From Naval Supply Systems Command Business Systems Center, Office of Corporate Communications
The Navy’s reform initiative calls for refining our processes and methodologies to make the supply chain leaner, meaner, and faster. This effort will improve efficiency of our dedicated military and civilian personnel, allowing them to turn their attention to the valuable tasks that support the fleet. Most importantly, the reform will seek to achieve what every Chief of Naval Operations directive has sought since 1915: to improve the lives, effectiveness and lethality of the warfighter. To support this initiative, Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Business Systems Center (BSC) is well suited to be at the forefront.
NAVSUP BSC Is Suited To Lead
NAVSUP is the sole integrator of the supply chain, overseeing one of the most complex industrial sustainment operations in the world. Through every nook and cranny of that supply chain, from the smallest bolt to a nuclear reactor, there is data and the need to manage it. NAVSUP BSC, the premier information technology and business systems solution provider, plays the lead role in all things data: gathering it, analyzing it, and securing it. NAVSUP BSC is driving reform by incorporating new technologies, embracing innovative best practices, investing in our diverse workforce, and promoting strategic partnerships with our commercial peers and leaders in academic research. As environments and technologies change, NAVSUP BSC will reform into an agile, adaptable, well-structured business unit, best-positioned to deliver into the future. Developing and managing the right technologies will ensure NAVSUP BSC’s customers have the tools they need to be the global leaders of tomorrow. This requires information technology solutions focused on best practices, limited customization, proven metrics, and multiple predictive forecasting models, all delivering reduced labor and sustainment costs.
NAVSUP BSC is driving reform through modernization, which requires not only updating business processes, but standardizing methodologies. From inventory control and global logistics to financial solutions and supply systems, NAVSUP BSC provides value as the single point of entry for the unique requirements of Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP), Strategic Systems Program (SSP) office, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR), and Office of Naval Research (ONR). These commands remain on the leading edge of change, as the benefits of interoperable systems are tangible: standardized tools, consolidated interfaces, properly defined requirements, shared and accurately delivered data, optimized business processes, reduced costs, time-savings, and increased productivity.
Simply put, modernization will allow our customers to work easier, faster and smarter.
The Future Of Data Analytics
Navy Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), a business capability coordinated by NAVSUP BSC, is the Navy’s financial and supply chain system of record. As the data entry point for the unique requirements of six commands, Navy ERP is paving the way for modernization and a streamlining of services by focusing on reform in three areas: compliance and control, technology, and business.
As the Navy undergoes a full financial audit, compliance to rules and regulations is critical. This audit requires that we have accurate and auditable processes to track our materials through the supply chain. NAVSUP BSC will ensure compliance and control is built into these processes.
Navy ERP is poised to utilize the best business technology in the industry, including an overtime/comp time solution. For example, a process that used to take a customer twenty minutes and five individual transactions across multiple screens can be completed in a single, consolidated platform in less than two minutes. The user interface is simplified and customized to hide the data a customer doesn’t need. In this way, NAVSUP BSC is developing means to meet the Navy’s requirements by reducing the time and manpower needed to perform high-level business functions.
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Megan Nichols, center, NAVSUP Business Systems Center Business Intelligence Project Manager, reviews the OPNAV Spares Dashboard with Navy Business Intelligence Services Project Manager Joseph Foust, and Toan Ngo, Business Intelligence Lead.
Modernization requires data that is robust, interoperable, and personal. But it must also be available, which continues to pose challenges across the fleet. Acting Department of the Navy Chief Information Officer Dr. Kelly E. Fletcher explains that much of the data sits unused in storage boxes or locked in outdated legacy applications. Getting it online and built into smart algorithms and visualization processes is a critical part of the digital transformation. “We have all (this) data,” said Fletcher. “We aren’t really accessing it to make decisions. We don’t trust the data. We don’t know what the authoritative data source is. So we’re actually trying to pivot the Navy so that we have access to (the information).”
NAVSUP BSC is leading that pivot to digital transformation through the development and management of appliances like Navy Business Intelligence Services (NBIS), which leverages best-in-class digital technology by delivering near real-time supply chain information. One example is the P8 Logistics Cell, a joint NAVAIR and NAVSUP Weapon Systems Support (WSS) initiative, which connects the warfighter with critical supply and maintenance information. “Business Intelligence Services allows our customers to pour through, analyze and pull out the information they need across big data. And they can do it in less than the time it takes for you to say your name,” said Capt. Douglas M. Bridges, Jr., Commanding Officer of NAVSUP BSC.
With NBIS and other NAVSUP BSC-interoperable systems like One Touch Support (OTS), data sources are growing and the networks within which they operate are more reliable, more authoritative and seamless. The dashboards are user-friendly and even the sign-on is simpler. For example, OTS, a website for military and civilian personnel to order and track supply parts worldwide in real time, eliminates the need for countless log ins and passwords. With one single-entry secure sign-in, users are instantly connected to information from two dozen logistics systems.
The third focus of enhancing Navy ERP involves defining business requirements. Meeting customer expectations mandates effective logistics, management, and intelligence. It requires human relationships and a comprehensive understanding of the customer’s goals, an optimization of the business process, and the utilization of time-saving tools to reduce costs. NAVSUP BSC works with its customers to dissect their requirements against Navy ERP’s capabilities. Utilizing business process reengineering, business process optimization, and data access and archiving analysis, NAVSUP BSC builds solutions which meets the Navy’s needs today and is positioned to leverage tomorrow’s technology.
NAVSUP BSC Turns Research into Results
NAVSUP BSC provides value through its methodology in finding that “next big thing.” Great ideas start with a spark. Ideas are nurtured and cultivated, and within the business realm, it’s never done in a vacuum. Research and development requires the brightest military and civilian minds, and NAVSUP BSC is always looking beyond its borders by monitoring the trials and successes of our peers both commercially and in academia. NAVSUP BSC turns research into results. Some of NAVSUP BSC’s highly-advanced business forecasting tools, for example, are being developed conjointly with educational institutions. Reform mandates accuracy, and nothing will derail the end-to-end supply chain timeline like a bad prediction in production, purchasing, or people. Things happen at sea. Parts unexpectedly break down. NAVSUP BSC’s predictive and prescriptive analytical capabilities can eliminate repair delays by analyzing historical data and providing a more accurate requirement, thus, reducing “unexpected” incidents. The Navy currently uses the same forecasting method for all supply parts, although accuracy could be improved by matching a particular part with a particular method of forecast. Three years ago, NAVSUP BSC teamed with NAVSUP WSS, the Naval Postgraduate School and Penn State’s Applied Research Laboratory (ARL) to validate new forecasting tools and improve the metrics for self-assessing results. “We do risk reduction studies for program managers to help them make well-informed business decisions, reduce risk, and identify metrics that help qualify and quantify program decisions,” said Paul Winkler, Senior Research Engineer with Penn State’s ARL. “The drive is to improve fleet readiness and warfighter effectiveness.”
In another example, when naval supply data was not being reported accurately and timely, readiness was jeopardized. Overdue purchase orders led to the loss of obligated funds. NAVSUP BSC leveraged the research of commercial best practices, instituted new training, tracked supplies throughout the chain, and boosted efficiency. This led to a 47 percent reduction of overdue purchase orders, increased buying power, and improved F-18 readiness. These are real-life benefits to the warfighter. NAVSUP BSC’s research of commercial best practices is leading to the development of modeling tools that can better plan and forecast, provide more accurate projections, anticipate obstacles, eliminate waste, and improve the efficiency of the end-to-end supply chain.
The warfighter is best served when there are no weak links in the supply chain. NAVSUP BSC is driving reform through the pro-active, agile and resourceful facilitation of world-class supply chain support. The Navy’s reform initiative calls for it, maritime superiority demands it and NAVSUP BSC will ensure it is delivered by accelerating digital solutions.