By Col. Rick Pressnell, AMC Chief of Readiness Division, G3/4January 28, 2015
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- For more than a year, the U.S. Army Materiel Command has been hard at work developing a system that provides an overall picture of logistics readiness across the Army. The command wanted to aggregate data and provide leaders access to timely information in a user-friendly, easy-to-interpret online dashboard format.
"Army leadership needs the most accurate, current information to make decisions that impact their readiness," said Maj. Gen. Clark LeMasters, AMC deputy chief of staff for operations and logistics. "Our objective was to provide senior leaders and logisticians across the Army access to the same materiel data at the same time to answer readiness questions."
That system, the Materiel Common Operating Picture (M-COP), is now live on both unclassified and secure networks.
M-COP receives, synchronizes and aggregates data from multiple Army automated systems. It leverages the power of the Logistics Information Warehouse (LIW), the Secretary of the Army designated authoritative repository for Army logistics data which itself integrates legacy systems data, with data emerging from other objective systems.
M-COP transforms the immense amounts of data by using business intelligence and business analytics to create interactive data visualizations that provide leaders at multiple levels a common sight picture. Where leaders in the past had to pull data from different systems and develop slides, M-COP will automatically provide real-time live displays.
"M-COP allows leaders to track progress and make decisions on key readiness activities like Brigade Combat Team Reorganization, and Logistics Readiness Center support to enable the Army's regionally aligned and globally responsive forces. Our task in that is to keep those Army forces sustained and ready -- and M-COP helps all the leaders to see readiness issues in the same light," said LeMasters.
Fully nested within the Lead Materiel Integrator (LMI) process, M-COP consumes data from the LMI Decision Support Tool. It contains several dashboards integrating data from Standard Army Management Information Systems such as Property Book Unit Supply Enhanced (PBUSE), Standard Army Maintenance System Enhanced (SAMS-E), Standard Army Retail Supply System (SARSS), and Total Ammunition Management Information System (TAMIS); and systems of record like Army Synchronization Tool (AST), Defense Readiness Reporting System-Army (DRRS-A) and Net-centric Unit Status Report (NetUSR).
"Our AMC team is working toward full integration of Enterprise Resource Planning data from Logistics Modernization Program (LMP) and Global Combat Support System-Army (GCSS-Army)," LeMasters said.
While M-COP may enable and drive key decisions, it is a system of visibility, not execution - which continues to reside with the transactional systems already in place.
M-COP's open architecture allows for the addition and removal of required data sources, and the Commercial Off-the-Shelf software allows for rapid inclusion of information requirements.
"AMC staff and leadership are moving away from static PowerPoint charts and toward live displays from M-COP in several senior leader venues, such as the AMC Commander's Update Briefing, Army Readiness Synchronization Update, Senior Leader Retrograde Update, and Organic Industrial Base Reviews. The system streamlines preparation and execution, increasing both the efficiency and effectiveness of events and meetings," said LeMasters. "The M-COP can be used in any Army venue, and our M-COP experts are visiting and educating organizations across the Army."
The system also benefits subordinate and supported organizations, allowing them to directly point to and drill down on key issues, conduct trend analysis, and answer questions.
"M-COP enables FORSCOM [U.S. Army Forces Command] to see itself in terms of combat system operational readiness rates, supply chain performance, equipment redistribution in support of BCT Reorganization, and overall materiel readiness using real-time, web-based data," said Maj. Gen. Paul Hurley, FORSCOM deputy chief of staff for logistics/G-4. "M-COP is a powerful system that helps us build readiness across the force."
M-COP requires minimal training to navigate the application. Information sheets are available within the application for each dashboard, explaining what questions are being answered by the view and which data sources and business rules are used for the metrics being displayed.
The unclassified version of M-COP is available through the LIW Portal. For more information, or to request access to the M-COP, visit https://liw.logsa.army.mil. The secret version of M-COP contains the unclassified views plus some classified views. It is available at the following site: https://amcop.redstone.army.smil.mil.