Original Date: 01/26/1998
Revision Date: 01/18/2003
Information : Material Management Process Improvement Initiative
Material management at Corpus Christi Army Depot (CCAD) involves the management and supply of all material required to support the Depot’s core business processes of overhaul and repair of aircraft and components. The material management process improvement initiative is aimed at schedule conformancemeeting production schedules by getting the right material, to the right location, in the right condition, and on time.
A study performed by Coopers and Lybrand over a five-month period charted each Directorate’s labor activities required to get material to the production floor. Activities included requisitioning materials; shipping and receiving; expediting materials; storing, managing and maintaining inventory; and distribution. The study exposed the magnitude of costs associated with the current material management process. This revelation justified additional investigation of the process and an effort to reduce cycle time and the associated material management activity costs.
A project team was established and a multi-phased approach was adopted. The team’s first step was to establish a project work schedule. The team then developed a full understanding of the “As Is” material management process and developed “To Be” scenarios. By analyzing the “As Is” versus “To Be” models, the team developed improvement recommendations and a plan to implement the recommendations.
The analysis methodology included documentation of a high-level conceptual map of the material management process. After the conceptual map was completed, the team developed a very detailed process flow diagram. Using this diagram, the team documented Route By Walking About (RBWA) segments of the process flow and identified specific tasks associated with each RBWA. Twenty-five RBWA segments were identified, described, and charted. The gathered metrics for each RBWA was analyzed and improvement recommendations were developed. High cycle-time contributors included delays from labor intensive paperwork; performance of many non-value added steps; waiting for drawings, information, and data; personnel not communicating in a timely manner; and non-responsive vendors.
Because the material management process is an intricate process woven throughout all Depot activities, a process owner was established. The process owner is the single point of contact responsible for the entire material management process. The process owner reports to the Depot’s Civilian Executive Assistant and has authority to cross Directorate lines to resolve issues. A project manager was also identified, with the responsibility of coordinating the project with other improvement initiatives, supervising implementation, and maintaining the project work plan. A subject matter expert was assigned as the lead person responsible for implementing each specific recommendation.
The material management initiative is justified and its approach is sound. Criteria for prioritizing recommendation implementation is based on those recommendations that have the lowest risk and cost, and the most potential benefit to the Depot. The “To Be” goal of the Material Management Improvement Initiative is a 70% reduction in cycle time for the flow of material and supplies.
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