Navy ERP… A BEM Intern’s Perspective on Navy’s Financial System of Record

 NAVSUP Weapon Systems Support  I arrived at Naval Supply Systems […]

 NAVSUP Weapon Systems Support

 I arrived at Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Weapon Systems Support (WSS) Philadelphia in October 2011, and I was immediately tasked to use Navy ERP.

At first I was frustrated because of several issues I was having with the system – confusing transaction codes (T-codes), slow connectivity, and complicated steps to complete simple tasks.  Initially, I wasn’t a big fan of the system.  However, I was selected to participate in the Business/Enterprise Supply Chain Management (BEM) internship, which is designed to develop Supply Corps officers with systems expertise so we can maintain the Navy supply chain competitive as technology evolves at an ever-increasing rate.

 Upon completion of the program, my perspective on Navy ERP completely changed.  Understanding the process and the system gave me the capability to fully utilize the functionalities available in Navy ERP.  It’s amazing how a system that was once hard to navigate became my favorite tool to fulfill my job.

 In some regards ERP now reminds me of the evolution of video games. From Atari to Play Station, video gaming has come a long way since the early days of Pac-man and Ping Ball. Today’s games are getting harder, yet I’m always looking forward to the latest challenge with new developments in technology. Learning new tricks is often frustrating, but once you adapt, the gaming experience is something that can be extremely enjoyable. Likewise, once I learn the sophistication and capabilities that Navy Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) has, my experience became rewarding and career enhancing.

 The internship was very demanding. BEM interns work full-time job at NAVSUP while taking online courses from Penn State University (PSU) at night.  Additionally, interns are required to complete Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) Level II certification in Program Management and courses from ESI international.

 The NAVSUP WSS BEM internship was a great benefit to me because it gave me all the tools that I needed to maximize the learning experience and to integrate my new skills in the workforce. I had the opportunity to rotate through different departments and learn how to use different T-codes in Navy ERP. Also, I was given the chance to attend upper-level management meetings and numerous Navy ERP classes for end-users.

 Through PSU’s ERP with SAP Certificate program I gained a solid understanding of the Navy supply chain processes and how they are implemented through the use of Navy ERP.   PSU’s program used lab projects, case studies and manual calculations to pair this work to the Navy’s supply chain process and demonstrate the logic behind every T-code.  In this regard, ERP is defferent from video gaming in that you have to understand the automation of business processes in order to optimize usage and ultimately do your job. 

 NAVSUP has made a significant investment in the Business Supply Chain through Navy ERP. I believe that the implementation of the BEM internship program fulfills the need to develop and maintain expertise within the Supply Corps. I am fortunate to have been a part of this great program, which will pave the way for the future of today’s Navy.

By Lt. Ronald Navalta, SC, USN