Navy Food Service Uses Design Thinking to Revolutionize Processes


TANG1Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) held an event 2-5 May that brought together experts and stakeholders in Navy Food Service to identify innovative solutions for Sailors in their food service experience.

The Tactical Advancements for the Next Generation (TANG) event employed the design thinking process, a goal oriented human-centered approach drawing on team creativity and interactions.

“I was a Food Service Officer when I started in the Navy,” said Rear Adm. Jonathan Yuen, commander, NAVSUP and Chief of Supply Corps. “So I know how important food is to the Sailor. This TANG is about generating new ideas to revolutionize Navy Food Service.”

TANG2The Navy Food Service TANG was co-sponsored by NAVSUP and Commander, Naval Installations Command. The TANG event brought together culinary specialists, Supply Officers, and customers from sea and shore based galleys, training organizations, and other commands. Over the course of the TANG event, between 80 and 90 participants collaborated to co-create solutions to food service challenges across the fleet.

“It is important to have our culinary specialists (CSs) and the Sailors they support together to collaborate on the future of Navy Food Service,” said Lt. Cmdr. Keith Capper, director, Navy Food Service. “Ideas that ultimately emerge from this event may be seen at a base near you in the future, both afloat and ashore.”

Five themes emerged during the TANG: Growing the Future of Navy Food, Amplifying the CS Rate, Maximizing Sailor Readiness, Building Sailor Centered Dining Experiences, and Revolutionizing Food Service Operations.

“There were many tremendous ideas that were discussed this week,” Capper said.

TANG3TANG participants worked in teams to brainstorm and conceptualize an idea, and then built a “prototype” of the concept. The prototypes were presented to the group for feedback. Ideas included ways to get fresher produce afloat, different ways for CSs to get training and opportunities, seamlessly integrating health and nutrition information tracking with food options on the galley service line, and ideas for mobile apps and state-of-the-art technology.

The solutions presented during the event will be analyzed and presented to Navy Food Service leadership for implementation. To close the event, Yuen talked about how this TANG produced many good ideas, some from outside the CS community.

“I appreciate all you’ve done this week,” said Yuen. “I heard what you said and I believe good ideas come from everywhere. It is possible to integrate some of your ideas both afloat and ashore.”

July/August 2016