The Standard Study Number-Line Item Number Automated
Management and Integrating System (SLAMIS) is a Headquarters,
Department of the Army (HQDA), Web-based data mart with a proven
track record of automating and integrating acquisition processes
involving multiple functional organizations. SLAMIS consolidates
data from authoritative sources and provides visibility of
key information across the life cycle of Army materiel. SLAMIS
provides “cradle to grave” visibility of equipment
acquisition from approval of requirements through funding,
authorizing, fielding, and sustainment to retirement.
As the Global War on Terrorism and the concurrent
transformation to a modular Army continue, commanders have
dependent on commercial off-the-shelf and Government off-the-shelf
equipment and nondevelopmental items to fill mission requirements.
Property book officers (PBOs) followed existing local procedures
to account for these nonstandard items, which, Army-wide,
resulted in the assignment of many different nonstandard line
(NSLINs) to the same item. It was impossible to gather a
consolidated Army-wide view of specific items because the Army
did not have systems in place to gather data and provide NSLIN
management information needed at
the HQDA and Army Materiel Command (AMC) levels. Items such
add-on armor kits, Warlock force-protection systems, and
John Deere M-Gators are prominent examples of items that
and confirm the need for the Army to centrally manage NSLINs
and associated management control numbers (MCNs) for nonstandard
Visibility of Nonstandard Items
The HQDA Deputy Chief of Staff, G–4, led the
initiative to develop a SLAMIS NSLIN module to build an infrastructure
for nonstandard items that would provide the same level
of visibility, accountability, and management support available
for standard items. To do this, the G–4 had to accomplish
Create an Army NSLIN Master Catalog.
Update NSLIN policies and procedures.
Establish central control over the assignment of new NSLINs
Develop systems interface arrangements among SLAMIS, the
AMC Logistics Support Activity (LOGSA) Logistics Information
(LIW), and the Property Book Unit Supply Enhanced (PBUSE)
and Defense Property Accounting System (DPAS) property
Train PBOs and other key participants in central NSLIN management.
Produce tailored management products to improve HQDA and
AMC support of essential nonstandard items.
Identify NSLIN candidates to be converted to standard items.
The decision to centralize management of NSLINs affects
every organization and PBO in the Army. Even though the
central NSLIN management is universally supported, managing
its implementation in a way that minimizes disruption,
particularly for deployed forces, is difficult.
The chart below illustrates the concept for Army central
management of NSLINs and associated MCNs. The objective
is to establish a management structure for NSLINs and MCNs
will operate as well as, and in concert with, the existing
management structure for standard items. The solid lines
indicate relationships that have already been implemented,
and the dashed
lines reflect enhancements that are being developed in
The SLAMIS NSLIN module implemented on 26 July 2005 includes
a baseline Army NSLIN Master Catalog and gives PBOs Web access
so that they can view the NSLIN records in the Master Catalog
and request new NSLINs
and MCNs when Master Catalog records do not meet their needs.
HQDA and program managers involved in pushing nonstandard
items to the field also were given the capability to assign
NSLINs to items before sending them to the field. This procedure
mirrors that used for items with standard LINs and relieves
the PBOs from having to obtain an NSLIN when equipment arrives.
How SLAMIS Works
The SLAMIS module assists users who are requesting NSLINs and
MCNs by automatically filling in data values or by providing
pick lists of valid values when possible. SLAMIS also uses
electronic coordination features that automatically send requests
for new NSLINs and MCNs to the appropriate “research
cell.” Each of the seven research cells consists of
commodity or specialized organizational experts who evaluate
the request, assign data values required for each NSLIN Master
Catalog record, and approve or disapprove each request. SLAMIS
automatically provides email feedback to the requester and
updates the NSLIN Master Catalog located in the LOGSA LIW.
The PBO reporting systems are linked to the LIW NSLIN Master
Catalog to enable PBOs world-wide to use the same NSLINs for
like items regardless of their locations.
On 1 October 2005, PBUSE removed the capability previously
available to the PBOs to assign their own NSLINs, added a hyperlink
to SLAMIS for central assignment of NSLINs, and established
links with LOGSA to include the NSLIN Master Catalog in the
PBUSE application at the PBO level.
As of 22 February 2006, more than 15,000 NSLIN requests had
been successfully submitted and the central NSLIN Master Catalog
contained 22,000 NSLIN records. Features of the SLAMIS NSLIN
module are continually being improved and enhanced based on
user feedback and stakeholder input. As planned, the business
rules and capability to change and update records in the NSLIN
Master Catalog have recently been implemented so that NSLIN
records can be maintained properly.
Training opportunities have been offered throughout the development of the SLAMIS
NSLIN module to PBOs; personnel in the research cells, HQDA, and AMC; program
managers; and general users. HQDA is working towards institutionalizing SLAMIS
training in the Warrant Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, Quartermaster Officer
Basic Course, and the technical phase of the Quartermaster Center and School
Noncommissioned Officer Academy’s unit supply specialist training. Training
also is provided at the annual Worldwide Logistics Training Workshop held at
LOGSA, at the Army National Guard’s annual logistics training conference,
and at major Army command training forums when requested. The HQDA G–4
and the SLAMIS team also conducted a video teleconference training session for
PBOs deployed in the U.S. Central Command area of operations. Sustainment training
will continue to be a primary focus.
Still to Come
With the cooperation and support of PBOs and stakeholders throughout
the Army, significant progress has been made since the initial
implementation of the
SLAMIS NSLIN module less than a year ago. However, many challenges
lie ahead, including efforts to—
Align all Army property books with the central NSLIN Master
Institutionalize SLAMIS training in Army Training and Doctrine
Refine a long-term interface among SLAMIS, LIW, PBUSE, and
Finalize NSLIN tailored management products.
Track the changing of NSLINs and MCNs to standard LINs and
Continue refinement of NSLIN module processes.
Accommodate the Army’s future needs.
The world combat environment has changed, and commercial items
now play a significant role in providing critical support
to Soldiers. Central NSLIN management and the SLAMIS NSLIN
module, which were recently established through the combined
efforts of a wide range of stakeholders and support contractors,
significantly improve the Army’s capability to support
this new environment.
Minnie M. Everard is the class VII (major
end items) manager in the Center for Logistics Policy, Processes,
Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G–4, Department
of the Army. She has a bachelor’s degree in management
of technology from Athens State University and is a graduate
of the Army Management Staff College’s Sustaining Base
Leadership and Management Course.
|Update to Previous Article on Central
Management of NSLINs
The January–February issue of Army Logistician
contained an article written by Chief Warrant Officer (W–5)
David A. Dickson on “Centralization of Cataloging Procedures
for Nonstandard Materiel.”
Mr. Dickson’s article emphasizes the need for Army central
management of NSLINs and describes how complicated this initiative
is. It is important to note that some of the details presented
in his article were considered during the planning phase and
changed before implementation of the SLAMIS NSLIN module in
July 2005. For example, the proposed NSLIN structure and a
single LOGSA Research Cell to process requests for new NSLINs
were considered but were revised based on stakeholder input
and feedback from proof-of-principle testing. Contrary to Mr.
Dickson’s article, the Deputy Chief of Staff, G–4,
Headquarters, Department of the Army, is no longer “.
. . studying the possibility . . . ” but has already
implemented the SLAMIS NSLIN module.
The development of the SLAMIS NSLIN module has been, and continues
to be, guided by stakeholders Army-wide, and implementation
of various features will follow a deliberate phased approach.
Certain data exchange and interface actions involve multiple
Army systems that must individually make arrangements to schedule
and achieve the desired cohesive end result.
The article above presents an update on the Army’s efforts
to establish and maintain accountability and visibility of
NSLINs which, in turn, will provide better support to Soldiers
in the field.
—Minnie M. Everard