Introducing eSUPPO! A New Mobile App for the Supply Corps Community

BY KARLA GABEL, OFFICE OF PERSONNEL, NAVAL SUPPLY SYSTEMS COMMAND

In our ever-changing, increasingly mobile world, most of us are never without our smartphones–at least not for long. Smartphones and tablets have replaced desktop computers and laptops as our go-to devices for accessing the Internet. According to a 2015 Gallup Panel survey, about half of U.S. smartphone owners check their mobile devices several times an hour.

We bank, shop, read news, listen to music, watch videos, and message our friends and family using our phones. Oh, sure, we still make calls, but according to a statistic published on the Entrepreneur magazine website, 90 percent of the time we spend on our smartphones is time spent using apps. There is an app for almost everything we do and now there’s an app for the Supply Corps community.

We have an app for that!

eSUPPO is now available for download to your Apple or Android device. Supply Officers and others in the Supply Corps community can quickly access Supply Corps information using the new eSUPPO app. You no longer have to log on to multiple websites to find what you need.

You can quickly find Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) news, billet listings, educational program information, NAVSUP instructions, and links to related Facebook pages and websites. Using eSUPPO, you can contact your detailer, access forms, and provide feedback via various surveys.

eSUPPO can be used offline. Previously downloaded content can be viewed even when you have no Wi-Fi or cell service. When you’re online, content automatically updates.

At times, especially if you’re afloat, it may be hard to find a workstation and this can increase the possibility that you may miss out on important information, such as a billet listing. Having the eSUPPO app on your mobile device provides a way for you to view this information without logging on to a workstation or website and it decreases the likelihood that you will miss out on an opportunity.

In the Beginning

In March 2015, Chief of Supply Corps and Commander, NAVSUP, Rear Adm. Jonathan A. Yuen established Supply Advisory Teams (SATs) to guide technical experts in each segment of the supply community to improve how the community operates. Chaired by Capt. Tim Daniels, Director, Navy Supply Corps Office of Personnel, PERS-4412 (NAVSUP OP), the Manpower Readiness (MR) SAT was chartered to identify existing training and personnel development gaps and to provide a corresponding training continuum to address those gaps. Talent management and innovation became a specific focus area for the MR SAT and under the creative leadership of Capt. Dion English and Mr. Phillip Knauss, NAVSUP OP, eSUPPO was born. The app was the result of many long discussions with the OP team about how to use emerging technologies, especially mobile apps, which Capt. English envisioned using to improve communication and community outreach across the Supply Corps.

With this vision, Capt. English led a small, innovative team supported by Phillip Knauss, Lt. Cmdr. Allen Owens, and Michael Riley to bring eSUPPO to life. Other NAVSUP OP team members involved in the creation of the eSUPPO app include Lt. Cmdr. Adam Prosser, Lt. Cmdr. Scott Milliet, and Lt. Shannon Bencs.

Partnership with NAVSUP BSC

The eSUPPO app was developed as a partnership between Capt. Daniel’s NAVSUP OP team, who were responsible for content, and with digital solutions experts led by Capt. Kurt Wendelken, commanding officer, NAVSUP Business Systems Center (BSC) in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.

NAVSUP BSC’s Enterprise Web Team worked closely with NAVSUP OP in the development of the eSUPPO app.

eSUPPO was the first smartphone mobile app developed in-house by NAVSUP BSC and it was done in a rapid time frame. Development for the new app took less than six months. This rapid development cycle kicked off in October 2015, when the requirements were written and actual development began in November 2015. A beta version of eSUPPO was released January 2016, and the app went live early this spring.

In addition to the mobile app, eSUPPO has a behind the scenes website used for maintaining content. This administrative site was also developed during the same time frame.

Ryan Celesnik, project manager at NAVSUP BSC, stated, “This was a good partnership, with dedicated folks coming together to make it happen.”

Beta Testing

Several Supply Corps officers participated in testing the beta release of the eSUPPO app.

Lt. Cmdr. Owen Morrissey is participating in the Training With Industry (TWI) program and is currently serving his TWI fellowship with FedEx. He finds the eSUPPO app to be very helpful in keeping him connected to the Supply Corps community. He stated that it “helps officers and enlisted folks stay informed and engaged with what’s going on in the community,” and most importantly, “you can access it with a device you’re carrying with you all the time.” Lt. Cmdr. Morrissey finds the links to detailers and the billet listings to be very useful, especially when mentoring junior officers. These links provide the ability to transfer knowledge quickly.

Lt. Cmdr. Morrissey stated that eSUPPO is also a very good business social initiative tool and is similar to what he’s seeing in industry. FedEx managers use an app to stay in touch with senior leadership and with those for whom they are responsible. At FedEx, he sees a new generation of managers, similar to our Supply Corps officers, who are using these devices on a daily basis as part of their jobs.

Lt. Cmdr. Brock Walaska, a logistics officer at the Navy Cargo Handling Battalion ONE in Williamsburg, Virginia, also had a chance to test the beta version of eSUPPO. Lt. Cmdr. Walaska finds the eSUPPO app user friendly and easy to navigate, and especially likes the convenience of being able to access a lot of information from his phone, without needing to log on to a website.

As a full time support officer, Lt. Cmdr. Walaska finds that eSUPPO is a great resource for staying connected to the Supply Corps community and that it makes it easy to access important career information. Using eSUPPO, he quickly accessed the billet list prior to interviewing with a detailer while attending the Supply Corps Road Show. “Throughout my career I’ve  heard many times, there’s nothing more powerful than a Supply Corps officer with a cell phone,” Lt. Cmdr. Walaska stated.

More to come

“The way the world conducts business is evolving. Therefore, we must rethink how we manage and execute the business of naval logistics. The eSuppo app is a game changer. It will help us transform our management techniques by improving the way we communicate in support of people logistics. But it also has the potential to take us to the next level of operational logistics,” states Capt. Jerome R. White, director Logistics and Engagement at NAVSUP.

As more members of the Supply Corps community use the eSUPPO app, the need for additional functionality will likely be realized. One potential area of growth is using eSUPPO as a significant communications tool, not only for SUPPOs, but for communicating information from the Chief of the Supply Corps to the entire Supply Corps community.

So go ahead — download the eSUPPO app today from the App Store or from Google Play and find out what it’s all about. Staying up to date with the Supply Corps can be as close as your smartphone.

May/June 2016