Army Logmod ready

Five months after the Army originally planned to launch its new logistics system, the service is now ready to roll out the modernized system, which integrates myriad legacy systems through the adoption of commercial business practices providing a single view of customers, weapons systems and commodities.

The Army's Logistics Modernization Program will go live at 12 different locations beginning in early July, with the bulk of users coming from Communications-Electronics Command (Cecom) at Fort Monmouth, N.J., and the Army depot at Tobyhanna, Pa., which are the main supply and maintenance facilities, said Larry Asch, chief of the program's business and operations office at Cecom.

The modernization program, which is replacing the Commodity Command Standard System and the Standard Depot System, is designed to provide the Army with numerous integrated logistics management capabilities, including:

* Total asset visibility.

* A collaborative planning environment.

* A single source of data.

* Improved forecasting accuracy.

* Real-time access to enterprisewide information.

During a June 6 phone interview, Asch said the launch was delayed because of the extended testing and training time that was necessary due to bugs that were discovered, namely integrating the currently disconnected retail and wholesale systems so that requisitions from the field go directly to the proper organization and are not delayed by middleware.

The Army also had to create an interface for the Army Materiel Command's Procurement Automated Data Delivery System, which is used for complex contracting, Asch said.

Finally, the Army had to create a long-term logistics planning solution that includes budget numbers so the Army can plan not only numbers of parts and other items, but also cost.

Of those three challenges, Asch said the Army may be most proud of the last solution because it worked hand-in-hand with Computer Sciences Corp., the prime contractor on the logistics modernization, and SAP America Inc., whose enterprise resource planning software is the bedrock of the system.

"That's key because it shows how much we really buy and repair...how much we plan to buy and where our assets are" worldwide, he said, adding that the Army is SAP's first customer using the new forecasting solution, which will be a part of the company's next defense industry release.

The Army selected CSC as its application service provider for the 10-year, $680 million modernization effort in 1999, and Asch said that both parties agreed that more time was needed before launch so there will not be any additional costs. He acknowledged that there will be problems when live operations begin next month, "but we've gotten management prepared for that."

Kevin Carroll, the Army's program executive officer for enterprise information systems, said he was not surprised that the program was delayed because of its enormous size.

Carroll's office manages numerous Army logistics systems but is not responsible for the logistics modernization program, he said earlier this week at the Army Small Computer Program's IT conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

The Army plans to have logistics modernization implementation complete by March 2004, Asch said.

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