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Maritime Logistics Community News : November 2009
32 NAVY SUPPLY NEWSLETTER SPRING 2009 I have filled this position since December 2007 and am employed in the Platform Management Branch of the Maritime Operations Directorate. My responsibilities include being the Operational Platform Manager for the 52 operational DDG51 (Arleigh Burke) class ships and the FFG7 (Oliver Hazard Perry) class with 30 operational and operational reserve units. In recent months I have also assumed responsibility for almost 30 amphibious or L deck ships including the LCC's, LHA's, LHD's, and LPD4 classes. In keeping with the international theme of this edition however, I will focus on a number of key USN Supply initiatives in this article, rather than on my duties at the ICP. SOME CURRENT USN LOGISTICS INITIATIVES Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). ERP is without doubt the most significantactivity of the NAVICP and the whole of the Navy Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) over the last 12 months and into the next several years has been the introduction of an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) tool based on the commercial product from SAP. Approximately 25% of the SAP ERP product has been customised for the USN. The intent is to introduce a single supply solution which fully integrates former retail and wholesale stock across the entire USN supply system, thus doing away with numerous legacy systems. It will provide the ability to integrate business processes, centralise planning and order fulfillment functions, provide improved forecasting of stock usage, and will be the single point of logistics data entry. The global sourcing engine with total asset visibility will enable better utilisation of material stocks and will reduce ownership and operating costs. ERP 1.0, tracking staff time and attendance and internal finances rolled out in October 2008 and has so far been very successful. The single supply solution under ERP 1.1 will commence rollout in February 2010 and will gradually take over the business of NAVSUP over the following 18 months in a phased implementation plan. At present ERP 1.1 is undergoing extensive testing and validation using many Subject Matter Experts from ICP and other areas of NAVSUP. To say that there is considerable concern about the introduction of ERP amongst the mostly long term civilian workforce would be an understatement, but I believe ultimately this system will herald a massive leap forward in the management of the USN's inventory. There is currently little pressure or interest in linking ERP to other service and joint ERP solutions to create a truly joint DoD ERP environment. Hopefully this will come in time, although there would be many technical and cultural impediments to overcome. USN Supply personnel. The USN Supply Corps has experienced a strong shift towards gaining joint training and experience partly due to the persistent requirement for Individual Augmentees (IAs) for current operations. Large numbers of supply personnel are being deployed to joint billets as either contracting specialists or in general supply and this has had a significant impact on the ability of fleet units and various shore commands to maintain full manning and readiness. This has also led to discussions as to whether the name 'Supply Corps' adequately describes the wide range of functions performed by USN Supply Officers today, whether a name change to the 'Logistics Corps' may be required and what the future employment profile of the Corps will look like. A 2040 Strategic Vision study is being conducted to develop a proposed force employment plan including an assessment of current business portfolio and a determination of the enduring product lines; an assessment of the competencies, skill sets and education and training requirements that will accompany the product lines and finally a governance process that includes periodic course correction capability. The Naval Enlisted Classification System (NEOCS) also recently merged the Postal Clerk (PC) and Storekeeper (SK) ratings to form the new Logistics Specialist (LS) rate commencing on 1 October 2009. This is seen as the first step in reshaping and broadening the skills of the enlisted workforce to better support the requirements of the Navy into the 21st Century. CLASSRONs. The USN has in the last two years, stood up a set of organisations called Classrons, each responsible for the manning, training, equipping and maintenance processes for a specific class or classes of surface ships. This is part of an enterprise construct made up of domains and enterprises. Domains include the people, dollars and programs associated with a specific organizational entity as well as the people and resources that support them. Enterprises are the team members and processes that manage a domain. The eight Classrons form a domain of the Surface Warfare Enterprise and their mission is to ensure that all the ships of their class or classes are at the designated level of combat readiness and are available for tasking by combatant commanders. They use metric-based analysis to assess readiness, examine class trends, identify problems, prioritise issues and resources, develop and co-ordinate solutions and track their implementation. They also establish lessons learnt and provide recommendations and solutions to external agencies. Although they do support Commanding Officers of individual ships and their superiors, they more importantly align USN Key Supply Initiatives -- from the perspective of a RAN exchange officer As most of you will know, the RAN Supply branch has a LCDR position in the little known Pennsylvanian town of Mechanicsburg at the Naval Inventory Control Point (NAVICP). BY LCDR JOHN POTTER, RAN