Army's new logistics system gets ready to roll

'This accurately puts the supplies, information, weapons systems and parts in the hands of the soldier who needs them when he goes to war. It will help us to better support readiness, without a doubt.'

'Larry Asch of the LOGMOD office at Fort Monmouth, N.J.

The next step in the project is wrapping up systems integration tests to make sure it talks to legacy systems

The Army expects to wrap up systems integration tests for its long-running Wholesale Logistics Modernization Program next month and ready its logistics management capabilities to support warfighters in a probable war with Iraq.

Getting equipment and supplies to warfighters on time is a daunting task even in peacetime. But in war or peace, it requires a logistics system that is scalable, secure and interoperable with dozens of Defense logistics systems, service officials said.

'This will accurately put the supplies, the information, the weapons systems and the parts in the hands of the soldier who needs them when he goes to war,' said Larry Asch, chief of operations and business for the LOGMOD office at Fort Monmouth, N.J. 'It will help us to better support readiness, without a doubt.'

Live soon

Depending on the results of the integration tests for the $680 million, 10-year performance-based contract, the system could go live a few weeks later across the Army Materiel Command.

'They've improved their readiness ... their ability to respond on demand. This is critical as we begin to deploy our troops over to Iraq,' said Sam Maccherola, vice president of the public sector for SeeBeyond of Redwood Shores, Calif., a subcontractor on the Army LOGMOD program. Computer Sciences Corp.'s federal sector defense group in Falls Church, Va., is the prime contractor.

The Army is 'working hard to try to be up and running before anything happens,' Maccherola said.

Sustaining, overhauling and repairing everything from tanks to helicopters falls under the purview of the Materiel Command, which relies heavily on systems to keep track of parts and inventories.

For the most part, Asch said, testing is going smoothly, although CSC has had to solve several interface problems. The problems affected total asset visibility, joint deployment and rapid distribution, Maccherola said.

'We have a very detailed test process in place with entrance criteria and exit criteria to get out of testing,' Asch said. He added that LOGMOD cannot pass muster on a specific test criterion until it has cleaned up all of its problems.

The rollout of LOGMOD has run a few months behind schedule partly because of a software application that was modified specifically for the program by SAP America Inc. of Newtown Square, Pa., Asch said. SAP customized the enterprise resource planning app for the Army by merging two of its products.

Testing has also taken longer than anticipated because of the more than 70 legacy systems to which LOGMOD must connect.

Testing scenarios

The Army created about 100 scenarios to test how well LOGMOD interacts with the other Army and Defense Department systems to give logistics personnel a common view of inventories, Asch said.

Under the scenarios, the Army linked business processes, such as logistics and financial processes, and developed outlines for how to buy items and how to handle a requisition coming in from the field, Asch said.

LOGMOD will convert two Army legacy systems, the Commodity Command Standard System and the Standard Depot System, into an ERP system using R3, Advanced Planner and Optimizer, and MySAP from SAP America Inc.

The conversion will give the Army a single source of logistics data across the Materiel Command and replace 1970s-era batch processes running on mainframes, Asch said.

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