Logistics system slips six months

A $500 million Defense Logistics Agency program to give the military rapid access to logistics information has slipped off schedule by six months because the pilot project needs more work, according to DLA officials.

The Business Systems Modernization (BSM) program, expected to be complete in 2005, is designed to apply commercial practices and enterprise resource planning (ERP) technology to give the services better information about the availability of supplies when they are planning missions.

DLA, which provides worldwide combat logistics support for the Pentagon, began a limited fielding, or "concept demonstration," last summer when it began processing customer orders for selected items using BSM's tools and re-engineered practices, said David Falvey, program executive officer for DLA information operations.

Rumors had the program's completion being delayed by a full year, but Falvey, along with Allen Banghart, DLA enterprise transformation director, said that though the completion date "requires some adjustment, it has not been pushed back a year."

The pilot, which involves about 390 users, 100 supervisors and 170,000 line items, "was designed to teach us how to successfully deliver this incredibly complex ERP in the uncharted waters of Defense logistics," Falvey and Banghart wrote in a joint e-mail message.

"We learned the lessons the concept demo promised, and our schedule adjustments realistically reflect the time required to bring 4.6 million line items and 4,000-plus personnel into the BSM environment," they wrote.

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