NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md. – “Communication is our most important tool and people are the backbone to our success,” DMSMS Branch Manager Carl “Wade” Martin said.  “Our success this year was built on effectively communicating the planned direction with the team, taking the time to talk with each member to understand the challenges they faced and charting a course forward that benefited the team and improved performance with minimal direction.”

Members of the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) Obsolescence Management Team (N-OMT) received the Department of Defense 2017 Diminishing Manufacturing Sources and Material Shortages (DMSMS) Organization Achievement Award Dec. 7. The team was recognized for its work to promote DMSMS resources across all NAVAIR Program Offices, resulting in better obsolescence management and greater cost avoidance.

N-OMT is the logistics technical authority responsible for the development, sustainment and execution of NAVAIR DMSMS policy and processes—a “one-stop shop” for DMSMS processes, experts, tools and solutions.

According to the nomination form, N-OMT’s communication approach, the sharing of information, tools, knowledge, manpower, and proper funding levels created a synergy that allowed the team to effectively standardize and improve processes.

To ensure the team’s foundational knowledge of DMSMS was sound, each team member attended standardized training that covered DMSMS processes, the use of predictive tools, research and entry of Bills of Materials (BOM) data into predictive tools. “Implementing DMSMS management is a skill set that is learned over time. It is not something that is easily picked up from a training course.  Understanding the interrelations of the 12 Logistics Integrated Product Support  Elements and how decisions about obsolescence and DMSMS risk management can impact a product’s life cycle is paramount to establishing an effective proactive DMSMS program,” Martin said.

Taking an increasingly proactive approach geared toward the sustainment phase of systems is also key, according to Monique Gatlin, Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) Naval Air Traffic Control and Landing Systems/Acquisition Category ID/Program Executive Office for Tactical Aircraft Programs (PMA-213) DMSMS lead.  Platforms’ long service life demands engagement of all Naval Aviation decision makers and a willingness to share and apply “lessons learn,” she said.

The team put that philosophy into action. During the award period, N-OMT reached out across the 35 NAVAIR program offices, offering its services to review and recommend updates to each programs’ DMSMS Management Plans (DMP). N-OMT also created a DMP template, ensured a copy of the DoD DMP Streamlining Guide was available in each office and offered training to employees.

N-OMT recognized that getting Bill of Material (BOM) data right also required a standardized approach.  Current data for systems’ hardware configuration, training, standard BOM development and parts research are the cornerstones for proactive DMSMS management, NAVAIR OMT Deputy/Tech Lead Scott Dorsey said.

“The BOM is the cornerstone to predictive analysis,” Martin said.   “It lists the key components that are required to produce an end item.  An ‘indentured BOM’ provides visibility of the hierarchy of the assemblies and a list of components for each assembly, that when put together, results in the desired end item.

“For electronic equipment, a typical BOM may contain anywhere from less than a 100 to more than 30,000 plus line items. To manually track these items would require a large cadre of personnel. The use of a predictive/analysis tool allows for monitoring and reporting of these items almost instantaneously after the BOM data is loaded.  Being able to know when an event may occur allows decision makers time to adequate plan and mitigate a DMSMS risk to the weapon system,” Martin said.

Through an effort called the Standard Work and Skills Package Development, the N-OMT standardized how BOM data is gathered, formatted and analyzed. This process improvement reduced the effort to review and update BOM data after it is loaded into predictive tools. The N-OMT is in the final stages in developing a Skills Standard Package to assess the DMSMS workforce performance and identify the need for training.

N-OMT was also recognized for an analysis conducted with the F/A-18 and EA-18G Program Office (PMA-265) and Air Combat Electronics (PMA-209) program offices on the risks associated with installing the Advanced Multi-Purpose Display (AMPD) systems. As a result, six AMPD circuit card assemblies are in production to sustain both aircraft during their life cycles.

Dorsey said as soon as a preliminary system design is developed, all 12 Logistics Integrated Product Support elements should be taken into consideration to reduce the risks of DMSMS.

Gatlin added that forward thinking is the crux to sustainment. “When focusing on DMSMS, we are trying to resolve identified risks for future situations,” she said. “DMSMS management should be viewed from a system management perspective not only during the Research and Development phase, but also across a system’s total life cycle.”