Recognizing the importance of working to achieve what "right looks like," the 15-member Supply Chain Management Enterprises' Unliquidated Obligations team has been nominated for the annual Army Lean Six Sigma Excellence Award.

"The intent of the annual Army LSS Excellence Awards Program is to recognize Army organizations and practitioners who demonstrate excellence in the building, sustainment and employment of continuous improvement and to share best practices across the Army," Maxie Pooler, of the Office of Continuous Improvement, said. "This will be the first project from Aviation and Missile Command OCI that was recognized by Army Materiel Command and submitted to the Department of the Army.

"The team's successful Continuous Process Improvement efforts have demonstrated this type of excellence and support an enterprise approach to institutional adaptation. During the team's activities, they utilized numerous LSS tools to accomplish their objectives. Some of the tools used included Value Stream Mapping, Pareto Analysis, Prioritization Analysis, and Supply chain process assessment, to name a few."

Inflated unliquidated obligations data results in inaccurate accounting for undelivered goods and services on order. The exaggerated ULO values impacts: the financial picture of undelivered orders; the logistical forecasting accuracy of materiel needs; increased man-hours requirement to research and correct invalid ULOs and materiel requirement forecasting data; and skews the financial budget requirement due to the large dollar value of due-in inventory.

"This is us helping ourselves," Kathlyn Dulaney, team leader said. "In the Logistics Modernization Program, good logistics comes with good financing."

To date the team has returned more than $50 million to the Army budget.

Invalid ULOs can occur when materiel has been ordered and received, but the logistics systems show that the assets have not been received or the accounting systems show that the vendor has not been paid for the services specified in the contract.

"Migrating from legacy databases to the integrated LMP database has been challenging," Dulaney said. "But we are working to achieve valid receipt and invoice posting in LMP so that ULO dollar values are accurate."

The migration of contract data from the Commodity Command Standard System has required Integrated Materiel Management Center employees to account for the fact that an LMP transaction creates a financial transaction as well.

"Therefore, invalid, undelivered orders and invalid accounts payable entries produce invalid ULO dollar values," Dulaney said. "We have created a guide that will simplify and unveil the mystery associated with validating the undelivered order portion of an ULO dollar value, clear invalid materiel due ins, and identify invalid invoice receipts."

Members of the ULO team include Thomas Stutzman, Debbie Auton, Mary Dailey, Wanda Nall, Susan Oshel, Catherine Hendrix Jones, Penny Robertson, April Willis, Linda Murphy Wesley Jones, Pamela Stewart, Josie Minnon, Phyllis Brock, Lori Harting and Portia Kelly. The team includes members from AMCOM, the Army Contracting Command-Redstone and the Defense Contract Management Agency. The team was facilitated by Brian Tucker, AMCOM-OCI LSS expert.