By Lt. Col. Robert Williams, LMP Product ManagerJune 13, 2016
PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. -- Although force generation models and processes have changed as the global combat environment has changed, the output remains the same: units capable of and ready to accomplish assigned missions. Today's Army must maintain a steady state of readiness to respond to missions whenever -- and wherever -- they arise. Since 2003, the U.S. Army's Logistics Modernization Program (LMP) has enabled readiness to the Army Materiel Command (AMC) through improved business processes and advanced capabilities that track and manage production, maintenance, repair, and overhaul orders at Lifecycle Management Commands, depots, arsenals, and ammunition plants. Through the expanded capabilities delivered by the recent implementation of the LMP Increment 2, the system continues to support the Army's overall readiness posture by ensuring equipment is manufactured and repaired more quickly and cost effectively.
ABOUT THE LMP
The LMP is a powerful commercial-off-the-shelf based fully-integrated Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system that manages the process of delivering items and equipment from the home-front to Soldiers in the field faster and more efficiently than predecessor systems. For example, the LMP has shortened the processing time of maintenance orders from two weeks to two days by automatically capturing labor when a technician performs work. With the addition of the LMP Increment 2 capabilities, which have been deployed in three waves since in January 2014, the Increment 2 expands on the already deployed/operational production baseline to specifically address shop floor automation, automatic identification technology, expanded ammunition requirements, strategic Army business transformation goals, and specific Department of Defense (DoD) directives, such as item unique identification. The LMP Increment 2 expanded capabilities enable the LMP to provide mission-critical information about production activities across the supply chain. The system also delivers needed improvements to outdated or manual processes, updates the other Army ERP systems with relevant information about the Army's military equipment, and provides the tools to support total asset visibility, no matter the commodity -- from ammunition to tank and helicopter engines and parts to gas masks.
LMP & ARMY READINESS
The Army's Sustainable Readiness Model is based on four pillars: manning, training, equipping, and leader development. While each is not mutually exclusive from the other, the LMP's principal contributions to readiness focus on the equipping facet of the pillars. Through its capabilities, the LMP supports the model primarily in two ways: 1) it delivers end items back into the fleet more quickly, and conversely, it keeps items out of the fleet for less time, ensuring Soldiers have the equipment they need when they need it; and 2) by moving equipment and parts through the manufacturing or remanufacturing process more efficiently, depots and arsenals can charge less for end items, therefore freeing up appropriated dollars for use on other activities, including and especially the other pillars.
LMP Increment 2 is Delivering Results that Support Army Readiness
From its start, the LMP has transformed the way the Army does business, saving time, money, and effort to accurately track and deliver materiel to Soldiers where and when they need it. Success through automation is critical for the future Army and the LMP Increment 2 continues to provide a resounding change from paper and multiple legacy systems to a centralized component that automates and improves how the Army conducts business. For example, a typical overhaul of an Apache or Blackhawk Helicopter requires approximately 30,000 pages of documentation -- enough paper to go end-to-end on 75 football fields. With the LMP Increment 2, most of that paper is replaced with technology, including the use of hand-held tablets that support shop floor automation and automated business processes.
The Increment 2 implementation began in January 2014 and completed the final and most comprehensive wave in May 2016, bringing the total number of LMP users to 30,000 at more than 50 locations around the world, with a primary focus on delivering shop floor automation to the AMC Organic Industrial Base (OIB).
Since Wave 3 limited fielding in June 2015, several sites already are experiencing successes that contribute to Army readiness. For example, for the first time in the last decade, Corpus Christi Army Depot (CCAD), McAlester Army Ammunition Plant (MCAAP), and Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center -- Rock Island Arsenal (JTMC-RIA) met or exceeded all revenue and schedule goals as outlined in the AMC OIB budget submitted to the Department of the Army and DoD, totaling $375M. In fact, the actual revenue realized exceeded the plan by $21M. Separately, the system software requires more in depth development of proper documentation in order to route assets through the production floor process. With that, preparing for Increment 2 increased AMC's ability to forecast materiel requirements by 20%, which will ensure sites have the right materiel available to support mission requirements. In addition to more accurately estimating materiel requirements, TACOM and AMCOM have improved item forecasting rates by 6.5% and 5.7%, respectively. While the percentages seem small, the multiplier is the hundreds of millions of dollars these commands use to manufacture and remanufacture tanks, helicopters, and other major end items and equipment used by Soldiers.
These benefits are just the beginning of what the expanded LMP system is expected to bring to the AMC's operations and, in turn, the Army's overall readiness posture. Combined with its nearly 15-year history of proven efficiencies, the LMP is poised to further support the Army's Sustainable Readiness Model by optimizing force readiness through enhanced equipment tracking and management, and balancing the Army's steady state missions, contingency response capability, and available resources, which all rely on the equipment and materiel managed and tracked by the LMP.
In an era of evolving threats, advancing technologies, and competing interests for the same dollars and resources, the Army is finding innovative ways to execute missions, while ensuring its ability to operate with a more agile force that remains in a constant state of readiness, by using and expanding systems like the LMP. The completion of the LMP Increment 2 brings full circle what the LMP set out to do nearly 15 years ago. Back then, the mission was to provide 'World-Class Logistics for Warfighter Support.' The LMP has done that and so much more, and will continue to make significant contributions to sustaining readiness and further strengthening the strongest Army in the world.