A Lean Six Sigma project team from the 1182nd Transportation Terminal Battalion completed the first LSS project for the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command July 1.

The 1182nd TTB is a Reserve unit activated as the Container Management Element under the 595th Transportation Terminal Group, Kuwait.

The project, "Streamlining Container Inventory Management and Data Input Process," focused on improving the process for inventorying and managing containers in Iraq.

The team used two primary measurements: accuracy rate, or the total number of containers International Booking System-Container Management Module shows at a forward operating base, as compared to a physical on-hand count, and error rate (the number of data input mistakes made at an FOB.)

Data collected by the team indicated a 74 percent accuracy rate with a 30 percent error rate.

"A recurring challenge while doing this project was lack of focus on container management," Capt. Richard Crawford, LSS green belt from the 1182nd noted. "Getting cooperation on doing a basic inventory, which was needed to gather measurement information, was difficult."

Analysis highlighted that additional-duty Container Control Officers were not properly managing containers or container data in IBS-CMM.

Pilot project improvement divided FOB Delta into zones and assigned zone CCOs to oversee unit-level CCOs to ensure all in- or out-processing of containers in yards was completed. After a six-week trial, zone CCO improvement increased the accuracy of IBS-CMM data. The accuracy rate of the FOB physical, on-hand count increased to a rate of more than 96 percent, and the error rate dropped to less than four percent.

The team developed control processes to make the zone concept part of normal FOB operations, made changes to standard operating procedures, developed additional training, and arranged for continued weekly monitoring of both IBS-CMM data accuracy and error rates at the battalion level.

Maj. Jesse McCurley led the project with Crawford providing the LSS expertise. Despite a demanding work schedule and multiple warfighter support missions, they completed the project in four months.

"In general, the LSS methodology is a proven improvement concept," Crawford said. "However, for it to change processes within the Army, support at the brigade, battalion and below must happen."

SDDC provides global surface deployment and distribution services to meet the nation's objectives. SDDC deploys and sustains more than 90 percent of the Department of Defense's equipment and supplies by leveraging the capability of commercial industry and other military services.