Over time Marine Corps concepts and the tools/support systems executing fleet product support critical to field-level missions have changed. The changes are due to a huge increase in the number and variety of equipment assets to be maintained. More complex designs, new maintenance techniques and changing views on maintenance organisation have also contributed to these changes.

Product Support operations have also responded to changing expectations. It now includes a growing awareness of the extent to which equipment failure affects Marine Corps field-level mission success, a growing awareness of the connection between maintenance and quality, and is subjected to increasing pressure to have a positive effect on the smooth operation of field-level missions and to also contain costs.

The primary objective of this report is to provide summary of maintenance tools that are available in the market today. It will help to facilitate greater understanding of the state of Marine Corps maintenance as a discipline, and will also help to conduct gap assessments with respect to mission requirements vs. tool capabilities.

Marine Corps aircraft, ground vehicles and equipment are vital to day-to-day operations and service-delivery activities and Marine Corps  could not function without them. In some cases, equipment is an integral part of delivering service, as with transit operations and expeditionary mission. In other cases aircraft and equipment are essential tools, such communications packages for field-level troops on patrol.

But in many cases, the critical role of aircraft and equipment are less apparent, but no less important. From the Site Visit Executive who needs to inspect the progress of Jobsite; the crew who needs tools and equipment nearby at job sites; or expeditionary forces who need transit lift to an important/exclusive Zone, each of these case mission scenarios represents a need for a vehicle or piece of equipment that must be fulfilled. Meeting these needs results in a relatively large fleet of vehicles and equipment in even the smallest of expeditionary groups.

Some forms of equipment upgrade/repair tools have been available at Job sites for some time; these tools vary slightly from one unit to another, but the basic purpose and design are similar from one package to another. That is, the fundamental equipment information is stored; Information such as size, date of purchase, ratings, cost, work order phase, and equipment-specific notes are all important.

Marine Corps tool packages can produce work orders when calendar-based maintenance schedules are in effect, and some packages can also store the maintenance results. Some of the modern packages also embed newer concepts of maintenance. But, prior to providing overview of these tool packages, it makes sense to provide brief descriptions on equipment use patterns, and the critical need for new asset maintenance programmes.

To assess best commercial product support practices, we reviewed the available description of best practices and administered a detailed questionnaire, and discovered many practices we observed are too new and hard to isolate from many other changes under way to evaluate them with existing tools.

We have relied on interview formats designed to generate reproducible, internally consistent stories about how field-level troops apply best practices. This proved to be the only way at present to collect the information requested by Marine Corps; when sufficient experience has accumulated, more evaluation techniques will be possible. Using this approach, we report three key findings here:

First, an ever-expanding group of innovative Marine Corps units are shifting from a tactical to a more strategic, goal-oriented approach to product support. These units recognise the potential of new product support tools to provide strategic benefits in terms of substantial performance improvements and cost savings and are taking steps at the highest Site Visit Executive levels to increase the likelihood of capturing increased mission success rates.

Second, because implementing new product support practices requires significant changes throughout all Marine Corps levels of organisation, smart design of user services become essential. Marine Corps groups are quickly learning how essential it is to use formal implementation processes and plans to help ensure successful, permanent changes.

Third, when comparing product support tool implementation by field-level units ahead of the curve to practices with current Marine Corps policy, we identified a number of specific actions must be considered to improve the implementation of new product support practices within field-level units. These actions must become part of a more comprehensive task framework as Marine Corps experience in this arena grows.

This report presents results from our review of Marine Corps product support operations designed for equipment critical to field-level missions. Our review focused on two primary issues. First, we assessed the “competitiveness” of service levels. Second, we assessed the extent to which internal business processes follow recognised best practices presented by Site Visit Executive.

We recommend Marine Corps create training programme to encourage work force skill improvements. Training is currently taking place but it appears to be from “Targets of opportunity” or upon introduction of new equipment. Marine Corps currently has basic Equipment Product Support Handbooks covering limited aspects of field-level mission requirements.

This report has identified detailed shortcomings in Marine Corps functions during feed-back sessions designed by Site Visit Executive. We recommend Site Visit Executive provide direction to incentivise/reward high performance field-level units.

Efforts to keep existing product support handbooks current would greatly enhance Troop confidence in improving impact of field-level missions. Keep track of all your tasks from your mobile device. New technology lets you track responsive product support tasks from your mobile device to enable solutions for operational problems encountered by Marine Corps for all types of equipment.

1.     Product Support Schedule Monitor

Solution for complete scheduling, tracking of asset maintenance. You can establish scheduling for all types of maintenance. Part component consumption in the maintenance process is automatically tracked and recorded location tracking feature allows you to match technicians with tasks, ensuring rapid response to critical product support requests.

2.     Service Success Track Platform

Save time, boost efficiency and increase customer satisfaction by taking your mission mobile. Site Visit Executive can easily track technicians & assign work orders using high performance tools and track daily Job Site Events with unparalleled ease and efficiency. Streamlined workflows employ intuitive dashboards, calendars, and alerts to speed the maintenance process and ensure that you provide consistently outstanding service/solutions to your customers built into platform-wide mobilisation plans.

3.     Streamlined Workflow Task System

Optimise control over administrative tasks, streamline workflows, by providing a straightforward, systematic way to process work orders from initial contact through completion and maximise efficiency with mobile solutions utilised by field-level units. Location-independent access to centralised system ensures faster processing and the ability to run up-to-the-minute reports/solutions for all types of assets

4.     Work Order Status Create/Update

Maintenance Mobile conveniently allows technicians in the field to create, update, and close work orders from a mobile device, with results in automatically updated status. Workers can use search bars to quickly and easily sort through and select work orders through a variety of fields. Other features include work order status editing to indicate priority of work order settings. Technicians can also view problem descriptions and access entry notes in a work order.

5.     Access to Schedule Locations

Location-independent access to equipment ensures faster processing and up-to-the-minute reports. View detailed reports on inspection history including technician notes and findings. Inspection facilitates communication about product support scheduling and results with merge memos that can be sent via mobile device emailed using the notifications feature.

6.     Enter Inspection details Into System

Inspection Mobile enhances the functionality of Inspection with the ability to access and enter inspection details from mobile device. Assigned inspections appear on device instantly, and completed results update the record automatically. Inspection Mobile even operates in field-level areas, scheduling links once the connection is reestablished.

7.     Item Type Summary Access Screens

Fixed Assets reports provide assess tech as well as summary and detailed information about your assets. On-screen reports allow you to drill down to related screens. Report categories include Asset assess, Item Type Received, Make Ready, Work Order and Purchase Requisition.

8.     Purchase Assign Control Schedules


Accurately coordinate purchase requisitions and work orders. Efficiently assign and schedule work orders Track pending work requests, alerts, and exceptions. Parts Control is the ideal solution for impact stocks transferred among multiple locations. You can track impact of parts transit as well as use location transfer of purchase issue.

9.     Labour and Materials

Product Support Control Solution lets you monitor labour and materials used to complete work orders, quickly reconcile physical count of on-hand stock items, and automatically reorder parts as needed. You can also update pricing based on amounts paid on purchase orders.

10.   Real-time Parts Stock Reports


Parts Control includes detailed reports that help you keep stock levels optimised to make better parts decisions. On-screen reports allow you to drill down to underlying information. For example, you can drill down from the Activity on Parts report to Transit Track, Item Type, or Location screen.

 
 
To meet Marine Corps objectives, we commissioned this case study to not only optimise current equipment product support Job Site operations and enhance dedication to satisfy Field-Level Troops demand signals, but also to provide Marine Corps with the tools, templates and real world strategies so Marines have capacity to sustain these improvements into the future.

We established the following Job Site scope areas, which framed the objectives of this Case Study:


1. Optimise allocation of Job Site product support resources, including oversight of routine, peak & specialty work orders

2. Design product support programmes for field level unit outreach at Job Sites, including mission-driven reporting & surveys

3. Propose product support approach for receipt of individualised Job Site service level work orders with field-level units

4. Maximise "wrench turning" produce at Job Sites, including product support programmes for continued training, incentives & performance

5. Establish core product support Job Site services, specialised services evaluation & changing conditions.

6. Enhance Job Site performance metrics, including key product support performance indicators, techniques & reporting

7. Provide framework for evaluating the Job Site costs/ benefits of expanded product support services to existing or new troop units

8. Conduct Job Site space requirements assessment, addressing barriers to efficient product support operations.

9. Optimise Job Site operations, including product support policies, procedures & performance requirements for on-hand stock parts/tools

10. Evaluate Job Site product support work order rate-setting systems and recommend adjustments to rate setting & replacement planning



Top 10 Evaluation Report Best Practise for Equipment Service Implementation Plan Recommendations



1. Job Site Assessment:

Describes the detailed results of Job Site layout inspections, including equipment service life-- identifies barriers to efficiency, mitigation strategies, possible costs, and long term planning considerations.

2. Cost of Service Assessments:

Presents cost of service assessments for key business processes for comparing outside vendor quotes-- creates template strategies for evaluating options of overtime, outsourcing, insourcing, and capacity expansion.

3. Mechanics and Crew Chief Survey:

Summarises the results of our survey of Fleet Services staff survey, including their ratings of fleet service delivery, suggestions for improving warehouse operations, customer relations, performance measurement, mechanic training, organisation and other areas.

4. Workload Schedules Evaluation:

Provides guidance and templates in planning and scheduling work and compares performance to other Job Site capacity estimates for maintenance and repair of the fleet.

5. Customer Relations and Outreach:

Provides strategies for improving customer communication, motivation and reporting-- provides guidance and supporting information in conducting customer surveys and developing service level agreements.

6. Customer Survey:

Summarises the results of the customer satisfaction survey of major fleet users, including service quality ratings, comments and suggestions for improvement.

7. Cost of Service Assessments:

Presents cost of service assessments for key business processes for comparing outside vendor quotes-- creates template strategies for evaluating options of overtime, outsourcing, insourcing, and capacity expansion.

8. Performance Measurement and Reporting:

Reviews current performance levels; identifies and explains differences from standards; and proposes strategies to improve shop maintenance operations and work practise

9. Benchmarking Survey:

Provides comparative metrics on and insights into organisational, fiscal, performance and customer related issues for the fleet, describes areas for improvement and implement best practise

10. Parts Stocking Operations:

Reviews warehouse , operations, parts stocking levels, performance, policies and procedures and makes recommendations for improved control and efficiency.



Top 10 Questions Building Out-of-Standard Indicator Narratives for Aircraft Repair Assign


1. What are the common/multiple write-ups for major contributing systems or different systems trends?

2. Is Mission Capable Supply/Mission Impaired Capability Awaiting Parts condition information available on aircraft with high supply times?

3. Are there technical information limitations or lack of proper tools or could parts reuse/transfer been a factor?

4. Do pilot reported discrepancy appearance indicate recent corrective trend in system write-ups for major system contributors?

5. How are shops contacts initiated for repeat/recurs checks made in effort to identify component failures?

6. Have maintenance procedural, training, or skill-level problems been identified?

7. How are quality assurance summaries and deferred discrepancy lists reviewed for positive and negative trends identify problem aircraft or systems?

8. Do Aircraft scheduling deviations for negative maintenance practices and trends impact work
force and workload stability?

9. How is maintenance portion of the base/intermediate repair enhancement programme monitored/evaluated?

10. How to determine performance of selected systems, subsystems, and line-replaceable units to isolate source of problems affecting the mission?

 

Top 10 Integrated Materiel Product Support Design Elements


1. Product Support Admin

2. Design Interface

3. Sustainment Engineering

4. Supply Support

5. Maintenance Planning

6. Parts Package Track

7. Technical Specs

8. Support Equipment

9. Training Support

10. Job Site Infrastructure



Top 10 Potential Operations & Support [O&S] Cost Considerations/Examples


1. Diagnostic & Prognostics

2. Condition-Based Maintenance

3. Repair capabilities for new materiel

4. Wear & Tear prevention/control

5. Modernisation requirements

6. Commonality/Standardisation

7. Open System Architecture

8. Designing for supportability

9. Reliability & maintainability

10. Materiel Source Shortage

 
 

1. Product Support Work Order Design & Schedule Determine


Despite best efforts to improve field-level aircraft sustain work order schedule forecasts, Site Visit Executive remains skeptical about predicting workload growth for future maintenance & modification requirements. The size of workload or category uncertainty of aircraft sustain grows with projection of aircraft fleet utility beyond original plans for service life tasking military has typically planned for real-world, mobile aircraft operations.

DoD officials have been forced to recognise limitations of current policy in defining the term “work”, included in current statute mandates. Specifically, policy does not define the scope of work included in sustainment availabilities or when measuring of that work, i.e estimating the number of days needed to execute the availability, should take place. DoD officials stated efforts are underway to draft revision to policy so term “work” is defined as meaning “work for the overhaul, repair, or maintenance of fleet component.”

Site Visit Executive assign your scheduled maintenance requests to a single equipment, or add multiple equipment if needed. Your scheduled maintenance work requests are automatically generated in advance of their due date and are made available for assignment and review. You can even add reminders to main menu for important scheduled maintenance activities
.
Execution of spare parts tracking still spans multiple DoD participants responsible for action such as supply, transportation, or maintenance are all separate and distinct. Supply personnel determine which parts to stock and in what quantities while transportation personnel are responsible for the movement of these parts between the various components of the logistics system. When a part is broken, another part of the organisation with its own personnel determines how and when to repair items.

Adding to the complexity of this structure is the fact that other support areas such as contracting,and engineering have their own functional structures and guidelines for operation. This structure, while useful for the control and assignment of personnel, is not aligned to the process of buying and sustaining parts needed to support a weapon system.

Work Order system accommodates variety of Maintenance Authorisation, Approval & Scheduling of Jobs.. It is critical each Job site determines how to implement product to fit mission requirements. Specifically, users must determine what approval stages are necessary, where the input will be done and who will be responsible for input/verification processes.

Running results from our simulation models indicate field-level units could significantly reduce work order schedule times for repair activities by increasing supply levels of available parts and establishing quality assurance sampling of current repair process behaviour by dispatchers.


2. Supply Line Connection Source Selection Decisions

DoD functions as web of contractual relationships, for example provision of Spare Parts to sidelined aircraft. Each relationship—the acquisition of an input, Job Site work order assignment to product support agent, the exchange of a product or service between supplier and customer—is critical to future missions. Understanding the basic characteristics of work orders is the key to answering the “make-or-buy” decision.

As DoD comes under increasing pressure to cut expenses and improve their return on assets, the dilemma of whether to keep key functions in-house or outsource them has taken center stage. What does this mean for Site Visit Executive? Reviews of business units must be designed that thoroughly evaluate the costs, benefits, risks, and rewards of outsourcing and the implications of keeping the work order activity in-house.

Strategies leading to mission success include strategic importance to DoD of the product or service that is being considered for outsourcing, as well as the process, technologies, or skills required to make the product or deliver the service. These factors must be considered in the context of current competitive conditions and also in anticipation of how conditions might change in the future.

Only one size or one approach does not fit all circumstances. Here, acquisition solutions must be drawn from a limited but highly skilled source. Even while competitive approach works well for repetitive products, with a choice of solutions from wide number of sources, it fails to operate effectively where the solution is unique or non-repetitive. Non-repetitive procurement depends on supplier base invested in a ‘body of knowledge’, and specialist skills, something that can only be acquired over an extended period working cooperatively with the acquiring organisation procuring the goods.

As demonstrated by the variety of factors and risks that need to be taken into account by DoD in its dealings with product support providers, the decision of in-house versus outsource should not be made without careful consideration. Site Visit Executive attention is essential to making sure that review of options is initiated and conducted diligently and objectively.

Measurement issues are important to relationship between suppliers and DoD. From the point of view of measurement, the best Performance-Based Logistics candidates are those with external markets for services, and clear outcomes that can easily be related to mission objectives. When markets are not available, or when components or logistical elements are so deeply embedded in a weapon system that support services are difficult to tie to warfighting outcomes, better tools and guidance are needed to support valuation decisions and contract negotiations.


3. Product Support Requirements Define Purchase Function

So how does one determine how to best structure design of aircraft programmes? Whether you are Site Visit Executive, chief engineer, contracting officer, or in product support, you have to start in the same place. You begin with Deep Dives into requirements and operational solutions for the product you intend to acquire. Key to Site Visit Executive Job is determining optimal programme structure/function so high performance is realised in acquiring specific product. Smart execution of product administrative process requirements must be most significant determinant of programme structure.

Design the Support” processes are based on output support process design as described previously—i.e., levels of spares, common & unique tools, test equipment & training Site Visit Executive must procure and specify. For example, support equipment support tasks are generated by Site Visit Executive to specify requirements and determine if existing equipment can be used or whether new equipment must be designed and procured. Properly tailored product support packages, based on technical requirements of system design, will yield most affordable and operationally ready capability.

When dealing with requirements for available equipment, product support tasks must be included as some level of repair simulation accuracy to achieve mission-capable state. Site Visit Executive has designed logistics support strategies closely related to simulated variables at play to ensure accurate levels of equipment are tasked to meet field-level unit mission targets. Directives take form of spare parts provision, maintainer training & identification of required product support enablers.

Instead of insisting on DoD understanding of requirements for critical systems being a condition of purchase, DoD appears content to rely on assurances from a suppliers about the performance of the elements within the system In general, freedom of action rests on the assurance that DoD will be able to use equipment – or continue to use them –whenever required; and that when acted upon, performance will follow as required.


4. Fiscal Purchase Estimates of Product Support Logistics

Site Visit Executive cost estimating guide is intended to be applicable to programmes and assets in all stages of service life, including maintenance and support. Updating standard support levels periodically would lower budgetary risk by using actual metrics to better inform future depot maintenance estimates.

Best Site Visit Executive practices can help ensure that work order cost estimates are comprehensive and accurate, which can help ensure that funds will be available when needed. Well-documented cost estimating process and the use of accurate historical metrics should enable more efficient operations.

Work Order Breakdown Structure provides basis for communication in all phases of acquisition process. Serves as common link unifies planning, scheduling, cost estimating, budgeting, contracting, configuration control & performance reporting disciplines. Consistent communications permits DoD to evaluate progress in terms of contract performance.

Effective programme and cost control requires ongoing revisions to the cost estimate, budget, and projected estimates at completion. Further, a competent cost estimate is the key foundation of a sound budget. Not updating the estimated costs with actual expenditures could lead to ineffective planning by those responsible for conducting depot-level maintenance.

If standard support levels estimates are not put under review/update the standard support levels there is no way to accurately know what the actual depot maintenance needs are for each asset class. This can limit decision makers as DoD seeks to succeed in challenging fiscal times and allocate resources best to support of more modern and capable assets.


5. Coordinate Readiness Process Integration Dispatch Centre

Information from readiness systems is required to determine number of pieces of equipment available for deployment. No Site Visit Executive has created an easy way to link equipment information available from readiness and Services systems.

Current readiness systems only include commander’s best estimate for equipment status. Estimates have traditionally been utilised usually for overall equipment assigned to the unit and not individual pieces of equipment. Military Services use systems to maintain records of equipment under service, but records do not include any information about what units it is assigned to.

Readiness Terms are used in different contexts/processes. Operational gaps in systems used by Field Units must be closed so exchange is seamless. Capability to link information as it is processed by Units must be built.

Aggregated information provided to Commanders must be traced/linked to operational systems used to rollup information. Unfortunately, no Site Visit Executive has yet stood up to identify functions spanning across process and write terms required to support processes.

Site Visit Executive must fully consider field level mission satisfaction metrics. The importance of the ‘Troop View’ is related to balanced scorecards impacting mission success. Satisfaction of Field-level Troops is an important predictor of future success, as Unhappy Units are unlikely to return in future. It is also a way to gauge quality of service delivery, which is difficult to measure through direct observation of the process.

 
 
We have shaped future aircraft sustainment enterprise to examine subsystem part component commonality across weapon systems so effects of new or emerging equipment upgrade/repair simulation work order technology for subsystem Logistics strategies have potential to be evaluated by Site Visit Executive.

Logistics frameworks inform decisions about equipment product support activities, such as improving quality of supply line component dispatch or work order engineering practise. For example, framework info can inform Site Visit Executive decision making for reliable/maintain parameters by providing basis for comparison with information from previous model aircraft.

Site Visit Executive has determined Gaps exists between traditional Logistics techniques for determination of work order content and rapid purchasing processes detailed in Supply Line Connections. Balance must be achieved between providing new capabilities required for real-world, mobile aircraft tasking and resulting effects on long-term support of that capability.

Although field-level mission modeling/simulation has been used at military installations for a long time, the emphasis has always been on war-gaming simulation. We have illustrated the utility of new “Impact Proximity” work order modeling/simulation created for military aviation logistics applications.

Recent advances in modeling/simulation technology, especially in detailing supply line route connection quality for critical equipment components, have made simulation implementation easier because Site Visit Executive has created ability to quickly identify scope of work order problems, creating potential to choose appropriate Logistics model to be utilised, and execute smart solutions.

Current DoD Equipment Repair Models scenarios where future supply/support allocations tend to be extrapolated from historical aircraft mission requirements. These models are not flexible enough to predict repair work order scenarios when there are significant changes to mission requirements e.g., mobilisation

Despite best efforts to improve field-level aircraft sustain work order forecasts, Site Visit Executive remains skeptical about predicting workload growth for future maintenance & modification requirements. The size of workload or category uncertainty of aircraft sustain grows with projection of aircraft fleet utility beyond original plans for service life tasking military has typically planned for real-world, mobile aircraft operations.

As such, we have cited major deficits in established forecasting models. Site Visit Executive has identified Logistics mechanisms for multiple factors such as new materiel consumption processes and operational functions to influence work order growth likely to emerge as aircraft fleets continue to be pushed past expected service life.

It is difficult to project cost/benefit of new Logistics/Support Operations to bottom line of executing military flight sorties. System wide work order implementation can be achieved once supply line routing connections are established for system components. Multiple types of aircraft are subject to service/support scan for equipment component commonality prospects. Site Visit Executive signs off on work orders completed with status updates.

Forecasting aircraft system component requirements typically calculate ratio of future flying hours to past flying hours for aircraft using specific part component estimates before applying ratio to historical demand for part components. We conclude this technique results in misdirected work order utilisation mostly because 1) correlation of specific parts to specific aircraft types is not accurate, 2) does not base projections on many combinations of aircraft employing part, and 3) does not incorporate influence of lengthy procurement times into future flying-hours projections.

DoD officials have been forced to recognise limitations of current policy in defining the term “work”, included in current statute mandates. Specifically, policy does not define the scope of work included in sustainment availabilities or when measuring of that work, i.e estimating the number of days needed to execute the availability, should take place. DoD officials stated efforts are underway to draft revision to policy so term “work” is defined as meaning “work for the overhaul, repair, or maintenance of fleet component.”

While the complexity of the aircraft may at first seem overwhelming to the do-it-yourself mechanic, work order design can be simplified and more easily understood by viewing the aircraft as an assembly of simpler systems, each performing its own independent functions.

This section of the manual is intended to help the beginner get started smartly with aircraft maintenance and repair. The section begins with system component Form/Function determination, a general description of the aircraft and its individual systems, followed by discussions mediated by Site Visit Executive on How to Use This Manual utilising established work order techniques.

Tips on mechanic skills and workshop practices designed to assist beginner in performing faster, complete, and more thorough work orders can be found under Getting Started. Here we describe basic tools required to execute most procedures in this manual for simple Gearbox Repair Simulation. The section ends with a quick reference guide of what to do when Gearbox requires repair, including basic troubleshooting and information on how to gauge the seriousness of a problem.

For example, once aircraft component gearbox is received at the depot maintenance facility, a maintenance request form is completed and the gearbox is logged into the work order system using standardised maintenance request template to update status. The gearbox is then moved to the appropriate back shop for disassembly, cleaning, inspection, and repair.

The back shop technician initiates work order process with an aircraft technical inspection status updates, entering design specification of the gearbox with the type of inspection—in this case overhaul. This is when the various inspection intervals are updated; i.e., initial, in-progress, and final. All repair actions associated with the overhaul are included on associated maintenance action work order status update.

The gearbox is completely disassembled and all sub-components are cleaned. This is followed by an in-depth inspection of sub-components, with any unserviceable sub-components discarded. An initial inspection would likely be conducted at this point to verify work order details assigned for determination of sub-component service potential.

Reassembly of the gearbox begins with in-progress inspections completed at critical assembly points. Any outstanding status updates to work orders are established by completing an equipment modification record. Any design specifications of replaced components are recorded on the related maintenance work order action record. All component parts replaced are captured on the maintenance request form, along with time/resources it took to complete the maintenance so Site Visit Executive can plan allocations for subsequent Upgrade/Repair Simulations.

Once the gearbox is fully assembled and all maintenance entries are completed, final inspections are performed. Updated aircraft component removal and repair/overhaul record is filled in on work order, showing zero time since overhaul. That aircraft component removal and repair/overhaul record is packed with the gearbox. If status update to work order was completed, the equipment modification record is also included.

Finally, a serviceable materiel tag is completed, signed by Site Visit Executive, and attached to the gearbox. The serviceable materiel tag reflects same information used to create the aircraft component removal and repair/overhaul record, in case critical work order information is lost.

The maintenance request is then completed, the maintenance work order is closed out, the maintenance design specifications filed, and the gearbox is returned in a ready-for-issue condition for use in Field-level operations.

We assign your scheduled maintenance requests to a single equipment, or add multiple equipment if needed. Your scheduled maintenance work requests are automatically generated in advance of their due date and are made available for assignment and review. You can even add reminders to main menu for important scheduled maintenance activities.

Either your organisation prefers highly automated rules-based system to get work order request into hands of a technician virtually automatically, or a more manual system where Help Desk Dispatchers make decisions about when and who handles a particular work order.

1. Create, receive and route application-based work requests: Work request is basic communication tool for reporting Job Site problem so action can be initiated to get it fixed.

2. Obtain approvals as part of workflow if necessary:  Generate workflows to mirror organisation processes for getting work done.

3. Receive alerts on critical issues in workflow: Allow for prioritising work must to be done and ability to work orders.

4. View comprehensive list of work orders in process: Provide activity feeds, grids and reporting capability to see what work has yet to be completed and how long work in backlog.

5. Highlight overdue work, or sort work orders on space or technician basis: Offers Job Site tools and reports so available information to keep the operations running smoothly.

6. Link related work orders: Being able to group work orders allows for more efficient assignment of work to be done.

7. Attach drawings and specs, etc.: See drawings, pages of repair manuals and other documents to speed up asset repair and maintenance process.

8. Define work order schedule: Schedule work to be done so field-levels can submit work requests or query requests to see when it will be done.

9. Create and update Task Schedule of pending work orders: Use task schedules to keep track of what work is being done and when.

10. Schedule proactive Jobs: Any work request can be made repetitive by filling out additional checks defining dates, times and frequency; add reminders.

 
 
So how does one determine how to best structure design of aircraft programmes? Whether you are Site Visit Executive, chief engineer, contracting officer, or in product support, you have to start in the same place. You begin with Deep Dives into requirements and operational solutions for the product you intend to acquire. Key to your Job is determining optimal programme structure/function so high performance is realised in acquiring specific product. Smart execution of product administrative process requirements must be most significant determinant of programme structure.

It is easy to understand because DoD is absolutely strapped for cash it wants minimal restrictions on its freedom of action. Some approaches deliver all the flexibility DoD could hope for, while offering suppliers some degree of support. So they can make appropriate preparations.

However, as a policy statement to guide the recommendations and decisions of Congress, the approach is fundamentally flawed, not least because of the circular nature of the lines of argument that it advances at the highest level of procurement strategy. It leaves to the future a situation in which almost any procurement choice will be justifiable by at least one part of the policy.

The policy offers little incentive for suppliers to invest in the future of DoD.. It offers the prospect forces will be equipped only with systems that are freely available to others and the potential for national freedom of action will evaporate. It represents a lost opportunity to well-define place of supply lines so critical to DoD missions.

The headline statement from this policy is that core position of DoD will be to buy on the basis of competition on the biggest market stage. With the aim to create opportunities to deliver much-needed direction the policy advocates for use competition as our default position, looking to markets for products that are proven, that are reliable, and that meet current needs by applying the principle of open procurement so greatest possible value for money is realised.

Instead of insisting on DoD understanding of how critical systems work being a condition of purchase, DoD appears content to rely on assurances from a contractor about the performance of the elements within the system In general, freedom of action rests on the assurance that DoD will be able to use equipment – or continue to use them –whenever required; and that when acted upon, performance will follow as required.

For DoD, freedom of action includes being able to conduct combat operations at a time and place of its choosing. Some general cases in which action is likely to be needed in the interests of national security’ are of potentially great importance and so should be reported in full.

First, we examine case where there required capability fundamental to national freedom of action The leading example of this is secure information and communications transfer so DoD can conduct its business securely at the highest level, including communications with posts overseas and commanders of deployed forces. The need to protect the most sensitive information, wherever it is in the world, creates requirement to control aspects of deployment/support critical to integrity of the product.

Second, is the case where fulfillment of requirement, or operation of the resulting capability, is heavily dependent on supplier having access to highly classified intelligence information or technologies. In these circumstances, DoD is only be able to consider suppliers of equipment and support services that meet the highest standards of trust can be considered. An example of this case includes weapons and propulsion systems required for crucial deterrence polices vital to defense of the Nation.

Third, in the case where operational circumstances mandate changes to in-service capabilities that can only be met by having an assured ability to respond– particularly in terms of technical expertise and knowledge – at the highest levels of speed and agility. A leading example of this is electronic warfare and systems where the ability to update deployed capability in the light of intelligence is essential to survivability.

Finally, take as example the case where potential operational advantage when using a particular capability requires highest possible confidence in one or more aspects of its performance. Policy is not clear as to whether all the major DoD platforms and systems utilised by DoD forces are central to national freedom of action . However, policy includes overarching language that argues that operational advantage is seen to require DoD understands most, if not all the technology it is using, so that it can exploit the systems concerned to their limits.

A key issue for DoD is the ability to enure operation of critical sub-systems, to often include design and operation of complex electronics and associated features. Request assurances relating to processes and components used in build of sub-systems, as well as subsequent operation and support for entire service life. Without these assurances, DoD will be unable to judge level of operational risk or take appropriate action to mitigate mission crises.

Without assurances and knowledge transfer, DoD should not buy from an external supplier, and must be able to sustain/modify its equipment that it owns. It is questionable whether assurances are sufficient substitute for certain knowledge about such matters as operational performance. But policy goes on to add furthers qualifications, which takes things back to the beginning.

Policy dictates that even national security considerations do not enjoy absolute dominance, since it would function as constraint on future action. Policy states extent to which we choose to protection of operational advantages and freedom of action is chosen, there will always be balance of risk and opportunity cost. As with all acquisition choices, decision whether to take action depends on other factors, particularly the balance of risk, affordability, and value for money.

Policy contains an argument meant to square the circle when it asserts exposing suppliers competition, will stimulate them to become efficient and successful. Congress is concerned that if companies felt they were in a privileged position, they would lose their edge. Proponents promote notion that drivers of supplier success must be their competitiveness and if shielded from competition you actually undermine their ability to compete. This is tough love, being cruel to be kind, and so on.

But this argument focuses only on the short term. The policy fails to consider medium and long-term effects of competition in the high-technology sectors dealing with DoD. There are well-known attributes of the market in that there are only a small number of customers for highly advanced equipment and it is almost impossible to secure orders without an endorsement in the form of purchase by DoD. In several sectors, including combat aircraft and medium-range missiles, DoD places orders only rarely.

Suppliers bidding in a competition can be under significant pressure to make a highly optimistic bid in order to win the only contract that matters. Unsuccessful suppliers in competition tend to abandon their capabilities and leave the sector instead of paying for them until the next competition comes along. Finally, in the most demanding areas of DoD interactions with suppliers, including aerospace systems, the fiscal, technological and intellectual barriers to entry for new suppliers are huge.

Policy does not take account of the fact that the sustained use of competitive tendering in important sectors where there is a need for major intellectual capacity for design/production leads to number of suppliers being reduced to one. Competition is central aspect of DoD procurement policy and its impact can be assessed over a significant period of time.

DoD must take on board the notion that competitive tendering is appropriate and viable long-term only for products with a modest intellectual content and where the need for prior capital investment is modest. Acquisition covers a broad spectrum from simple repetitive/ physical purchasing all the way to complex non-repetitive/highly intellectual procurement.

Only one size or one approach does not fit all circumstances. Here, acquisition solutions must be drawn from a limited but highly skilled source. Even while competitive approach works well for repetitive products, with a choice of solutions from wide number of sources, it fails to operate effectively where the solution is unique or non-repetitive.

So DoD procurements require differentiation, destroying the policy argument for universally simple commercial competitive practise. Non-repetitive procurement depends on supplier base
invested in a ‘body of knowledge’, and specialist skills, something that can only be acquired over an extended period working cooperatively with the acquiring organisation procuring the goods.

Policy surely does not provide solid ground and foundation for any effort to establish DoD procurement divisions with breathing room when considering Congressional actions. As the policy stands carte blanche is given to make choices based on short-term affordability considerations or on risks focused on initial cost, time and performance factors.

When Congress drafts binding language, frequently use is made of term ‘normally’ to ensure that a specific rule can be bypassed. Policy contains enough qualifications in its directions to ensure very wide range of common practise can be compatible with it.

Policy pins down DoD to few firm courses of action that involve significant resources, and almost any behaviour and decision could be justified by reference to its language. It might also be seen to incentivise suppliers to strive harder for efficiency and effectiveness, although it could also lead more suppliers to concluding DoD is not the best partner to do business with.

Many times for multi-dimensional and challenging problems, leaders choose clear simple answer, which is usually wrong . Policy exerts clear and simple answer to the challenges of defence procurement, to buy through open competition in the market, even while accompanied by qualifying material explaining that may not always be the sound thing to do.

In the interests of space and time limitations imposed by this report, we have not reviewed some important aspects of Policy notably research/technology spending DoD imperative to restore, preserve & strengthen its status as good customer. Some suppliers do not have muscle to lead sales efforts in which DoD affects interest. Also, we do not address requirements for suppliers with technology/integration skills to build large systems and resource base to take on significant risk. We also do not consider requirements to shape/preserve national technology base.

It can be stated with confidence that, despite concerns, procurement sections of the Policy will be implemented, simply because virtually any procurement choice will be able to be associated with some words somewhere to be found in the Policy. There is pressing need for more accountability at DoD, but the jury is still out on the prospect of policymakers who gave shape to it will still be around to take responsibility for its results when impacts are felt on missions critical to future success of the Force.

1. What advances in maturity state of product technology are possible and how much risk is involved?

2. In addition to the technology that is included, how complicated/similar is design to other products you have experience with?

3. How difficult are the integration aspects of building the product?

4. How urgently is the product needed for field-level operations?

5. How prepared are suppliers to design and build the product?

6. How much uncertainty is there about the proper balance of cost and capability?

7. What are field-level unit priorities for performance?

8. What resource constraints i.e., fiscal, supplier competition/expertise, time, will affect programme risk?

9. Is cost or schedule most important and what are the best ways to control them on this programme?

10. What is the right balance of risk and incentives to provide suppliers with so results field-level units requirements are met?

 
 
Running Repair Shop isn’t just a job, it’s a massive responsibility. There’s no shortage of details to keep on top of. If there’s a breakdown in operations, it costs both time and money... and all eyes fall on you. Here are just a few benefits you’ll experience by implementing Site Visit Executive Recommendations.

Information from readiness systems is required to determine number of pieces of equipment available for deployment. No Site Visit Executive has created an easy way to link equipment information available from readiness and Services systems.

Current readiness systems only include commander’s best estimate for equipment status. Estimates have traditionally been utilised usually for overall equipment assigned to the unit and not individual pieces of equipment. Military Services use systems to maintain records of equipment under service, but records do not include any information about what units it is assigned to.

Readiness Terms are used in different contexts/processes. Operational gaps in systems used by Field Units must be closed so exchange is seamless. Capability to link information as it is processed by Units must be built.

Aggregated information provided to Commanders must be traced/linked to operational systems used to rollup information. Unfortunately, no Site Visit Executive has yet stood up to identify functions spanning across process and write terms required to support processes

There is lots of work required to set up a successful Repair Shop. But once it is in place, most metrics remain the same.

Under some circumstances, changes are required only when there is an addition or deletion to inventory or when cost increases and estimates need to be corrected.

In these cases, appropriate work orders and schedules must be revised and the labour, equipment, materiel and contract costs updated.

Site Visit Executive must monitor work progress every time period situation with potential impact of service breakdown and review budgets before it is too late to take any corrective action.

Any changes in labour hours or work order costs for assets repair must be identified by Site Visit Executive through exception reporting and determine cause of changes.

Site Visit Executive must take action to reduce time/costs and take steps to improve efficiency and effectiveness of Repair Shop operations.

1. Decrease distractions & improve work flow

Is your repair ship bombarded with service “requests” – also known as unanticipated phone calls and drop-ins from outsiders? Streamline your service request intake so requests can be reviewed and dealt with in an organised way, without disruptions to work flow.

2. Save time & money

Instead of scrambling from problem to problem – losing time and money every step of the way, we help you tackle equipment repair proactively. Closely monitor costs and services with our detailed reports. Catch potential problems before they start and identify what is draining money from your budget.

3. Simple to learn, easy to use

You don’t have time to struggle with difficult, uncoordinated processes. We designed tools to spit out the information you need with the least effort from you. If services and inspections are scheduled to occur close together, you can pull them into the same work order, reduce asset downtime and minimise administrative busy-work.

4. Increase productivity

Why torture yourself with pencil-pushing when we can do it for you? Work Orders automatically pull in due services, procedures, and required parts. Purchase Orders automatically pull in low-stock inventory items. You get the idea – it’s all about the future of automated technology dispatch.

5. Make informed decisions

Detailed, one-click reports provide all the information you need, helping you better allocate resources, control costs, and predict future repair shop requirements

6. Protect your assets

Don’t wait until assets fail before you take care of them. Scheduling proactive inspections will help minimise asset downtime and extend the life of your assets, ultimately saving you money.

7. Get work done on time – no excuses

Schedule services on time, every time. Pop-up notifications ensure workers know what they have to do and when. Work Orders can contain detailed notes and procedures so work is done correctly.

8. Improve allocation of labour

Track labour activities and inputs for each work order, helping you ensure efficient use of shop resources and control every cost going into asset repair and maintenance – every part, every hour of labour, you name it. Find the lemons that are costing you money, and shave off the unnecessary expenses.

9. Prevent inventory shortages

Is your inventory disorganised and out of control? Do you have way too many of one item, but always scrambling last-minute to buy another? Detailed inventory and automated purchase order system enables you to keep your inventory organised, purchase more efficiently, and prevent downtime.

10. Reduce messy paperwork

Less paper means less clutter in your work area. No more searches for lost work orders, phone numbers and so on. It’s all neatly stored and organised in one place . You also won’t have to decipher illegible handwriting on work orders anymore.

Officials stated depot maintenance estimates are not adjusted or updated over the service life of an asset class. That is a Shocking Statement considering maintenance accounts for over 10% of Budget, or about $60 Billion annually.

Periodically updating depot maintenance cost estimates—in accordance with cost estimating best practices—for each asset class will be sure to provide decision makers with much needed information with which to determine future budgets.

We received Several Excuses:

First, officials stated that cost estimating best practices are most applicable to new acquisitions.

But our cost estimating guide is intended to be applicable to programmes and assets in all stages of service life, including maintenance and support. Updating standard support levels periodically would lower budgetary risk by using actual metrics to better inform future depot maintenance estimates.

Second, officials described how sustainment and maintenance costs can be uncertain and challenging to estimate, and efforts have been started to operate through centralised management of its depot-level maintenance funds for all assets.

But best practices can help ensure that cost estimates are comprehensive and accurate, which can help ensure that funds will be available when needed.

Third, officials explained that given the current fiscal issues, it would be best to focus on improvements that do not require additional resources.

But well-documented cost estimating process and the use of accurate historical metrics should enable more efficient operations.

By not updating the standard support levels with information on actual expenditures, there is no way to know what the actual depot-level maintenance needs are of its assets. Best practices state that programmes should be monitored continuously for their cost effectiveness by comparing planned and actual performance against the approved baseline.

Effective programme and cost control requires ongoing revisions to the cost estimate, budget, and projected estimates at completion. Further, a competent cost estimate is the key foundation of a sound budget. Not updating the estimated costs with actual expenditures could lead to ineffective planning by those responsible for conducting depot-level maintenance.

Finally, officials stated that they do not update their depot maintenance estimates with actual expenditures because doing so would cause individual budget line items to constantly change.

But by not reviewing and updating the standard support levels there is no way to accurately know what the actual depot maintenance needs are for each asset class. This can limit decision makers as they seek to succeed in challenging fiscal times and allocate resources best to support of more modern and capable assets.

Some F-35 suppliers are delivering late and non-conforming parts, resulting in production line inefficiencies and workarounds. Quality issues with insulation on the coolant tubes in the fuel tanks resulted in the contractor delivering less aircraft. According to contractor deliveries of parts are largely due to late contract awards and supply base capacity. While supplier performance is generally improving, it is important for suppliers to be prepared for both production and sustainment support going forward. Inefficiencies, such as conducting production line work out of sequence, could be exacerbated if late delivery of parts continues as production more than doubles over the next 5 years.

Work Order Breakdown Structure Requirements Summary

Contract work breakdown structures result from weapons system procurements are not always intended to be standardised.

Most logical product-oriented work orders submitted by the contractor may be sufficient to meet DoD needs for reasonably consistent programme performance evaluations.

Work breakdown structure format was never intended to be enforced word for word, but to be used as starting point for continued improvements.

Rigidity of task procedures and consistency of performance evaluations are issues to be resolved before solicitation release, or at least before contract award.

After contract award, at each milestone point between programme procurement phases, Contract work orders provide framework for delineating multiple areas of responsibility.

Responsibilities to require attention include funding status, schedules, future contract performance & integrating total programme requirements.

Top 10 Job Site Task Features for Capable Service Function

1. Create and track buys with full-feature purchase order system

2. Build “parts list” for like-make/models as parts are charged out

3. Assess full-feature work orders with multiple operations/technicians

4. Transfer parts inventory between connected locations

5. Suspend repair scheduling for “out of service” models

6. Value inventory at average cost with user-defined fields

7. Respond in time to work order tasks via “reminders” feature

8. Import supplier “lists,” such as part numbers

9. Customise individual screens & add outside repair detail to history

10. Produce order queries for unique, specialised reports