University Helps Army Find a New Strategy for Education
November 6, 2008
The University of Alabama in Huntsville has been enlisted to help the U.S. Army Materiel Command modernize its logistics operations.
Researchers in UAHuntsville's Center for the Management of Science and Technology (CMOST) will develop the educational strategy for a flanking maneuver around old habits, ancient procedures and a plethora of free-standing legacy systems developed independently by a variety of depots, offices and commands.
The objective in this maneuver is a single modern, unified enterprise planning and management system for all of the Army's acquisition, supply chain and logistics operations all the way from raw materials to units in the field.
For the next nine months, university researchers will gather data on which of AMC's present and future employees need additional training or education, what lessons they need so they can function efficiently within the Army's new logistics enterprise system, and where those training and education services might be provided at a reasonable cost.
The project is supported by CMOST's first contract with AMC, which is moving to Redstone Arsenal from Virginia.
"I think this has huge potential benefit for AMC," said Dr. J.P. Ballenger, the CMOST director. "SAP-based enterprise logistics is a whole new way of thinking, 180 degrees out of what (the Army has) done before.
"We will be studying AMC's lessons learned in implementing the Army Logistics Modernization Program," Ballenger said. "We're trying to define the problem and determine which people are being trained, what they're being taught and what they need to be taught. We will try to find the best and most cost effective path the Army can take while standardizing this process across AMC and its commands."
An important piece of the education strategy will be identifying existing classes, curriculum or training programs that might be "leveraged" by the Army. One of the dozen CMOST and UAHuntsville Continuing Education faculty and staff involved in the project is scouring the U.S. looking for educational resources. These might include on-site or distance learning classes at several colleges and universities, including UAHuntsville, the Army's Defense Acquisition University or the Army Logistics Management College.
AMC has also asked UAHuntsville to determine the resources and requirements needed to establish an AMC Business Process Management Center of Excellence, which would serve as a training, counseling and problem-solving resource for the Army.