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Ensuring all stakeholders have the same information, are working from the same data and toward the same goals is essential to understanding the efficacy of an entire supply chain. Naval Supply Systems Command Weapon Systems Support (NAVSUP WSS), in coordination with Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) and PMA-265, introduced Integrated Supply Chain Management (ISCM) to provide a single source of truth when making supply chain decisions.
“One of the challenges historically is there have been different databases and systems across our mission partners," said Rear Adm. Doug Noble, NAVSUP WSS commander. "Everyone has different data and perspectives based on that data. That can cause confusion."
The ISCM tool and associated business process improvements flag systemic challenges, drive transparency and help coordinate and integrate supply chain actions across type commanders, NAVAIR, NAVSUP and commercial mission partners. ISCM is a collaborative process that proactively addresses supply chain issues to avoid downstream impacts on the warfighters.
“At a high-level, there are two parts to ISCM, the collaborative process and a tool that sets upstream targets throughout the supply chain using input from machine learning forecasts, end-to-end system analytics, and measures supply chain performance to those targets,” said Lt. Cmdr. Adam Gunter, NAVSUP WSS F/A-18 and EA-18G Integrated Weapon Systems Team (IWST) director.
The machine learning aspect of the tool gives NAVSUP WSS a different view than the traditional ERP forecast.
“It takes in multiple variables, to include mission capable goals and number of planned flight hours, to produce an independent demand forecast that is self-learning,” said Gunter. “The ISCM tool gives us an end-to-end view of the supply chain, establishing monthly repair targets for each level of repair to ensure overall supply chain needs are met. Additionally, the tool gives us real time feedback on how each area of the supply chain is performing to their aggregate target.”
The tool being used is the ISCM Control Tower. NAVSUP WSS partnered with NAVAIR, PMA-265, Defense Logistics Agency and Commander, Fleet Readiness Centers in the effort to bring information together in one location. The control tower aggregates data from four different business areas and levels of maintenance to include consumable part data from DLA.
“Getting everyone marching toward integrating those four elements, that’s how we are going to integrate everyone’s view of the performance of the entire supply chain,” said Lynn Kohl, NAVSUP WSS vice commander. “Even though NAVSUP proper is not responsible for all of the execution of those portions of the supply chain, we can still coordinate and facilitate changes to other entities so we can optimize supply chain performance.”
Currently, NAVSUP WSS logistics managers are using the Control Tower as an additional data point when determining requirements. IWST management uses it to measure the performance of each NIIN [component] to its target and to intervene when needed, according to Gunter.
For NAVSUP WSS, ISCM was initiated in response to the Navy’s drive to sustain 341 fully mission capable F/A-18 Super Hornets. While ISCM is relatively new, it is already starting to pay dividends.
“Overall, we’ve been able to drive transparency and action into the supply chain, increasing Ready for Issue (RFI) parts, reducing backorders, and raising awareness for systemic challenges,” said Gunter.
Since February, the F/A-18 IWST has increased RFI inventory at the flight line by 21 percent and reduced the number of aircraft awaiting critical components by 8 percent, according to Gunter.
Leveraging the successes of ISCM with the F/A-18, NAVSUP WSS is expanding the process to other platforms with expectations of similar accomplishments.
“It’s opening up possibilities to discover opportunities that we may not have caught before, because our processes weren’t agile or nimble enough to get after it,” said Noble. “Now we take advantage of what the control tower offers us to get a better handle on where there are opportunities to improve.”
NAVSUP WSS is one of eleven commands under Commander, NAVSUP. Headquartered in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, and employing a diverse, worldwide workforce of more than 22,500 military and civilian personnel, NAVSUP's mission is to provide supplies, services, and quality-of-life support to the Navy and joint warfighter. Learn more at www.navsup.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/navsupwss and https://twitter.com/navsupsyscom.
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