Army updating 'the way we do business'
- By George I. Seffers
- Jul 27, 2000
Army's Single Stock Fund home page
If successful, the Army's nearly completed demonstration of the Single Stock
Fund, an effort to revolutionize Army logistics, will clear the way for
Army-wide implementation beginning in October.
The Single Stock Fund initiative requires a massive re-engineering of software.
It is designed to merge the Army's wholesale and retail inventory management
and associated financial accounting practices under a single manager. Therefore,
systems used for wholesale logistics, for example, must be reconfigured
to accept data from retail logistics systems.
Army officials said the result will be reduced operating costs and the ability
to view and manage supplies better.
"This is a re-engineering of the way we do business, but it's not a modernization
of systems," said Martin Wolfe, chief of the Business Systems Directorate
of the Communications-Electronics Command's Software Engineering Institute.
"We're using the same legacy systems but modifying them for a totally new
way of doing business. We're taking the data from existing systems and putting
it into the appropriate new format to allow us to integrate both the wholesale
and retail processes into one."
The Army's current logistics system has several limitations, including:
* Outmoded technology and stovepiped systems, meaning systems are designed
to suit a limited set of needs without sharing data with other systems.
* Confusing descriptions of logistics warfighting systems and processes.
* Resources focused on short-term solutions.
Changes to several systems are involved, including the Commodity Command
Standard System and the Army Materiel Command Installation Supply System.
Re-engineering the Commodity Command Standard System will cost more than
$20 million, while changes made to the Army Materiel Command Installation
Supply System will cost $500,000 this year alone.
"There is a tremendous amount of [software re-engineering] changes. There
are about 150 engineering change proposals," Wolfe said. "Commodity Command
Standard System alone has millions of lines of code."
With all but about a dozen of the changes now complete, the service is also
on the verge of completing a demonstration of the re-engineered systems
and processes at three installations: Fort Sill, Okla.; Fort Lewis, Wash.;
and Redstone Arsenal, Ala. If the demonstration goes well, the Army will
begin to implement the re-engineered process in October, slowly expanding
to include the rest of the Army in 2002.