By Maj. Justin L. DarnellAugust 31, 2018
The Army Materiel Command's common authorized stockage list (ASL) cultivates equipment readiness by ensuring that high-demand repair parts are stocked for armored brigade combat teams (BCTs), Stryker BCTs, and infantry BCTs. However, a BCT can shape and influence its own equipment readiness through the optimization of the unit-controlled shop stock list. Stocking critical, highly used, non-ASL repair parts at the unit level builds equipment readiness, reduces not mission capable (NMC) time, and shortens customer wait times.
BENCH STOCK AND SHOP STOCK
Two types of maintenance-related supplies are authorized to be on hand in support-level maintenance activities: bench stocks, which are unpredictably used consumables, and shop stocks, which are demand-supported stocks.
Bench stocks are low-cost, high-use, consumable supply classes II (clothing and equipment), III P (packaged petroleum, oils, and lubricants), IV (construction materials), and IX (repair parts) items (less components) used by maintenance personnel at an unpredictable rate. Bench stocks consist of common hardware, nuts, bolts, washers, capacitors, wire, tubing, hoses, ropes, webbing, thread, welding rods, sandpaper, gasket material, sheet metal, seals, oils, grease, and repair kits.
In a decisive action operational environment, brigade support areas, field trains command posts, and combat trains command posts must have the ability to rapidly pack up and displace to a new area of operations. Considering the requirement for bench stocks to be highly transportable, a unit can order a small-parts storage box (national stock number [NSN] 8115-00-663-0212) or two transport and storage cases (NSN 8115-00-663-0213).
The first case has 64 plastic drawers that are 3x3x5 inches each. The second case has 24 plastic drawers; 16 are 6x2x5 inches, and the remaining eight are 6x4x5 inches. All the drawers contain dividers and a slot for inserting a label.
Shop stocks, on the other hand, are demand-supported repair parts and consumables stocked within a maintenance activity with a maintenance mission authorized by a modified table of organization and equipment, table of distribution and allowances, or joint table of allowances.
Units must also consider requirements associated with the shop stock they choose to keep on hand. Such requirements include storing, transporting, and safeguarding the items in multi-domain or decisive action operational environments. For example, the Joint Readiness Training Center requires that units be able to transport their shop stock in a single lift using organic transportation assets.
A SYSTEM TO OPTIMIZE READINESS
Units can implement a shop stock management system to optimize equipment readiness. First, a unit should conduct a deliberate inventory of all shop stock to ensure information is correctly put into the Global Combat Support System-Army (GCSS-Army) so that personnel can rapidly locate on-hand parts to reduce NMC time.
Then the unit should pull demand history for specific storage locations (SLOCs) over a specified period of time. In GCSS-Army, personnel should use transaction code ZPROSTAT, which is the open status report. Once the data is exported to a spreadsheet, the data should be sorted to find the highest demand items across the organization, and that list should be cross-referenced against the BCT's ASL to produce a list of recommended items to stock on the shelf at the unit motor pool.
To gain greater context and make a well-informed decision regarding which NSNs to stock at the unit level, units should coordinate with the Army Materiel Systems Analysis Activity (AMSAA) to determine Army-wide demand history over the past 365 days for a particular end item.
AMSAA can provide a recommended shop stock list based on the number of dead-lining faults for a particular NSN and a unit's vehicle density. Given the constraints and limitations associated with shop stocks, units should consider the prioritization of its shop stock based on the unit's demand history and AMSAA's observations of Army-wide demand.
After completing the analysis to determine which NSNs to stock on the shelf, a unit can forecast budgeting requirements to purchase the repair parts and place the desired NSNs on order. Units can consider turning on the automatic reorder point in GCSS-Army to replenish shop stock items consumed in daily maintenance activities.
LEVERAGE OTHER ORGANIZATIONS
A unit can leverage other organizations' shop stocks to reduce NMC days. A unit should ensure its maintainers are trained to use transaction code MMBE (stock overview) and can create a variant with all the SLOCs in the BCT to gain asset visibility for a particular NSN.
Maintenance personnel can pull the SLOCs of adjacent units on its installation to rapidly query their shop stocks when locating a needed repair part by using transaction code ZSPTX, which is the display organization/force element table.
Once in ZSPTX, a unit can enter the routing identifier code of other supply support activities on the installation. Once the report is executed, GCSS-Army will generate the list of SLOCs associated with that supply support activity. The SLOCs should then be pasted into MMBE, and a unit will have asset visibility of a particular NSN in an adjacent BCT's shop stock.
An optimized and carefully managed shop stock list can significantly reduce customer wait time and decrease the number of days that key equipment is NMC. Stocking the right parts fills in gaps not covered by the common ASL and enables BCTs to be ready to "fight tonight."
Maj. Justin L. Darnell is the brigade logistics support team chief for the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, at Fort Drum, New York. He holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from Campbell University and a master's degree in business administration from Charleston Southern University. He is a graduate of the Command and General Staff College, Theater Sustainment Planners Course, Support Operations Course Phase II, and the Joint Operational Contracting Planning and Execution Course.
This article was published in the September-October 2018 issue of Army Sustainment.