Original Date: 12/06/2004
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Multi-User Engineering Change Proposal Automated Review System
The Multi-User Engineering Change Proposal Automated Review System is a government-off-the- shelf, web-based software application used to process engineering change documents. The system has reduced average processing time from 30 to 45 days to 3 days.
The U.S. Army Aviation & Missile Command (AMCOM) Integrated Materiel Management Center’s (IMMC’s) Multi-User Engineering Change Proposal (ECP) Automated Review System (MEARS) is a web-based software application used to process ECPs, Requests for Waivers (RFWs), and Requests for Deviations (RFDs). MEARS has helped managers monitor and manage the engineering change process.
The MEARS was developed as a result of the Department of Defense’s (DoD’s) Continuous Acquisition and Life- cycle Support (CALS) initiative and was conceived from a set of CALS Cost Benefit Analysis Studies performed in FY90 by the U.S. Army Missile Command’s CALS Office. These studies demonstrated potentially large savings in ECP automation. A prototype of MEARS was demonstrated in August 1991, with Version 1.0 being released in September 1993. The latest version, 9.4.c, was released in November 2006.
The MEARS enables engineering change documents to be electronically created, reviewed, approved or disapproved, integrated, and archived. Users can import documents from outside sources into MEARS. The documents can be viewed in ECPs, RFWs, and RFDs using hypertext provided by Internet web browsers. ECP reviewers can add comments to the ECP, RFW, SCN, or RFD, and recommend approval or disapproval of the documents. If drawings are attached, reviewers can electronically mark up drawings by adding circles, boxes, lines, and/or arrows with comments. Reviewers look at comments made by other reviewers and make their own comments and recommendations. This ensures the maintenance of an ECP’s complete history.
The MEARS reduced ECP review time by 85% and processing time from an average of 30 to 45 days to an average of 3 days; improved efficiency by using an integrated drawing tool, MEARSVue; lowered processing costs by eliminating paperwork during the review process that resulted in an annual savings of $85K in paper cost alone; and improved efficiency in approving changes by integrating engineering drawings, sketches, charts, and documents with a built-in image viewer.
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