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Maritime Logistics Community News : Autumn 2010
51 NAVY SUPPLY NEWSLETTER AUTUMN 2010 Accounting Classifications These were pretty much the same as today .Introduction of the Non-Accountables classification (resistors, capacitors etc) certainly streamlined accounting and, in particular, stocktaking. Replenishment Permanent items were reordered from the Store Depots on a one-for- one basis as an item became unserviceable . However, Consumable items were only reordered in accordance with the Storing Period and Storing Interval applicable to that Class of ship. A Destroyer, for instance, would store ship (or Replenish)) every three months (Storing Interval) based upon an estimated four month expenditure (Storing Period). In theory, this provided one month's reserve stock. This system was "fraught with danger" , as ship's programs did not always have the ship near a Store Depot at the appropriate Storing Interval. Items with a NIL Balance were not normally reordered in between these intervals. It was a mammoth task to prepare for Storing Ship, remember that the ledgers were all kept manually, no computer support. • Firstly, all posting of vouchers had to be up-to-date • The past 12 months expenditure for every Consumable item had to be totaled and the reorder quantity calculated taking into consideration any stock still on hand, any quantity already on order, the 12 months usage and the storing period • Each Pattern Number (forerunner to the Stock No.), Item Short Description, 12 months expenditure, the calculated reorder quantity and the storeroom stowage location were then written manually onto Form AS134d (Demand on Store Depot). Multi-line Forms were used but separate Forms were needed for each Class/Group. • Every Form AS 134d had to be signed by the Supply Officer before being transmitted to the appropriate Store Depot for action. Before the agreed storing date, ship's stores staff had to report to the Store Depot and check off every item against the Forms AS 134d. Stow these items in wicker baskets, lock the baskets and retain the keys. In the late '50's the Store Depot "Provider" was created to co- ordinate storing arrangements which was of great benefit to all ships. On the agreed storing date the wicker baskets were delivered to the ship by the "Provider". Most ships "cleared lower deck" to help the stores staff carry the baskets aboard. However, the big task for the stores staff was then to stow the items in the appropriate storeroom location and post the Forms AS 134d to the ledgers. You can visualize how manually-intensive Storing Ship was in those days!! It was normally conducted during main leave periods which meant that the full stores staff were not on deck at the same time. Upon sailing, inevitably there was always a large backlog of paperwork and stowing of new stock in storerooms, stores staff were also required to participate in ship's evolutions eg Action Stations, man overboard exercises which contributed to out-of-date records for some time. Issue of Stores to Departments Very similar to today's procedures but all vouchers were handwritten, stock locations had to be identified from storeroom stowage records. The ledgers and Permanent Loan Lists (PLL) had to be manually adjusted. Permanent Loan Lists (AS 1099) (Articles-in-Use equivalent.) Permanent items (non equipment related) were listed on a separate PLL for each Department after removing that quantity from the main stock balance and listing it under the Departmental name. Departmental Officers were required to verify the existence of all items held on their PLL every 6 months and on change of custodian. However, before this could happen the Departmental copy of the PLL had to be compared with the Naval Store original copy and brought up top date. This procedure may sound easy but in fact, was very time- consuming. Stocktaking The Commonwealth Audit Act required that 100% of the Inventory (ie every item) was to be subject to stocktaking over an 18 month period.( Valuable and Attractive items had to be checked more often). Over the years this requirement has been relaxed somewhat but in the earlier days it was difficult to satisfy, particularly for the smaller ships. Computer Support No support aboard ships until: • HMAS Stalwart was fitted with DSRMS-N. The trial was not successful, mainly because the Minicomputer required a very stringent environment in the way of air conditioning and space. • HMAS Success was successfully fitted with SLIMS in 1988 Conclusion We've come a long way. As I understand it, the current retail supply system is efficient and responsive to the needs of management. The evolution from the RN operating procedures and the "quill and parchment" days to the computer age can be contributed mainly to the introduction of : • Supply Operations (Overhaul) Assistance Program (SOAP) • Defence Supply Retail Minicomputer System (DSRMS_N) (HMAS Stalwart) • Selected Item Management (SIM) • Validation of Onboard Equipment • Cataloguing /Allowances Authority • Ship's Logistic Information Management System (SLIMS) • Standard Defence Supply System (SDSS) for shore support • Moorebank Supply Centre (DNSDC) for shore support Obviously ,there are many other developments that I have not been privy to since my retirement that would have also contributed . Recommendation Take a few moments to compare "the way it was" with the current system. Do you want to "turn the clock back" or are you happy with what you have?