New web-based system helps get repair parts faster
October 12, 2007
Rock Island, Ill., Oct. 12, 2007 - An innovative Army repair team here and a DOD combat support agency are working together to get repair parts faster so maintenance experts can keep weapons in top condition for Soldiers.
The TACOM Life Cycle Management Command's small arms readiness and evaluation team, or SARET, has partnered with the Defense Logistics Agency, Columbus, Ohio, to use a new web-based system that forecasts how many parts they will need to repair Soldiers' weapons.
"At post deployment, SARET sends out repairmen and supply experts with mobile shops and parts containers. We fall in on a brigade and in three weeks we'll repair all of the unit's weapons. TACOM and DLA provide the parts for the repairs," said Sid Kemmis, TACOM LCMC SARET team chief.
Up until now, DLA has worked with the SARET team through teleconferences to review parts requirements and resolve parts shortages.
"We knew we needed to get our item managers and DLA to start forecasting our requirements so we didn't drop big requisitions with no notice. DLA has a program that's automated," said Kemmis.
DLA's web-based Demand Data Exchange will allow the SARET team to forecast monthly, by part, for up to 60 months, Bill Holdorf, DLA customer support representative, Army Sustainment Command explained.
"This formalizes forecasting under a process called Customer Collaboration with a joint collaboration agreement between DLA and TACOM," said Holdorf.
While the Marine Corps and the Navy have been using DDE, this is the first time for the Defense Supply Center Columbus. The DSCC is the lead inventory control point for land and maritime weapon systems within DLA, Holdorf said. "This is the door opening for other teams. SARET will become the model for other LCMCs."
The program will start with high volume parts, with an emphasis on the M2 machine gun, and will expand to include more parts, he said.
"We repair weapons for Soldiers who are going into training and going into the fight. Our current goal is to repair no less than 92 percent of the weapons that we touch. Our ultimate goal is to repair almost 100 percent. This will help us get there," said Kemmis.
Holdorf said that DLA plans to measure how accurately SARET is forecasting and how well DLA is meeting the forecast. "The bottom line is making sure that the SARET teams have the parts they need when they do their customer visits and repairs."
According to Holdorf, DLA will provide training and software for the parts forecasting system. The goal is to have the software package installed, training completed, and the system running by mid-November, he said.