Original Date: 12/06/2004
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
With the downsizing of the Department of Defense (DoD) that started in the late 1980s, it was incumbent upon DoD agencies, including the U.S. Army, to explore ways of accomplishing its mission with fewer human resources. The U.S. Army Aviation & Missile Command (AMCOM) Integrated Materiel Management Center’s (IMMC’s) Automation Division developed information technology solutions to improve IMMC business processes to support the Army Materiel Command’s vision to foster the logistics requirements of the soldier in the field. These automated solutions have enabled the Army to accomplish its mission by saving time and money.
Segments of the Automation Division came on-board gradually, with the IMMC Help Desk coming first and the New Technology and Applications groups coming on-board soon after. In 1990, the IMMC Automation Division decided to start automating some of DoD’s business processes. The decision was made to automate the engineering change process by allowing for the creation, review, and approval of Engineering Change Proposals (ECPs). The Patriot Project Office was the first reimbursable customer to begin using the Multi-User ECP Automated Review System (MEARS). Over the last 16 years, MEARS has evolved from the original Windows application to a robust, web- based application. Since its inception, MEARS has been committed to exceptional maintenance and support. Several major revisions to the original software (on average, two per year) have been made to provide additional functionality and enhancements to support an ever-changing user environment. Users from all over the world can log-on to the MEARS server and review ECPs, Requests for Deviations, Requests for Waivers, Notices of Revisions, and Specification Change Notices. Approximately 3,000 MEARS users support organizations within the Navy, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Missile Defense Agency, Defense Contract Management Agency, and private industry as well as foreign national foreign military sales customers. In the mid-1990s, MEARS was named a DoD “best of breed” solution.
Over the years, the Automation Division also began to address other business processes by developing applications that focus on inventory, budget, workflow, and other processes currently being used at the IMMC and other agencies as well. Some of these applications are WebDesk, a state-of-the-art portal that provides custom software solutions for IMMC’s clients; Property Book, a precise property tracking tool that increases accountability and reduced property loss; the Digital File Maintenance System that digitally manages files and generates a standardized and sequential log number; the Information Technology Help Desk that contains many one-of-a-kind features; and the Parts Tracker tool that reduced schedule slippages and 575 man-hours per month in the refit of helicopters. The IMMC Automation Division gladly shares these applications with other agencies on a reimbursable basis.
The Automation Division continues to add automated capability to other business processes to improve troop support. MEARS has major plans to add functionality, new forms, and new processes over the next two years and beyond. MEARS has a flexible outlook on its future development and encourages its users to make suggestions to help it better meet customer requirements now and in the future. The BMP survey team congratulates the IMMC Automation Division and MEARS and considers the practices in this report to be among the best in industry and government.
TABLE OF ACRONYMS:
The following acronyms were used in this report:
|AMCOM|| ||U.S. Army Aviation & Missile Command|
|CALS|| ||Continuous Acquisition and Life Cycle Support|
|CCAD|| ||Corpus Christi Army Depot|
|DFMS|| ||Digital File Management System|
|DLA|| ||Defense Logistics Agency|
|DoD|| ||Department of Defense|
|ECP|| ||Engineering Change Proposal|
|ELAS|| ||Enhanced Logbook Automation System|
|IMMC|| ||Integrated Materiel Management Command|
|IT|| ||Information Technology|
|MEARS|| ||Multi-User Engineering Change Proposal Automated Review System|
|MOR|| ||Master Office Reference|
|PDA|| ||Personal Digital Assistant|
|RFD|| ||Request for Deviation|
|RFW|| ||Request for Waiver|
|TOLLS|| ||Transportation On-Line Logistics System|
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