By Cindy Brock, Dr. Paul-Thomas Ferguson, JMCJuly 8, 2019
ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. - U.S. Army Joint Munitions Command is applying new methods with the objective of reforming the Munitions Organic Industrial Base. Through the use of metrics, greater standardization and better command oversight over installations, JMC is supporting material readiness in a more efficient and effective way. By improving logistics, alignment and coordination, production capacity and throughput in depot operations, JMC ensures the capabilities of globally-dominant land forces. The goal is an end state where JMC is a modernized enterprise that is resourced, responsive and capable of cost-effectively supporting readiness, providing lethality that wins.
"There is no debate that JMC is readiness driven, but it must come at a best value price. Government is not driven by a profit margin like industry, but we have an obligation to the Warfighter to provide our services as efficiently as possible, so limited resources can be used for other high priority Army requirements," said Walt Songaila, Director of JMC OIB Support Directorate.
Efforts to reform the Munitions OIB began with JMC Sustainable Readiness Model Focus Area 2, Depot Operations and Supply Chain transformation efforts. In 2017, JMC personnel articulated a vision for transforming the enterprise into a JMC integrated business, with a phase for conducting depot operations assessments at five Government-Owned, Government-Operated installations. The assessment phase aimed to identify potential areas for OIB depot optimization. The findings confirmed an opportunity to improve efficiency and readiness across each assessed installation. JMC then developed depot-specific optimization efforts, particularly in the areas of increased logistics and production capacity and throughput in depot operations. The assessments identified gaps and the need to develop processes to clarify objectives for efficiency, control process performance, improve process design and mitigate constraints.
Based on the assessment findings, the design phase began in February 2018. The OIB-SRM team utilized these results, along with best business practices from GOGO installations, to develop solutions addressing drivers of performance improvement and standardization. The design phase resulted in performance improvement strategies including: utilization of management systems; training to increase competencies in supervisory skills; and concepts to strengthen model behaviors. This included the development of tools to pair with existing components, to help each installation plan, execute and evaluate its operations. Additionally, processes to drive standardization were developed for several JMC operations (surveillance, inventory, issues/receipts, cost centers and depot Ammunition Operations Center).
In April 2018, JMC began the implementation phase to incorporate the newly developed processes and tools at the GOGO installations, while addressing gaps identified during the assessment phase. A cross-functional team implemented the solutions at each GOGO installation, spending eight weeks per site. During the implementation phase, GOGO installation personnel were introduced to the JMC Cultural Pillars and Supervisor Behavior Model as a way to govern future actions and decisions, as well as an introduction to the tools, referred to broadly as the System for Management, which include an Access Database, Commander's Dashboards and Manufacturing Integration and Intelligence to plan, execute and evaluate performance. Lastly, JMC trained GOGO personnel in standardized processes for transactional issues/receipts, AOC task orders and key control, magazine inspections, surveillance workshop operations and physical count and reconciliation of inventory.
The new processes are now implemented at all seven GOGO sites: Crane Army Ammunition Activity, McAlester Army Ammunition Plant, Tooele Army Depot, Letterkenny Munitions Center, Blue Grass Army Depot, Anniston Munitions Center and Pine Bluff Arsenal. Early examples of depot operations improvements include: a reduction from 62 to 34 process steps for a depot operation; a 61 percent increase in components production rate and a 47 percent increase in production rate at one GOGO site; and greater clarity in JMC's ability to understand each installation's cost structure to perform useful comparative analysis. The implementation phase concluded in May 2019. With this phase complete, sustainment plans and activities ensure improvements are sustained over the long term. Follow-up sustainment visits are planned through the end of Fiscal Year 2019.
"During OIB-SRM implementation, I've had the opportunity to engage with installation personnel more than ever before. We were able to provide real solutions to improve depot operations and positively impact materiel readiness. Personnel have appreciated the onsite walkthrough of processes and have gained confidence in JMC's intent and credibility in this initiative," said Cindy Brock, JMC General Engineer.
Without a plan for continued installation oversight, current improvements will dissipate. Efforts to reform the Munitions OIB therefore include additional transformation at JMC. During the JMC Shape the Fight effort, findings indicated that sparse and disjointed management at Headquarters has led to sparse and disjointed installation oversight and the perception that Headquarters is a barrier to execution. As a result, the OIB Support Directorate was created, a new organization to enhance processes in service to the mission, align core functions for maximum readiness and optimize the enterprise to be efficient and responsive to readiness requirements.
"Throughout our optimization efforts, and in conjunction with STF, we identified a gap in how JMC approached operations management across our sites. There was a pressing need to improve collectively, to posture ourselves to successfully execute large-scale contingency operations," said Corey Hotle, OIB Support-GOGO Division Chief. "We weren't always holding ourselves accountable, as a headquarters and enterprise. The mission was always accomplished but if we can deliver increased readiness at a better value, that's a win for the Warfighter," he said.
Currently, the OS Directorate is tracking depot operations achievement against OIB-SRM implementation and sustainment, progressing toward right-sizing man-hours, overtime management and storage and demil reform execution. Rebecca Schoenig, a JMC Management Analyst, is optimistic about future efforts to continue to reform the Munitions OIB.
"Continual assessment of operations to drive efficiencies can result in savings to the installation customer. Potentially, funding then becomes available to support additional requirements and enhance readiness," she said.
"JMC is holding itself accountable by reducing direct-hour requirements to complete mission functions by 20 percent. That reduction was built into the FY20 budget, so our initiatives must be successful, or we will be operating at a loss next year," said Songaila.
The OS Directorate is looking forward to fulfilling its new mission to operationalize the JMC enterprise through increased installation logistics and production throughput by integrating and managing centralized Enterprise Resource Planning processes, coordinating customer workload forecasts and ensuring reporting requirements are fulfilled and maintained. This gives the enterprise reporting solution determinations across the command, while providing holistic installation operational performance, providing insight to leadership and driving future business actions toward greater efficiency in service to the mission.