Airman creates program ‘ESSential’ to mission productivity

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Areca T. Bell
  • 31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

In a world where Airmen are expected to do more with less, innovation is integral to helping members achieve mission success.

Senior Airman Tyler Wandtke, 31st Logistics Readiness Squadron aircraft parts store journeyman, used his passion for technology to create a program that streamlines collected data and minimizes the time to complete mission essential tasks.

“During my last assignment, I worked at Individual Protective Equipment. Every day I would pick up Chemical Bags and rebuild them. At the time, you had to fill out each form by hand,” Wandtke explained. “We had to build at least 50 bags daily, which took a lot of time. One day our office received a bar code readers and that’s when I had the idea to generate barcodes and use Visual Basic—a Microsoft program—to input and print information.”

Over time Wandtke advanced his coding skills and created his new program Enterprise Solution Supply—also known as ESSential.

“The program Airman Wandtke created is awesome,” said Master Sgt. Sonia Magagnin, 31st LRS quality assurance evaluator and innovation point-of-contact. “He created a program with many feature which is very useful to the mission in a time where we are expected to do more with less.”

In addition to serving as central storage for data, ESSential has a stamp feature, which allows logisticians to create and save a digital signature and the ability to research unlimited stock numbers at once. The "Automatic Pull and Putaway" log also records all items entering or leaving storage.

 “With the ‘Create a Signature’ application many man-hours are saved,” said Magagnin. “If there are 50 shipments waiting to be pulled, the supply technician would have to print out two shipment documents which would require three signatures each, making it a total of 300 signatures. That process normally takes 45 minutes to 1.5 hours. With ESSential it can be done in five minutes. The "Automatic Pull and Putaway" log application saves 60 hours per week and depending on the workload as much as 300 hours per month.”

Through his knowledge acquired during his time as an Information Technology intern, the Evansville, Indiana native has equipped a single Airman the ability to complete tasks usually suited for five personnel. His flight can now focus on other mission essential tasks, such as maintaining, inspecting, and validating readiness spares packages, supporting maintenance Field Training Deployments and maintaining 12 stockrooms.

Although ESSential has proven useful and is utilized at other bases such as Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England and Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Wandtke is not satisfied. He dedicates 30 to 40 hours a week to continuously improve his software.

“I want to continue progressing the program to one day show Air Force leaders not how it is, but what it could be,” he explained. “I don't want to only create programs for the logisticians but for other units. I feel like it can always be better.”