NAVSUP Weapon Systems Support stood up its Logistics Cell (LOGCELL) in 2016 to bring vendor stakeholders, NAVAIR, fleet mission partners, and various cross-functional teams together in a room filled with interactive dashboards to identify component constraints and make informed decisions focused on enabling improved critical component reliability, maintainability and wholesale health.
Several factors have limited the use of this space and its tools. The majority of NAVSUP WSS has been teleworking since March, and many of its business and government partners are doing the same. Travel has also been severely restricted, and the idea of gathering dozens of people from across the globe is a nonstarter under the COVID-19 pandemic.
When the time came for the V-22 aircraft Integrated Weapon Systems Team (IWST) to conduct an end-to-end review, “we needed to adapt, improvise and overcome,” said Marine Corps Maj. Marisol Salgado, director of the V-22 IWST at NAVSUP WSS.
“An E2E [end-to-end] review normally consists of three very intense days, because we are peeling back the onion on various aspects of what is affecting each component,” said Salgado. “Everyone is together in the LOGCELL room, and there are several screens up. One screen may feature information from Boeing’s Virtual Readiness Operation Cell, which helps with engineering and failure deep dives.”
“Sometimes they let us know about problems before we even capture it,” Salgado said.
One screen will have an item manager’s critical component review, which provides information about how many assets are in each of the various condition codes at the vendor site as well as information on repair or spare contracts and known vendor constraints impacting delivery toward those contracts. The next screen may feature the program office’s reliability control information, for example.
“That’s the cool thing of being able to be in one room, comparing multiple screens of key information simultaneously,” Salgado said. “You have everybody right there in the room looking at the same set of data at the same time, and one of them will be able to point out something that we, as supply logistics people, might not be as tuned into. That is very valuable.”
The ability to reference data points instantly from several sources while the respective subject-matter experts are right there is the reason this concept is so successful, according to Salgado. Users can navigate and display information at various levels using charts, scorecards, reports, and drilldowns, which can reveal information that may not be evident using a static slideshow presentation.
“When we get to a component we can see the slide the subject matter expert is speaking about to address whatever is impacting the delivery schedule—a vender issue or capacity issue,” Salgado described as an example. “On another screen we might have the engineering data. Maybe that graph tells us a component is failing sooner than expected or that it’s performing well and the problem lies elsewhere.”
While unable to meet in person, the team held a virtual E2E in July using a newly adopted communication and collaboration platform with only a small contingent of one to three officials in the actual Philadelphia-based LOGCELL room.
Salgado said the event was successful, and the virtual environment allowed for the similar enhanced collaboration opportunities compared to past in-person events.
“In a traditional E2E, the sidebar conversations actually bring up a lot of things we might miss in a one-way presentation or video teleconference,” Salgado said. “In a virtual environment, the leads can still present information while sidebars are happening simultaneously in a separate chat without anyone being distracted or missing anything. The best part of the virtual environment is that it allows for members across the globe to be present and address issues that we may have missed due to travel restrictions or other conflicting schedules. Using Microsoft Teams, you can log in and view the chat discussion remotely from anywhere. If there’s something that needs to be addressed, say by General Electric UK, they can take control of the screen and share their data live instead of waiting for the slide to come through email.”
The Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and international partners each operate a variant of the V-22 platform, making it even more useful to bring everyone together to discuss issues with design, procurement, repair, replacement or any other supply challenges. Salgado estimates that the platforms share 95% commonality, meaning solutions found for one platform are often directly applicable to another. Thanks to the virtual platform, organizations were able to increase participation, since no travel expenses were required to participate. “We had more participation from the Air Force than we did last year for instance,” Salgado said. “Last year, we had two Air Force participants. This year, we had roughly 15 or more who were very highly engaged.”
Overall, roughly 120 participants attended from several states, Japan, and the United Kingdom. The group reviewed 27 components during the event which resulted in approximately 60 action items which will impact the reliability, maintainability and availability of each of these components and their sub-components in some cases.
“There were quite a few wins overall, but the big wins will come as we deliver on those 60 action items,” Salgado said.
Overall, the event was considered a success, and NAVSUP WSS will continue to adapt while leveraging technology to deliver wins for the Navy and all of its stakeholders.
The V-22 platform consists of approximately 377 aircraft across three services–Marine Corps MV-22, Air Force CV-22, and Navy CMV-22–as well as the government of Japan. The latest V-22 variant, CMV-22, is projected to make its first deployment aboard USS Carl Vinson next year, making resolution of E2E action items critical to the Naval Aviation Enterprise.
NAVSUP WSS is one of 11 commands under Commander, NAVSUP. Headquartered in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, and employing a diverse, worldwide workforce of more than 22,500 military and civilian personnel, NAVSUP’s mission is to provide supplies, services, and quality-of-life support to the Navy and joint warfighter.
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