West Point cadets surpass goals to improve equipment flow
July 10, 2013
TOBYHANNA ARMY DEPOT, Pa. (July 10, 2013) -- Five U.S. Military Academy at West Point cadets working with Tobyhanna Army Depot and Defense Logistics Agency Distribution-Tobyhanna personnel have exceeded the goals to improve equipment flow here.
The cadets, all seniors, applied what they learned about Lean Six Sigma to assist Tobyhanna and Defense Logistics Agency, known as DLA, to improve delivery time of assets from DLA to depot repair shops. Their goal was to help the depot shorten delivery time and reduce variability in delivery time
"We far exceeded our goals," said Cadet Zachary Fabi. "The goal was to reduce shipping time from three days to 1.67 days. We got that down to 0.8 days. We also reduced the standard deviation from 1.4 days to .4 days."
The improvements resulted in a projected savings of more than $450,000 over three years.
The cadets said depot and DLA employees worked well together to improve the shipping process, especially after they realized it would make their jobs easier.
The project involves several steps: define the problem; stakeholder analysis, or who wants what; mapping out the process; measure the process to see where it is now; and use all the Lean tools the cadets have learned to make recommendations for improvement.
"They had full buy in and cooperated well," said Cadet Andrew Theising. "The most difficult aspect of this project was the statistical analysis. We had classroom instruction, but the data here were different from what is taught at West Point. It was a challenging project."
The Lean Six Sigma Capstone team of West Point Cadets Theising, Fabi, Aaron Jacobson, and Benjamin Gutz won Best Presentation in the "Process Modeling and Analysis" track during the 2013 Gen. Donald R. Keith Memorial Cadet Capstone Conference.