Inaugural summit offers collaborative look into business intelligence

By Nicolo Manzo, Public Affairs Specialist and Danielle E. Weinschenk, Lead Public Affairs SpecialistJune 8, 2023

Inaugural summit offers collaborative look into business intelligence
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Tobyhanna's Business Intelligence Team Chief Matthew Raup kicks off the inaugural Tobyhanna Army Depot Business Intelligence Summit. Nearly 200 people across the joint services signed up to attend in person and virtually, according to TYAD Public Affairs Officer Melissa Flowers. (Photo Credit: Ryan M. Beilman) VIEW ORIGINAL
Inaugural summit offers collaborative look into business intelligence
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Attendees at the first-ever Tobyhanna Army Depot Business Intelligence Summit listen to presentations from vendors and business intelligence professionals. The event earned rave reviews from across joint services. (Photo Credit: Ryan M. Beilman) VIEW ORIGINAL

Team Tobyhanna shared their perspectives on investing in innovative technology, streamlining production data and developing its workforce at a new event focused on business intelligence.

The Tobyhanna Army Depot (TYAD) Business Intelligence Summit was held on June 6-7 for in-person and virtual attendees. The event focused on synchronizing leaders, analysts, and information technology personnel on how to effectively leverage business intelligence across the Department of Defense. Nearly 200 people across the joint services signed up to attend, according to TYAD Public Affairs Officer Melissa Flowers.

In his opening remarks, Depot Commander Colonel Daniel L. Horn celebrated the first-of-its-kind event and encouraged participants to make the most of their experience.

“This is a very important event, held on the anniversary of an important day in American History: D-Day. As General Eisenhower said on that day, ‘the eyes of the world are upon us,’ today, the eyes of your organizations are on you to get results through the use of business intelligence,” he said. “I challenge you to collaborate with one another and share talent from across the organic industrial base (OIB) to make us all better.”

Pat Sullivan, Senior Analyst at Army Materiel Command (AMC) also lauded Tobyhanna for spearheading the event at the working level of the organization.

“Seldom do good ideas come from headquarters – most often, they come from where the work is done.”

Along with Col. Horn and Deputy Commander Rob Lantka, Keith Hoffman, deputy director of Tobyhanna’s Production Management Directorate, presented a case study on Tobyhanna’s journey developing its own business intelligence strategy.

The three TYAD representatives discussed the long process of achieving the goal of leveraging data and analytics to inform decisions to become a data-driven organization, including several successes and challenges recognized along the way.

Horn, Lantka, and Hoffman noted patience is required in a process like this, but what it has yielded is a streamlined record of production data and a maturation from data intelligence to business intelligence.

The panel session was meant to be a collaborative one and discussion between the audience and presenters included the ways in which TYAD has made data actionable, how business intelligence fits into Tobyhanna’s strategic plan and business model as well as how an investment in business intelligence is an investment in both efficiency and workforce development.

Hoffman also said the use of easy-to-understand dashboards created by TYAD’s dedicated Business Intelligence team enables Tobyhanna to identify areas of improvement and act more easily on them. Rather than just celebrating successes, this initiative bolsters the continuous improvement mindset championed by the TYAD workforce.

“Our philosophy is not to go chasing green [metrics]. We want to find those reds and find those ambers and find ways to make those processes more efficient.”

Horn said business intelligence reinforces TYAD’s model of process-based leadership. Making data easy to visualize and act on allows for uninterrupted peak performance.

“The strategic plan emphasizes process-based leadership. This allows for seamless continuation of process as leadership changes,” said Horn.

Lantka said the success of this initiative was due, in large part, to the experienced group of individuals who led the effort.

“We made a deliberate decision to put talented individuals with experience in several areas across the organization in positions to lead this effort,” said Lantka.

Lantka continued to say that Tobyhanna’s sustained ability to be a leader is owed to a commitment to philosophy and a healthy curiosity as to how the organization can constantly improve, saying “your culture is created by the questions you ask.”

The summit featured two paths for attendees, with one track focused on the intersection of business intelligence and leadership and the second focused on data and visualization. A variety of OIB organizations provided presentations, including AMC; Corpus Christi Army Depot; Letterkenny Army Depot; and the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command. Information was also provided by a variety of vendors who work in the business intelligence arena.

Attendees gave the event – and Tobyhanna Army Depot – rave reviews.

Hector Medrano Jr. from Corpus Christi Army Depot in Texas said he was impressed with his first visit to TYAD.

“This was my first time here. Everything was well organized, and I particularly enjoyed the tour.”

Medrano said the summit provided valuable takeaways for attendees.

“I learned a lot about the future of artificial intelligence and how the Army will be incorporating that and other technologies moving forward.”

Schawna Adkins of McAlester Army Ammunition Plant made the trip to Tobyhanna from Oklahoma. Adkins said it was valuable to see Tobyhanna’s operations and how they compare to those of her site.

“I learned a lot at this event. It has been well-structured, and the tour was great. I was most interested in seeing different sites and what they have to offer. It is great to see how things are done at Tobyhanna, and I will take things back.”

Collaborative events like the Business Intelligence Summit directly align with Tobyhanna’s long-range strategic plan, TOBY2035. The plan, which charts the organization’s course over the next 12 years, has four focus areas – Invest in Our People, C5ISR Readiness, Shape the Future and Strategic Communications – and aims to posture the depot for success in the coming years as the Department of Defense's premier worldwide C5ISR readiness provider.

Tobyhanna Army Depot is a recognized leader in providing world-class logistics support for command, control, communications, computers, cyber, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C5ISR) systems across the Department of Defense. Tobyhanna’s Corporate Philosophy, dedicated work force and electronics expertise ensure the depot is the Joint C5ISR provider of choice for all branches of the Armed Forces and industry partners.

Tobyhanna’s unparalleled capabilities include full-spectrum logistics support for sustainment, overhaul and repair, fabrication and manufacturing, engineering design and development, systems integration, post production software support, technology insertion, modification, foreign military sales and global field support to our joint warfighters.

About 3,100 personnel are employed at Tobyhanna, which is located in the Pocono Mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania. Tobyhanna Army Depot is part of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command. Headquartered at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, the command’s mission is to empower the Soldier with winning C5ISR capabilities.