TRACY, Calif. –
Defense Logistics Agency Distribution San Joaquin, California, hosted the Naval Postgraduate School, located in Monterey, California, during a visit to the DDJC installation Wednesday, Nov. 16.
Marine Col. Kevin Chunn, the DDJC commander, stated how he is looking forward to establishing a working relationship with the professors at NPS.
Since NPS is a Naval command and university that provides defense-focused graduate education, such as classified studies and interdisciplinary research, Chunn invited professors and staff from the system engineering department to discuss DDJC as a research opportunity for graduate students attending NPS.
“The idea is that we can allow students to research and study our processes and some of the challenges we face here at DDJC,” Chunn said. “That way, the student’s research is grounded on real world challenges and the solutions and work these students present could have positive real-world effects.”
During the visit, DDJC discussed the inner workings and processes that occur daily on the installation. Members from NPS also toured some of the facilities and warehouses where the majority of DDJC’s workload is handled.
During the visit, Dr. Alejandro Hernandez, an associate professor in the Systems Engineering Department at NPS, stated that he is interested in offering DDJC as an area of study to future students as well as how leaders at the school could aid and provide solutions to some of the challenges DDJC faces as the logistics environment fluctuates.
Hernandez stated that the initial site visit and discussion about the systems was necessary to develop a general understanding of operations to provide a more detailed approach for how his team could help. From there, Hernandez mentioned that his staff would formulate further research questions and provide potential solutions that would assist DDJC the most.
“It is one of those rare opportunities,” Chunn said. “This relationship would benefit the school, DLA Distribution as a whole, and the customers we serve,” Chunn said.
Dan Borba, the Operations Cell Chief for DDJC, stated that he is excited to have NPS come aboard and help in making operations more efficient.
“We are constantly trying to find solutions to the challenges we face; our ability to create the most efficient workflow processes are what makes us successful here at DDJC,” Borba said. “Having NPS students investigate our problem sets and provide researched solutions would be immensely beneficial to us at DDJC.”
One topic of interest that was discussed during the visit was that of data visualization. With various metrics and reports DDJC is required to produce daily, data visualization products could improve overall efficiency for the distribution center.
“One of our initiatives is to improve our ability to monitor performance across the distribution center through effective data visualization,” Borba said. “We are looking at ways to visually capture productivity across our workforce as well as measure direct and indirect labor hours.”
Karen Mislick, a senior lecturer in the Operations Research Department, focuses heavily on data visualization in her work at NPS.
Mislick showed significant interest in providing solutions to the data visualization challenge DDJC currently faces. Mislick also mentioned that she offers data visualization courses at NPS that DDJC members may be able to attend.
“Year after year we continue to find ourselves working in a fiscally fluctuating environment,” Borba said. “It’s imperative we can monitor work centers across the organization to ensure warfighter support is sustained at optimal levels.”
The NPS staff is planning on developing further research questions and visiting DDJC again soon to continue the collaborative work between the two organizations.