Lean Six Sigma Project Helps Foreign Military Sales billing requirements
August 10, 2012
ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. -- The Joint Munitions Command headquarters has recently completed a Green Belt Lean Six Sigma project designed to improve the Below-the-line (BTL) billing efficiencies of the Foreign Military Sales (Special Assignment Airlift Mission) transportation process.
Jamaal Bibles, a budget analyst with JMC's Security Assistance office, led the one-year, two-month project.
The project's goal was to properly assign the BTL percentage rates, reduce the frequency of errors, and minimize the cost of inaccurate obligations. The process implementation goal was to attain 90 percent accuracy. The project's scope was to capture the fiscal year 2009 Shipped and Billed Case & Pseudo SAAM Flight billing rates.
During case development U. S. Army Security Assistance Command issues the Delivery Term Code to JMC which initiates the process. The final step occurs when Army Sustainment Command submits the financial bill to the customer.
The project and process was enhanced by implementing the Billing Notification Spreadsheet to track, analyze, and maintain records of all transportation activity that required billing adjustment. The spreadsheet was the basis for testing the effectiveness of the new process.
The team assembled to accomplish the project consisted of four core team members, and two extended members. The project included personnel from JMC Security Assistance (SA), JMC Munitions Logistic Readiness Center (MLRC), and ASC's Resource Management finance office.
Bibles acknowledged his gratefulness toward his team members.
"Fortunately, the team of SME's made the process for this project flow smoothly," he said. "Everyone contributed and responded in a timely manner. The only delay experienced was gathering the billing details."
During the Pilot Phase the team presented a training session on the new methods and procedures for SAAM flight transportation. The session also introduced a new policy for capturing the SAAM transportation cost during Case Development, as well as training for Billing Notification.
Bibles said the team overcame some hiccups during the project.
"The most difficult aspect of the project was during the measure phase. We needed to generate enough data to begin the measuring of the actual performance," he said. "Since the shipped-unbilled report was provided monthly, this process delayed our progress."
However, overcoming this temporary snag, launched to project to a successful implementation.
According the Bibles, the project was a great success because the goal of 90 percent accuracy was not only met, but exceeded. This project generated an internal customer cost avoidance of $2,337.40 and improved the billing efficiency for the external FMS customer. Most importantly, the first pass yield increased from zero percent to 100 percent.
"I was fortunate to have a perfect mix of financial, logistics, and policy combination of subject matter experts that complimented each other. Considering the different perspectives, our meetings maintained a seamless flow. In the future, I would be interested in a Black Belt (project)."
From its headquarters in Rock Island, Ill., JMC operates a nationwide network of conventional ammunition manufacturing plants and storage depots, and provides on-site ammunition experts to U.S. combat units wherever they are stationed or deployed. JMC's customers are U.S. forces of all military services, other U.S. Government agencies, and allied nations.