News | June 14, 2021

Analysts field new tool, linking actions through metric driver trees

By Cathy Hopkins

The Defense Logistics Agency hosted Air Force-DLA Day May 24 at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, during which time DLA Aviation Air Force Commander Brig. Gen. David Sanford demonstrated DLA Aviation’s’ Retail Metric Suite and its automated performance dashboards that provide targeted analytics in support of three air logistics complexes and three fleet readiness centers.

RMS, a part of the software package called Center of Parts Activity, or COPA, contributes to building trust through understanding customers’ priorities, which is an objective under the agency’s strategic plan.  DLA strives to be a trusted mission partner by implementing customer-centric performance metrics and creating a collaborative, data-informed, predictive problem-solving culture.

Adam Hardee, the chief of the Industrial Analysis Support Branch of DLA Aviation’s Business Process Support Directorate, traveled with Sanford and led the demonstration.

Hardee said they are sharing RMS across DLA Aviation’s industrial support activities through socialization meetings and working group discussions. His analytic team is also hosting virtual screen-share sessions with process area experts to demonstrate this tool as well as other tools and dashboards within COPA.

DLA Aviation Industrial Retail Metric Tree
Defense Logistics Agency Aviation Industrial Metric Driver Tree links employees’ desk level actions to agency level performance improvement, starting with the desired customer outcome. (DLA Aviation Graphic)
DLA Aviation Industrial Retail Metric Tree
Analysts field new tool, linking actions through metric driver trees
Defense Logistics Agency Aviation Industrial Metric Driver Tree links employees’ desk level actions to agency level performance improvement, starting with the desired customer outcome. (DLA Aviation Graphic)
Photo By: DLA Aviation Graphic
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DLA Aviation released the RMS last month, introducing the concept of metric driver trees that consist of customer identified top metrics and outlines the actions affecting the metric from the desk- or floor-level employee’s view up to the general officer level.  

“Automated performance dashboards provide leadership with near-real time access to failures and supply challenges increasing DLA’s response to our service partners’ most critical needs,” said Hardee.

Hardee said using the COPA analytic dashboards, the Ogden Air Logistics Complex on Hill Air Force Base, Utah, identified weapon system repair shops that had a high order response time failure rate. DLA Aviation employees were able to work with Air Force employees to fix ordering behaviors and assess forecasted workload to ensure demand was accurately captured.  Using the tools, this analysis occurred weeks earlier than would have been possible without them.  In March, the tools also highlighted a high rate of ORT failures with stock on the shelf through the automated root cause analysis function in the ORT dashboard. Use of the tools allowed customer support specialists to remove over 5,000 manager review codes that were preventing material from automatically releasing at the ALCs.

Ogden ended the month of May with its highest ORT since August 2020 – almost two full percentage points above the goal.

ORT is a metric on the industrial metric driver tree and provides the various levels of DLA leadership with a clear picture of the critical sub-tier metrics that must be met to achieve a performance target. In the case of ORT, the goal is to fill an Air Force requisition for parts at a 90% success rate within two days of order generation.

The industrial metric driver tree is one of several metric driver trees DLA Aviation is developing that are fully adaptable to changes according to customers’ needs or processes.  The driver trees align metrics with actionable reports and assigns responsibility for every level within the agency. 

For example, Tier 4 reviews and action reports allow first-line supervisors and desk-level employees to have a tangible effect on top-level agency performance targets. These reports specifically targeted business actions within the control of a specific process area.

For instance, using the Tier 4 action report focused on systemic inventory imbalances, sustainment specialists with DLA Aviation at Warner Robins on Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, can work to correct inventory discrepancies that remove sourcing blocks reviewed at the Tier 3 level. The removal of sourcing blocks allows materiel to quickly issue to the Air Force enabling DLA to achieve ORT goals at the Tier 2 level. Finally, as ORT goals are met, DLA can meet the metrics outlined in our performance-based agreements with the Air Force at the Tier 1 level.

Hardee said he hopes to grow the value of the COPA tools to DLA and its customers.  His team will continue collaborating with our service partners to ensure metric driver trees are synced to their readiness needs.