole community loves shopping at the Osan commissary," said Ae Kim, Osan assistant commissary officer. "Whatever they need, we can take a special order and within 24 hours we provide it to them. Also, we get a lot of good customer comments which I am grateful for."
For Kim, it's less about entering the competition and more about customer satisfaction.
"I come in, and I can see each of their faces, what they want, and what we can provide them," she said.
"This is really a great team here," he said. "They take care of people. If you take care of your people, the people will take care of you."