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Raosoft, Inc., Seattle, WA
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Living Pattern Survey, for the Dept.of Defense, Per Diem, Travel and Transportation Allowance Committee
Formed by the U.S. Department of Defense, the Per Diem, Travel and Transportation Allowance Committee (PDTATAC) ensures uniform travel and transportation regulations for members of the seven Uniformed Services (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Public Health Service).
Among the Travel Regulations and Allowance Programs run by PDTATAC, they run the Overseas Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) for the seven Uniformed Services. The Overseas COLA compensates for excess costs of non-housing expenses incurred in areas that exceed costs of the average Continental United States Uniformed Service Members. This Allowance program impacts 280,000 members at approximately 600 locations overseas, including Alaska and Hawaii. Current cost is approximately $1 billion annually.
To coordinate the Overseas COLA, PDTATAC requires a Living Pattern Survey (LPS) and a Retail Price Schedule (RPS). These questionnaires require extensive factual content. In paper format, processing these questionnaires was quite inefficient and slow. The PDTATAC desired to replace this inefficient paper system with a browser-based, electronic integrated solution.
LPS: Once every three years, the Living Pattern Survey (LPS) samples Uniformed Service Members assigned to each overseas location. The LPS queries respondents for their off-base purchasing behavior of goods and services. Specifically, the LPS investigates which stores respondents use, the percentage purchased from each source of supply, and the relative use for the goods and services.
The specifications for the LPS software include:
The specifications for the RPS software include:
Based on the paper data collection form, a questionnaire shell was created with hooks into an integrated program called the LPS Creator. Click here to view a template of this form. This program was designed for distribution to each overseas location and to coordinate sending data to headquarters. LPS Creator contains the following components and is easy enough for novices to use:
Benefits to Improve Productivity
With LPS Creator, PDTATAC now has a single browser-based application to distribute to all overseas Uniformed Services locations. Each locality can input local retail outlets, distribute forms and combine the data when collected. Distribution of questionnaires can be through the web, by email, by diskette, or over the LAN. They can produce standard reports, query sub-populations to report on, and send raw data to headquarters upon completion of the survey.
With the RPS, PDTATAC questionnaire a single form to put on their server to collect data from all overseas Uniformed Services locations. In addition, for locations without Internet Access, they can distribute the same questionnaire via email or floppy disk.