Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) conducted a virtual roundtable with the Training with Industry (TWI) fellows and alumni 12 Feb. to introduce Naval Sustainment System-Supply (NSS-Supply) and invite them to join the vanguard in making transformational change throughout Navy supply chains.
“I intend to leverage your knowledge and expertise that you have gained from industry in order to support a major Navy undertaking called NSS-Supply,” said Rear Adm. Pete Stamatopoulos, commander NAVSUP. “I am asking you to join what I am calling the NSS-Supply Vanguard, this will require objective judgement, unselfish action and willing acceptance to reform our supply chains to run more effectively, affordably, and generate greater readiness.”
Beginning in 2006, TWI is a 12-month program providing Supply Corps lieutenants and lieutenant commanders with the opportunity to represent the Navy through fellowships within some of the top corporations in the nation. Officers selected for this program are exposed to executive-level decision making, expand their professional supply chain and logistics education, and provide a conduit for ideas on logistics innovation.
TWI fellows past and present are part of a coveted group within the supply community, both officer and enlisted. Since the early days of the nation, the military has sent officers overseas to learn from prominent world militaries. At the end of WWII, the Department of Defense mindset shifted as leaders started to send more military officers to embed with commercial industry.
Candidates for the 2021 TWI programs were selected by a Flag-led selection board in the spring of 2020. TWI sites include Starbucks Coffee Company (Seattle, Washington); The Home Depot (Atlanta, Georgia); FedEx (Memphis, Tennessee); and ExxonMobil (Houston, Texas).
The Supply Corps routinely supplements the NAVSUP TWI program with one or two Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Tours with Industry fellows at companies such as UPS, Amazon, and Deloitte. Each candidate is also board-selected in the same process used for NAVSUP TWI fellows. While the SECNAV fellows are not members of the FEDEX-Home Depot-ExxonMobil-Starbucks cohorts, they too will support NAVSUP’s efforts related to NSS-Supply.
“The vanguard is a combination of supply and maintenance professionals across the Navy who are grouped into nodes and intended to force mixture, create disruptive thought and drive decisions based on facts,” Stamatopoulos explained. “You all possess unique experience acquired throughout your career, which will help us transform supply chain performance.”
Upon completion of their tour, officers are detailed to the Supply Corp’s most challenging assignments. TWI is a phenomenal opportunity that expands the business perspective and acumen of the Navy’s most talented officers.
To be successful in TWI, Sailors must be able to shift from a government approach toward business to a for-profit focus. The primary drivers in a for-profit market are speed, cost, and return on investment. Understanding how these three drivers correlate is useful in developing and evaluating approaches to Navy contract and fiscal strategies.
“Training with Industry, and the NSS-Supply vanguard are important lines of effort in support of dissecting the end-to-end supply chain and identifying key leverage points, particularly as we move with a sense of urgency to execute the CNO’s Navigation plan,” Stamatopoulos continued. “As CNO specifies in his Navigation plan, mission one for every sailor remains a ready Navy. A Navy ready to compete today and a Navy ready to compete tomorrow.
“The end-to-end supply chain is vital to generating the ready fleet, particularly as we organize, train, and equip today’s Navy and modernize our capabilities faster than our rivals. The exposure to business they gain in the TWI program increases their decision-making ability and helps them to think differently about how to approach projects and strategies within the Supply Corps.”
The current TWI fellows will out brief in May, which will help inform NAVSUP and NSS-Supply in how to leverage their experience using best commercial practices to transform the end-to-end supply chain.
Russ Stewart, firstname.lastname@example.org
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