ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. - Twenty-four commanders and senior civilian leaders from military logistics and maintenance centers across the U.S. met at Anniston Army Depot Dec. 6-7 as part of the Depot and Arsenal Executive Leadership Program.

The participants toured the depot's Nichols Industrial Complex and then divided into process improvement teams to study and implement Lean manufacturing at the depot level.

DAELP is an executive development program administered by the nonprofit Institute for Defense and Business and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Kenan-Flagler Business School.

The program has graduated seven classes since its establishment in 2003 by the U.S. Army Materiel Command. The current DAELP class includes Depot Commander Col. Timothy Sullivan and Patti Sparks, process optimization manager for the Cleaning, Finishing and Fabrication Value Stream.

Deputy to the Commander Jack Cline, Chief of Staff Phillip Trued, Sgt. Maj. Tony Butler, General Manager of Production Operations Michael Burke and Director of Production Jeff Simmons have completed DAELP.

"This is a tremendous learning environment for us," said Ted Sturgeon, DAELP program director. "From the program's perspective, a large part of what we do centers on the Lean Six Sigma curriculum."

After touring operations for the combat vehicle and small arms weapons production, program participants divided into four groups for three Value Stream Analyses and one 3P, or Production Preparation Process.

For the VSAs, the teams examined and made recommendations for improving processes with ANAD's ongoing mission to refurbish the M1 suspension, produce bridging systems and identify weldment cracks on M1 structures. Sullivan was part of the 3P team that worked to establish inspection and repair line processes for a scheduled M113 family of vehicles program.

The 3P helped ANAD settle on an action plan for arranging the M113 production line. Considering ease of implementation, efficiency, safety, transportation and space, Sullivan said ANAD will be more prepared strategically when the work arrives. "We appreciate what you were able to accomplish here," Sullivan told the DAELP group. "It will improve our overall process."

"The work you did for these events doesn't stop today. We follow through with the VSAs, and that is why we value your input and feedback," said Cline.

Each project team also consisted of ANAD employees who were able to map the current state for each of the four processes prior to the DAELP visit and obtain other necessary data in preparation for the two-day Lean events. VSAs and 3Ps typically span four days at ANAD, said Vic Sanders, chief, Enterprise Excellence Division, thus depot employees familiar with the processes at the shop-floor level were instrumental in the DAELP events.

"All DAELP teams visited the areas of their event - actually seeing the work in process, the location of new work and, in some cases, talked to the employees on the line," said Sanders. "This was done to help the team members understand the current state mappings of the processes."

Sullivan said ANAD appreciates what the DAELP was able to accomplish alongside the depot's workforce. "We're successful because of the people on the shop floor, and you were able to see that for yourself," he said.

This is the second DAELP visit where participants played a role in ANAD Lean manufacturing events, said Sanders.

According to an April 20 announcement on the IDB website, DAELP provides participants with graduate-level management concepts as well as specific tactics and strategies for effective leadership of large industrial complexes. The comprehensive educational experience, spanning six months, is comprised of the following elements:

Aca,!Ac Three weeks of in-person academic instruction at the UNC at Chapel Hill;

Aca,!Ac A one-week series of benchmarking site visits and a value stream mapping exercise to high-performing depot and arsenal facilities as well as leading corporations;

Aca,!Ac An online Lean Six Sigma Champion certification offered in partnership with North Carolina State University; and

Aca,!Ac A two- to four-week residency with leading private and public sector organizations.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16