Richmond, Va. –
Where there’s a will, there’s a way — and this year’s recipients of the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation Continuous Process Improvement Award are shining examples of this enduring adage. Most of the honorees were recognized Oct. 23 at the Frank Lotts Conference Center, Defense Supply Center Richmond, Virginia. Among the 20 award recipients, there were three team awards and two individual performance awards. Awards were presented to CPI project teams; Kitting Functionality and Business Process Improvement, Commerciality Determination Honeywell International, and Oklahoma City – Backorder Resolution Process Improvement Project.
The CPI Project team honorees are: Kitting — Daryl Horne, Stanley Parham, Katherine Ross, Cindy Murray, Mary Trice, Tracy McEntee, Danny Roberts, and Yuri Stewart; Honeywell — Travis Dunn, Michele Thomas, Terrence Boardman, and Andrew Davitt; OKC Backorder Resolution — Eddie Crawford, Tanya Dolton, Stephen Long, Douglas Williams, Mike Weber, and Samuel Eggleston. The individual honorees are Martin (Doug) Wells and Daryl Horne.
CPI is the ongoing effort to improve products, services or processes. These efforts can seek “incremental” improvement over time or “breakthrough” improvement all at once. It is designed to achieve best value logistics solutions through process excellence smart policies, procedures and innovative program management.
The award winners identified process improvement opportunities to implement CPI, and they developed and executed projects that helped streamline operations across DLA.
The belts and project team members maintain full-time positions with assigned workload, and contribute to CPI projects as an additional task.
Horne, sourcing strategy specialist, Planning Process Directorate, was selected for the Individual Performance Award. His success at managing three projects as a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt helped him achieve the Black Belt certification, the only DLA Aviation employee earning this credential since 2016; the year the DLA Aviation CPI office was reestablished. Horne facilitated two DLA Aviation Kitting Projects, resulting in an updated kitting business and operations process document, and created four new kitting process flows documenting the separation of job roles, duties and accountable actions.
“This project was particularly special because it started out as a local research effort that was initially recommended by the DLA Aviation Kitting Team.” Horne said, “We typically receive projects that are initiated by our senior leaders so it is always very special when we receive good ideas from the actual end users who use the processes every day to complete their daily work activities.”
The initial work that Horne and his team completed to document the local kitting processes was eventually recognized by DLA Logistics Operations planning process owners, who then ultimately decided to expand the activity into an enterprise-wide event that included process mapping and guidance development for all three major subordinate commands as well as DLA Distribution.
Kitting Team award member Stewart, branch chief, DLA Aviation Kitting Aggregate Planning and Programs Division, Planning Process Directorate, said the success of the CPI event required a lot of work outside of the scheduled team meetings. “This effort was greatly needed to document our processes and establish a baseline for improvement,” Stewart explained, “The results of the documentation effort have proved to be a great help in pin-pointing areas where we can improve our customer support and process efficiency.”
“Overall, it was an outstanding team effort that allowed DLA to explore and document the kitting process from end-to-end and developed the necessary documentation needed to standardize the process across the entire enterprise,” Horne said.
Honeywell Team award member Dunn, division chief, Supplier Operations Original Equipment Manufacturer Directorate, said that it was taking an average of 120 days to complete a Honeywell commerciality determination, adding to the purchase request administrative lead time.
Since Honeywell International claims commerciality for all items manufactured at certain manufacturing facilities, the goal of the project was to reduce the administrative lead time associated with determinations. Previously, determinations were made on a one-off basis by national stock numbers as requirements generated. The team was able to break down the Urbana Honeywell site, aligning 1,618 of the 2,060 NSNs into four commercial product lines. A mass update was then completed in order to code those 1,618 items as commercial, reducing the administrative lead time on any new requirements from 120 days to zero days.
“The team was able to map out the process and come up with an innovative strategy to reduce administrative lead time for one of Honeywell’s highest volume sites,” said Dunn. “Reducing time to award and becoming more agile in responding to our customers’ needs is in direct support of our number one priority – Warfighter First.”
Oklahoma City DLA Aviation Backorder Resolution Process Improvement Project Team award member Crawford, section chief, Local Manufacture in the Customer Operations Directorate, DLA Aviation at Oklahoma City said the project was to identify and prioritize backorders, and how (and when) the customer support specialists engage for backorder resolution. “We developed a process of ranking backorders by priority, described by customer needs,” Crawford said.
The process incorporated repair objective percentages, backorder age, high priority backorders like ANDON, a lean Six Sigma term for any item that could cause delays in production; and MICAP, mission capability and customer feedback. A gated process was then defined in order to work backorders, with easy-to-follow tasks that needed to be completed within each gate, which had minor differences unique to each section.
Implementation of the project resulted in coordination with the customer to reach a common goal of an 85 percent repair objective and zero line stops.
Since implementing the change, customer support specialists have oversight via documented gates that show the progress of national stock numbers, whereas before, backorder counts stayed the same although they had put in many hours working items without delivery dates, or dates that will not meet the customers need dates.
“The customer support specialists have more of a sense of accomplishment,” Crawford said. “They now have documented gates showing the progress of NSNs that aren’t always an easy fix.”
Wells, supplier relationship manager, Strategic Acquisition Programs Directorate, was selected for the Individual Performance Award. Wells demonstrated his Lean Six Sigma Black Belt skills by leading two project teams. Boeing Captains of Industry Post Award Mapping Team was a process analysis project to map the post award processes for managing Captains of Industry Sole Source Contracts. By identifying post award COI contract ‘gaps’ in functionality and accountability, resolutions were applied to existing and future COI initiatives by identifying five primary gaps, correcting and accounting for them on future COI initiatives.
Wells’ second project was called Northrop Grumman, DLA Aviation and 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group Tooling Team. He led his team to reduce tooling shipment days by 70 percent. The project was initiated to identify processes driving tooling delivery delays in excess of one year from AMARG, and then develop and implement new processes to drive tooling delivery down to 30 days or less. Over ten improvements were identified within the three stakeholder organizations and improved (gated) processes were implemented. Tooling delivery times were reduced to 31 days on tooling shipping requests that use the new process improvements.
“The use of CPI has the potential to identify and implement improved processes touching DLA, our supplier partners and absolutely our customer; the warfighters,” said Wells. “I think we have just scratched the surface on what we can do.”
Patricia McCarty, program manager for the Command Support Directorate, CPI office, said the Aviation CPI program falls in line with culture and climate initiatives to reward employees for their outstanding achievements. “The CPI program is committed to recognizing those who have contributed significantly to DLA Aviation,” McCarty said. “It has given me the opportunity to work with dedicated project teams and belts that are committed to achieving assured supply chain, financial and process excellence to provide end to end solutions, and deliver readiness and lethality to the warfighter.”