By Tristan Pavlik OFFICE OF CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS NAVSUP WEAPON SYSTEMS SUPPORT
After the 2017 Ernst and Young audit of the Navy General Fund, NAVSUP Weapon Systems Support (WSS) stepped back and evaluated its inventory management systems and policies. As a result, NAVSUP WSS discovered opportunities for improvement and set out to bring its tactics, techniques, and procedures in line with industry best practices and Navy regulations, leading to improved fleet readiness.
The NAVSUP WSS Inventory Operation Center (IOC) is leading the effort with five divisions, the inventory accuracy (IA) division being the largest focused on maintenance for IA. Their responsibilities include carcass tracking, monitoring the inventory-at-risk alert system (IRAS), performing commercial asset visibility (CAV) transactions, and managing stock-In-transit (SIT) tracking, which is over $28 billion of inventory.
Introduced in July of 2017, IRAS stock transfer order delivery support (SDS) was a new inventory management program for commercial activities; now, this tool is instrumental in the daily practices of inventory managers (IM).
The IRAS SDS monitors material commercial activities on hand and in transit to them, and also how many open repair contract slots exist. The system compares what is on-hand and in-transit to the open repair contract slots and makes a recommendation if the commercial activity needs more carcasses for repair. This allows IMs to move carcasses expeditiously while remaining compliant.
Inventory Accuracy Director Rick Dembowski explains it simply as, “IRAS prevents us from keeping government owned assets at a contractor’s site that we don’t have contract coverage for.”
IRAS has become so successful with repairable assets at commercial activities that the team is now developing IRAS for organic sites, such as fleet readiness centers. By bringing this tool to the organic level, it will take into account the organic stock the Navy has on-hand and compare it to open orders to recommend the movement of material to organic sites. The roll out for organic sites began Nov. 18.
With the ongoing naval audit in progress, IRAS is an ideal program to develop and implement at all sites where Navy assets are held. Cmdr. Juan Uribe, inventory operation center communications officer, explains, “IRAS automates the scrutiny necessary to make sure we are sending the assets to the right place with contract coverage.”
The second system in place to assist with IA is the CAV system. CAV is used to ensure that assets have contractual coverage for each transaction, which leads to higher inventory accuracy at all NAVSUP WSS’s sites in which material is being held.
CAV functions include performing internal oversight visits, providing system training, explaining inventory indicators, and developing internal control documents, which explain NAVSUP WSS’s IA practices and standards.
Earlier this year, CAV remediation training was held in Jacksonville, Florida, with industry to teach CAV, SIT, and audit procedures. There were 300 people representing more than 170 different activities. Another CAV remediation class took place in January.
Lynn Kohl, vice commander, NAVSUP WSS, said “Readiness is our number one priority. We are responsible stewards of taxpayer funds, but never forgetting our goal—the goal of every employee at NAVSUP WSS is ensuring a war-ready Navy that can fight tonight, and ensures our warfighters have the supplies they need, when they need, where they need.” All of these new practices have led to improved IA and improved asset management practices bringing NAVSUP WSS closer to the goal of a 100% IA rating by the spring audit.