SAN ANTONIO – The Army Maintenance Activity, or ArMA, is expanding to most facilities across each of the 73 installations managed by Army Installation Management Command in 2022.
Aligned with Army modernization efforts, ArMA digitizes the work order process for all Army-owned facilities with a centralized system for submission and tracking.
“Automation of the maintenance-customer relationship is at the core of what we are doing,” said Doug Enfield, ArMA program manager. “Customers expect this. This is part of the Army operating in the information age – not just for housing but for all facilities on the installation, which is what we call fence-to-fence.”
The IMCOM ArMA team provided on-site support to the Directorate of Public Works team at Fort Knox, Kentucky, Jan. 11-13 – the first fence-to-fence deployment of the year.
Derrick Raney, business operations and integration division branch chief at Fort Knox, said ArMA has “improved the process time efficiency while simplifying operations for both the customer and the work order team.”
“ArMA has and will continue to improve customer relations and communications with the DPW work order team,” he said.
“ArMA offers great benefits to our end users,” added Jason Root, Fort Knox DPW director. “Everyone is now able to identify and track the work that needs to be accomplished around them.”
The expansion to facilities, which debuted in fall 2021 at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, will be deployed in waves to all installations enabling Soldiers, Family members, Civilians and contractors who live or work on post to submit online work orders for any Army-owned facility.
Fort Campbell is now averaging 250 work orders a day through the website.
“We’ve seen a pretty significant increase in work orders put in, which we consider a good thing because that means people are out there using the application and seeing what they need fixed. We’re able to go assist them and get them the help they need,” said Sean Nickley, engineering systems branch chief at Fort Campbell.
The ArMA system has processed more than 200,000 housing and barracks work orders since its launch in January 2021. Of this amount, 66% were entered through the website versus in-person or telephone requests. ArMA officials estimate this saved more than 5,000 hours of manpower in one year.
By including pictures and being as descriptive as possible when entering work orders, ArMA users enable service technicians to show up and resolve issues in as little as one visit. The system decreases the average age of a work order by 25% when pictures are included in the submission.
“The user can submit photos along with the work order to help the teams understand what needs to be done, which minimizes the times technicians need to come to the job site,” Root explained. “All in all, this is a giant leap forward for the user compared to what we had.”
Staff Sgt. Daniel Lockamy, the Army Barracks Management Program representative for 426th Brigade Support Battalion at Fort Campbell, said ArMA has been helpful in the barracks for months and is now improving conditions in other facilities.
“I do PT in the mornings, so I was walking into my usual facility the other day and I noticed the door was very hard to open,” he said. “Since ArMA recently did an update where it’s not only for barracks but facilities, I realized I could put a work order for the Estep Physical Fitness Center into ArMA, so I took a picture and sent it up.”
Residents in Army-managed residences submit ArMA work orders through a user-friendly online database available 24/7, eliminating the need to make appointments or phone calls to service technicians. First-time users without an account are able to submit work orders in less than five minutes when using the CAC-authentication function.
As part of the Army’s continuous effort to improve quality of life and modernize services from the industrial age to the information age, this streamlined digital process will now be available for more than just residential spaces. Any registered user who notices a maintenance issue on their Army installation will be able to report the problem with ease.
“It feels like ArMA is directly connecting customers and Soldiers to the service... the interface is very simple to use, but at the same time it’s innovative and it works,” Lockamy said.
From now through the end of May, the ArMA team will reach all 73 IMCOM installations through a mix of on-site and remote support in an effort to complete expansion across the enterprise.
Stateside installations are expected to be complete by the end of April, with Europe and Asia following in May.