Navy takes on enterprise one pilot at a time

Navy takes on enterprise one pilot at a time

The Navy's Jerry M. Hultin says the pilots could radically change the service's systems.

By Bill Murray

GCN Staff

The Navy over the next five years will run a series of pilots to see if it can make an enterprise resource planning system work on a grand scale.

'No government agency of our size has ever succeeded at ERP, so we want to be damn sure we can do it right,' Navy undersecretary Jerry M. Hultin said. The Navy is spending $100 million on the ERP test, he said.

Navy officials expect to award the last two of four pilot contracts within weeks. The ERP effort is an initiative of the service's Revolution in Business Working Group, which Vice Adm. John A. Lockhard, commander of the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), oversees.

Navy officials originally identified six pilots but could fund only four this year, said Ronald Turner, the service's deputy chief information officer for infrastructure, systems and technology.

Two down, two to go

The Naval Sea Systems Command and the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command expect to award ERP pilot contracts next month.

The Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) and NAVAIR already have awarded pilot contracts.

The Marine Corps had wanted to do an ERP logistics pilot, and the Navy Facilities Engineering Command had wanted to test a shore station management system.

But neither received funding for its pilot proposal.

NAVAIR negotiated a one-year, $9 million blanket purchasing agreement with KPMG Peat Marwick of New York for its pilot. The company's consulting group in Vienna, Va., will run the pilot, said Dennis Distler, NAVAIR's enterprise solutions program director at Patuxent River, Md.

The Navy has the option of extending the BPA up to five years. For the pilot, KPMG will use software from SAP America Inc. of Newtown Square, Pa., said Tab Warlitner, a managing director at KPMG's consulting group. 'This could dwarf other SAP rollouts' around the world because of the Navy's size, he said.

NAVAIR officials plan to demonstrate the ERP software using program office data for the command's E-2C Hawkeye program, Distler said.

'We are focused on our back-office internal administrative transactions,' including aviation ordering, inventory, maintenance and repair management functions, Distler said.

NAVAIR and NAVSUP are also conducting a joint ERP pilot for aviation supply chain and maintenance management, he said.

Electronic Data Systems Corp. won the joint pilot contract, said Jay Heroux, an EDS sales executive. This summer, EDS will begin the pilot system, which will run software from SAP, Oracle Corp. and PeopleSoft Inc. of Pleasanton, Calif.

Hultin described the piecemeal effort as a five-year project that 'could change our business systems forever.'

NAVAIR alone typically spends about $20 million annually on back-end administrative systems. Through the ERP pilots, the service wants to see if it can reduce these support costs and be more efficient, Turner said.

'The idea of going slow and going practical is a good idea,' Hultin said. 'I think the Navy is going the right way in being judicious.'

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