TRANSCOM builds enterprise architecture tied into BEA-Log
The Defense Department’s Transportation Command is examining 600 military supply chain systems to determine if they can be integrated into DOD’s overarching business enterprise architecture.
TRANSCOM officials have spent seven years developing the command’s own enterprise architecture to fit within the BEA. In addition to consolidating supply chain systems, the command is working to establish a blueprint that would streamline the distribution management process.
TRANSCOM is analyzing the 600 systems against the Supply Chain Operations Reference Model, according to Bill Grass, lead architect on the project.
Grass said his office is using the SCOR Model, which includes metrics for process performance, to place systems into various categories in the metadata repository. Developed by the Supply Chain Council, an organization of logistics companies, the model defines common supply chain management processes and matches them against best practices.
“We’re going to look at everything that’s involved with those systems,” Grass said, “how it fits in the supply chain, where they are with the evolution of the program, duplication, redundancy. We also need to look at the gaps to find out where we can make the warfighters’ jobs easier.”
Grass said the architecture includes information about systems, processes and technical standards.
The command recognized its need for an enterprise architecture when it found data on various systems and programs spread out across an array of forms on multiple databases, such as maps, Microsoft Word documents and Excel spreadsheets, said Steve Pierson, chief of the architecture branch within the Command, Control, Communications and Computer Systems Directorate.
For the enterprise architecture effort, Grass developed an Oracle 9I standardized database with the help of lead contractor Computer Sciences Corp.
“We’ve taken strategic information. We’ve taken financial data about systems, operational data about systems, and we’ve put it in one place,” Grass said.
Defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld put TRANSCOM, headquartered at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., in charge of the military’s distribution and supply chain processes.
“We have become the Wal-Mart of the DOD world. They want us to help streamline the process across the whole distribution management,” explained Pierson.
The architecture efforts are consistent with a larger effort at the Defense Department, overseen by the Business Management Modernization Program office. The program is integrating thousands of systems across seven business areas—including logistics, accounting and financial management, personnel and readiness, and program and budget—into a single business enterprise architecture.
The 600 logistics systems will eventually be tied into a single architecture called BEA-Log. So far, TRANSCOM’s enterprise architecture is the first within DOD to receive approval from BEA-Log, officials said.
Gary Jones, acting assistant deputy undersecretary of Defense for the Logistics Systems Management Office, is overseeing the BEA-Log integration.
“There’s a hierarchy of architectures,” Jones said. “You’ve got the federal architecture, the business enterprise architecture, the domain architectures. Then under the domain architectures you have the components [military services].”
All have to be consistent with BEA-Log, he said.
Pierson said it would take about a year to review the 600 systems and determine which will be kept and which will be killed. To accomplish this, Pierson said his office would have to be staffed with a workforce of about 90 people, made up of representatives from each of the services.
“Specifically, what we did was we built a metadata repository to collect the data,” Grass said. “We don’t call it a system—it’s a metadata repository. We use some tools to extract data.”
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