Ever wonder what a day in the life of an assistant manager at one of our Base Supply Centers (BSC) looks like? We did. And for this BSC spotlight, we got the inside scoop straight from Tanner Steele —Assistant Store Manager at the Base Supply Center within Camp Mabry in Austin, TX.
Q: What does a typical day look like at your BSC?
A: A typical day at the BSC starts with providing government and state customers with quotes requested for mission-critical items. As the day progresses, we also serve walk-in National Guard, Active Duty Army, Air Force, and Texas State Guard soldiers with uniform, and office supply needs. As a one-stop-shop, we’re also tasked with locating and quoting hard-to-find items as well as well as coordinating and delivering shipments to our customers.
Q: When did your BSC open for business?
A: The Camp Mabry ATX BSC opened in 2016 as a source of procurement for federal and state entities to get their everyday supplies. Over the years, the store grew and eventually expanded from GPC only sales—to personal credit card sales for military, and Texas State Guard soldiers. This gave soldiers the option to get their uniforms and office supplies right on base rather than having to drive over an hour to get them.
Q: What makes it unique?
A: We differ from other BSC’s because we offer personal sales to military members approved through the TAG. This is a big deal because previously there weren’t many places where Texas State Guard soldiers could purchase new military uniforms easily. As a result, they’d often buy from second-hand surplus stores, or they’d buy unauthorized uniforms from foreign companies. With the approval of personal sales to Texas State Guard soldiers, our BSC can now get these men and women the uniforms they desperately needed.
Q: Why is a brick-and-mortar BSC important to have on-base?
A: Because a lot of the time—especially on-base—you don’t always know what you need until you’re actually in the store and see it. Additionally, we sell AR 670-1-approved uniforms. So, when soldiers shop at our BSC for uniforms, they can actually try before they buy so they can get the best fit.
Q: What have been your most memorable experiences with employees or customers that show the impact of the BSC?
A: One time, this customer couldn’t find the one item he needed to accomplish a mission for his unit. In fact, he was just about ready to go without it—but decided to try one last thing: he came to us. We not only found the item, we delivered to him within a week. Our ability to procure this hard-to-find item made his mission a success. And because of that, IBVI gained a customer for life.
Q: What does the IBVI mission to employ and empower the blind and visually impaired mean to you?
A: Employing and empowering those who are blind or visually impaired means providing amazing men and women the ability to work. We include every employee who is blind or visually impaired in our day-to-day functions because we wouldn’t be able to accomplish our mission without them. And I am proud to say that I work with some of the best people in the industry.