Army convoy in Afghanistan


Army follows the money, develops proactive battlefield management tools

In the early days of the Afghan war, a heavy reliance on cash flooded the theater with U.S. currency. In an effort to get cash off the battlefield, the Office of the Deputy Chief Management Officer worked with the Army to develop a set of business intelligence tools to tackle the problem and help broaden cost awareness across the department. In the process, the Army developed a way to proactively manage the people, equipment and supplies in theater.

The Theater Requirements Generation Tool helped create accurate requirements through the use of checklists and drop-down menus. TRGT also ensured that offices “articulated their requirements,” and that new requirements were properly validated. Since October 2012, TRGT has improved visibility of more than 1,900 requirements with a combined value of $6.7 billion, according to the office. What does this have to do with cash? The tool helped the Army to pinpoint requirements, follow the money and dry up the cash demand.

A second tool, the Theater Requirements, Contracts and Execution Reconciliation, is a dashboard designed to replace the manual processes of tracking contract data. TRCER aggregates contract and financial data to help track expenditures and obligations and to support better decision-making, according to the office, which estimated the tool led to more than $110 million in cost savings in fiscal year 2012.

A third tool, the Acquisition Common Operating Picture, helps track the status of construction and other contract actions across the Afghan theater. Altogether, the business intell tools have led to the improved visibility of billions of dollars and millions in cost savings, DOD said. 

Built on platforms such as Microsoft .Net and SharePoint, TRGT, TRCER and ACOP are agile enough to deliver new capabilities to users in 30- to 90-day increments.

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