Original Date: 04/07/1997
Revision Date: 04/14/2003
Information : Implementation of the Standard Industrial Funds System
The Standard Industrial Funds System (SIFS) was mandated for use by Rock Island Arsenal (RIA) as part of a change in the Department of the Army’s policy requiring uniformity in Army installation accounting and budgeting systems. Direction to migrate to this system occurred during a period in which simultaneous implementation of several other accounting systems were already underway, creating difficulties in achieving a smooth transition. RIA was confronting the need to transition to the following automated systems concurrentlyTime and Attendance Reporting; Civilian Pay; Defense Property Accountability System; and SIFS.
The difficulties in implementing SIFS were compounded by a short notification time of six months; poor SIFS user manuals and associated documentation; inadequate training in the use of SIFS and limited knowledge of the system; and the realization that SIFS was intended for Depot application vice an installation with a large array of unique and disparate missions.
Once the system was established, the initial exercise of SIFS indicated a serious operating loss due to element operating losses in the areas of labor variances, order losses, and clearing account losses. Although gains in applied overhead and inventory were also indicated by this initial system use, the overall result indicated unacceptable SIFS function for RIA. The then current SIFS configuration did not allow for an accurate portrayal of how the installation was conducting its business. The need for change was driven by several possible consequences workload reductions underway which invariably forced operating cost increases to the point of installation closure; privatization pressures; and indicated operating losses which, unless reconciled, represented a sizeable percentage of the operating budget (a 24% increase in product cost).
In response to the imperative to correct the inadequacies in the way SIFS functioned for RIA, a corrective action task force of 84 employees within RIA and other installations was organized into teams with the mandate to address 273 individual tasks for analyzing SIFS function and correcting the way data inputs were used to depict financial posture. Over 14,000 hours were spent in these efforts, with concurrent close monitoring of task accomplishment, recasting of remaining tasks as required, and reconciliation of the resultant multiple forecasts of net operating results.
The result of the efforts to more accurately and effectively use SIFS are indicated by a FY98 reduction in direct labor costs of $9.87 per hour, 46 system change requests to more effectively adapt SIFS to the RIA environment, and a corresponding thorough streamlining of financial asset accounting procedures. The system is currently functioning satisfactorily for RIA.
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