German students from the Management Master’s Program at Hochschule Mainz, University of Applied Sciences, accomplished consulting projects for U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden and U.S. Army Europe and Africa and presented the results virtually Jan 6. This is the second year this activity has taken place.
“My colleagues and I were a little nervous because last year the students did a really good job,” said Prof. Dr. Britta Rathje, Hochschule Mainz, jokingly right before the presentations. However, she said, they were not nervous anymore on the actual day of presentations because they already knew that this year’s group of students also did a very good job. Rathje thanked the Army for the support, motivation and warm welcome.
Three groups of students presented three different projects: A feasibility study on a delivery service – MWR Delivers – provided by the Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation, the optimization of the vehicle registration process and a new personnel marketing strategy.
The reason for a study on a DFMWR delivery service is the severe impact COVID-19 has had on customer participation and sales revenues.
The service categories for the delivery service were food and beverages; outdoor recreation and sports; arts and crafts; and other services such as library or lending closet. The group calculated the fees necessary to operate MWR Delivers on a break-even level.
Their vision for the future is Whatever, Whenever, a delivery service for all types of goods and services that works with a cellphone app.
The second group worked on the improvement of the vehicle registration process. The goals were to reduce the customer wait times and to improve overall customer satisfaction.
The group recommended abolishing the renewal requirement for license plates so vehicle registration will be able to focus on other relevant issues and invest more time in customer satisfaction. They also suggested establishing an inspection decal that shows when a car is due for inspection so that only one fuel card and one license plate are necessary.
They also suggested a modern online appointment system that will also make the lives of spouses easier.
The third group focused on the personnel marketing strategy. They started out with determining whether Germans are familiar with U.S. Army employment opportunities. Most people said they are not (83.87%); only 16.03% were aware that the U.S. Army is a potential employer in Germany.
Among the keywords associated with the Army as an employer were “only for Americans,” “weapons,” “cultural differences,” and “hire and fire.”
They also found that navigation was difficult for external parties due to decentralized websites and no uniform corporate design.
Under the hashtag “#StrongerTogether,” which ties into “Army Strong. Strong Europe,” the group developed an employer branding strategy in black and yellow, the colors of the U.S. Army logo, to improve the perception among potential host nation employees.
The audience of the virtual presentation found exclusively positive words for all three groups ranging from “outstanding” to “fantastic” and “excellent.”
While Col. Trina Rice, deputy chief of staff, G-1, said the work was great and “far above her expectations,” Garrison Commander Col. Mario Washington emphasized how impressed he was by the command of English and the professionalism of the students.
The project sponsors also expressed their satisfaction.
The research analysis exceeded all expectations, and they did an outstanding job, said Casey Malloy, DFMWR non-appropriated funds support chief and sponsor of the first group.
Jason Kesselring, chief of police, who was the sponsor of the vehicle registration group, said the presentation was great and they came up with an excellent product.
Frank Dünkelberg and Uwe Wagner, human resources specialists with U.S. Army Europe and Africa G-1, Civilian Personnel Directorate, and sponsors of the third group, said they were overwhelmed by the students’ commitment and professionalism and it was amazing to see the motivation of the group.
“Dr. Rathje and Dr. Fischbach (professors at Hochschule Mainz), thank you again for your leadership and partnership this year. This is definitely something we want to see continue” said Suzanne Torres, assistant deputy chief of staff, CPD.