BY LT. CDMR. EVELYN LEE, SC, USN
N31 SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT, NAVAL SUPPLY SYSTEMS COMMAND
In the 2016 “A Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority,” the Chief of Naval Operations lists “three major and interrelated global forces that are increasingly used, increasingly stressed, increasingly important, and increasingly contested: the forces at play in the maritime system, the force of the information system, and the force of technology entering the environment.” He also highlights a fourth force: continuous pressure on Defense and Navy budgets. The combination of these forces and the increased scrutiny to ensure compliance with Financial Improvement and Audit Readiness (FIAR) requirements have prompted the Navy to plan and design a 21st century information technology (IT) solution that will deliver an enterprise-wide and field-level capability to conduct supply operations in a financially-accountable fashion.
Naval operational forces currently use legacy systems and architecture that are obsolete; cyber-vulnerable; localized; rigid; not secure; not auditable; expensive to install and maintain; functionally inefficient for warfighters to use; contain overlaps and gaps; and do not align to Federal, Department of Defense (DoD), and Navy IT strategies. For example, relational supply (RSupply), part of the Naval Tactical Command Support System, is the primary component of that toolbox, focusing on logistics, financials, and inventory management of spare parts and general inventory. Additional specialized systems are used for management of ordnance, hazardous materials, food service, retail operations, and medical stores. Most, if not all, of these systems and applications are stove-piped for a single commodity, community, financial line of accounting, material type, etc., and do not support an enterprise concept. This forces the use of multiple systems to put together a logistics readiness picture. This approach is inefficient, time-consuming, and a waste of resources.
The Naval Operational Supply System (NOSS), being developed by the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR), based on consolidated U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFF) requirements, will replace legacy systems and provide enterprisewide and field-level automation of supply, inventory, and financial functions. NOSS will also be a financial feeder system to the general ledger. It will enable continuous business process re-engineering, compliance with statutory, regulatory, and policy mandates and integrate FIAR requirements. It will optimize business processes at the tactical echelon (field-level) and enterprise support activities utilizing an interoperable service-oriented architecture. NOSS will aggregate and analyze operational data in a business intelligence framework to enable historical and predictive common operating pictures for logistics and readiness performance and requirements.
For example, with the employment of minimal manning on various afloat platforms, there will be a need to increase off-ship support and decrease manual processes. NOSS will address these issues by providing the following benefits:
- Enterprise Solution Impacts:
- Total material visibility
- Increased material, property, and financial accountability
- Near real-time/accurate logistics readiness picture
- Distance support solutions
- Enterprise decision making/execution, resulting in cost savings and increased readiness
- Modernized business process re-engineering
- Consolidation of 15 legacy applications and reduction in the number of software baselines
- Management of all material and financial accountability within a single program of record application
- Compliance with DoD and Office of Financial Operations directives related to financial auditability, interoperability, security, information assurance, and knowledge sharing
- Decreased training support costs
- Functionality and business processes in alignment with manpower reductions and new minimally manned platforms
- Allowance for new and direct interfaces to data from authoritative sources to use in an enterprise approach
- Trusted authoritative data exchange and reduction of batch processes
- Elimination of shipboard maintenance availability-only installs, and ease of application updates (push versus installation teams)
When fielded by SPAWAR, NOSS will deliver a new, user-friendly, affordable, auditable, secure, and adaptable set of common supply business processes and data. NOSS will be utilized by approximately 150,000 users at more than 700 Navy surface, submarine, expeditionary, aviation, and shore support activities worldwide. USFF has led the requirements – building efforts of a significant number of stakeholders in the development of NOSS, which is expected to reach initial operating capability in fiscal year 2021. As SPAWAR works on NOSS developmental efforts prior to 2021, NAVSUP will work with all stakeholders to ensure our supply procedures are updated to reflect NOSS and new fleet requirements. Once implemented, NOSS will provide a more efficient means to conduct supply business.