Program: A Cornerstone of
|by Kevin Carroll and Colonel David W. Coker
What began as a plan to modernize Army supply chain management has evolved into one of the largest, fully integrated supply chain and maintenance, repair,
and overhaul solutions in the world.
Today, the Army is undergoing an exciting and
dynamic transformation. While this transformation is driving
the Army’s evolution into an expeditionary force that
is agile, versatile, and capable of meeting the challenges
of the Global War on Terrorism, a similar revolution is occurring
in the systems and processes that support and supply the warfighter.
The Logistics Modernization Program (LMP) is one of the programs
that stands at the center of the Army’s business transformation
initiatives. The LMP is a cornerstone of the Single Army Logistics
Enterprise—an enterprise business solution that will
enable vertical and horizontal integration at all levels of
logistics across the Army. By modernizing both the systems
and the processes associated with managing the Army’s
supply chain at the national and installation levels, the LMP
will permit the planning, forecasting, and rapid order fulfillment
that lead to streamlined supply lines, improved distribution,
a reduced theater footprint, and a warfighter who is equipped
and ready to respond to present and future threats.
Modernization Program: History
Before the LMP was conceived, the Army Materiel Command (AMC)
depended on ponderous, 30-year-old
systems to manage its logistics operations and supply critical
equipment and repair parts to the Soldier. These systems—the
largest of which were the Commodity Command Standard System
(CCSS) and the Standard Depot System (SDS)—evolved
into a complex web of software solutions that were difficult to
maintain and almost impossible to update to address the Army’s
rapidly expanding supply needs.
The lack of a single, unified supply system across the Army
fostered an environment in which numerous organizations developed
independent configurations of the CCSS and SDS, along with
a wide variety of localized software applications designed
to support those systems. As a result, the Army faced serious
challenges in managing its supply chain and distribution
Because of the lack of financial integrity created by the
lack of a single, unified system, it became clear that the
Army would not be able to upgrade its legacy systems to comply
with Federal directives such as the Chief Financial Officers
Act of 1990 and the Federal Financial Management Improvement
Act of 1996—laws that were enacted to increase the efficiency
and visibility of financial operations across the Department
of Defense (DOD). Along with these efforts, the Government
Accountability Office published several reports that recommended
consolidating DOD logistics infrastructure further and increasing
privatization and outsourcing to bolster the efficiency of
the Army’s business operations.
Instead of embarking on a massive, customized
software development effort that would produce a software solution
for current conditions, but that perhaps would not be flexible
enough to meet the needs of the future warfighter, the Army
decided to implement a commercial off-the-shelf-based, best-in-class
enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution to revolutionize
the Army’s national-level logistics systems and business
processes. This solution is the LMP.
Recently, operational control for the LMP was placed under
the Program Executive Officer for Enterprise Information Systems
(PEO EIS), whose office oversees large systems integration
projects Army-wide. The LMP’s principal beneficiary,
AMC, provides expertise in current and desired supply chain
business practices to create a winning leadership combination
for the program.
The leadership structure of the LMP includes the Deputy Chief
of Staff, G–4,
Department of the Army; the commanding general of AMC; and
the PEO EIS. The Deputy Chief of Staff, G–4, is the Logistics
Domain Portfolio Manager. In addition to collaborating with
the Secretary of the Army, the program’s leaders also
work closely with the Business Transformation Agency, an organization
established within the Office of the Secretary of Defense to
oversee business transformation across DOD, in order to align
the LMP closely with broader Army and DOD modernization goals.
Logistics Modernization Program: Today
The LMP has been fulfilling warfighter requirements on a daily basis since July
2003. Today, the LMP manages $4.5 billion worth of inventory, processes transactions
with 50,000 vendors, and integrates with more than 80 DOD systems. The LMP is
deployed to 4,000 users at the Army Communications-Electronics Life Cycle Management
Command (C–E LCMC); Tobyhanna Army Depot, Pennsylvania; the Defense Finance
and Accounting Service; and a dozen other Army and DOD locations. When fully
deployed, LMP will support more than 17,000 logistics professionals.
The LMP delivers real-time situational awareness and vastly improved decisionmaking
capabilities, and it has significantly reduced logistics operational costs where
it has been deployed.
The LMP is one of the world’s largest ERP implementations, leveraging the
ERP industry leader SAP to fully integrate the Army’s supply-chain activities.
These activities include sourcing and acquisition, production scheduling, order
processing, inventory management, transportation, warehousing, and customer service.
As a result, the Army is better able to adjust its logistics operations quickly
to meet evolving needs.
Modernization Program is one of the components of
the Single Army Logistics Enterprise.
A Key Piece of a Larger Vision
The LMP does not stand on its own: It is the cornerstone of
the Army’s larger vision of integrating business processes
across logistics systems Army-wide. This vision is the Single
Army Logistics Enterprise (SALE).
The SALE vision is managed at the operational level by the
PEO EIS. It has three components: the LMP, the Global Combat
Support System-Army (Field/Tactical) (GCSS-Army [F/T]), and
the Global Combat Support System-Army, Product Lifecycle Management
Plus (GCSS-Army [PLM+]).
As a part of SALE, the LMP will provide the Army with national-level
supply chain functionality, replacing systems that manage wholesale
inventory control, planning, budgeting, and depot, arsenal,
and ammunition plant operations.
GCSS-Army (F/T) will provide all combat support and command
and control functions with a seamless, interactive information
management and operations system. By replacing 13 current Army
tactical legacy systems, GCSS-Army (F/T) will establish the
tactical component of an integrated logistics system architecture
for an enterprise-wide solution. GCSS-Army (F/T) will incorporate
the functions now performed by the following systems and provide
warfighters with a continuous flow of timely, accurate, accessible,
and secure information—
Standard Army Retail
Supply System (SARSS).
Standard Army Ammunition System (SAAS).
Standard Army Maintenance System-Enhanced (SAMS–E).
Unit Level Logistics System-Enhanced (ULLS–E).
Property Book Unit Supply Enhanced (PBUSE).
GCSS-Army (PLM+) will serve as the technical enabler linking
the field- and tactical-level system, GCSS-Army (F/T), with the
national-level system, the LMP. By serving as a single data repository
for logistics information, GCSS-Army (PLM+) will provide seamless
interaction between the national and tactical levels. GCSS-Army
(PLM+) also will provide a single data interface for logisticians.
Each of these efforts supports the objective of the Deputy Chief
of Staff, G–4, to deliver materiel readiness to warfighters
by focusing policies, processes, and resources in four key areas—
Connecting Army logisticians.
Modernizing theater distribution.
Improving force reception.
Integrating the supply chain.
By eliminating disparate sources of data previously contained
in incompatible legacy systems, SALE also will allow the
Army to view worldwide operations more easily and redistribute
resources to meet evolving needs.
A Closer Look at the LMP
To date, the LMP has offered users benefits in three principal
It streamlines the Army’s
supply chain processes.
It employs an information technology (IT) platform
that delivers superior performance to its users.
It supports the warfighters of the United States.
Streamlining Supply Chain Processes
The LMP offers the Army’s logistics professionals a
robust set of supply chain management capabilities that extend
benefits to such functional areas as order fulfillment, demand
planning and forecasting, maintenance program oversight,
depot operations, and financial management.
Order fulfillment. The LMP greatly improves order fulfillment
processes for AMC’s item managers. For example, item
managers can use the LMP to verify onhand inventory balances
quickly using real-time information from more than one storage
depot. They can confirm a requesting unit’s geographic
location and mission product code to ensure that the request
is for a critically needed item. Then, with a simple click
of the mouse, the managers can release all orders instantaneously,
without going through the multiple processes and systems
previously required by the legacy systems. In this way, the
LMP effectively integrates all logistics supply chain operations
from suppliers to customers, thereby uniting maintenance
activities and inventories in one system and automating support
processes for maintenance, repair, and overhaul at the depot
Demand planning and forecasting. The LMP integrates enhanced
demand planning processes that support a range of forecasting
techniques and alerts that immediately identify out-of-tolerance
forecasts. For example, the LMP uses “traffic light” settings
that alert managers to priority actions they need to take
on their portfolio of materials in the manufacturing resource
planning process. The LMP also has made it possible for current
users at AMC to transition their major-item planning activities
from an entirely manual process to an automated supply chain
Maintenance program oversight. The LMP provides item managers
and project leaders with enhanced oversight of maintenance
programs. The system supports improved tracking of labor
hours and dollars expended by repair program and integrates
detailed, accurate forecasting capabilities for programs
partially funded throughout the fiscal year.
The LMP also supports greater collaboration among item managers,
project leaders, and item repair facility managers, resulting
in more accurate forecasting of maintenance demands and maintenance
program execution. A project can be created, funded, transmitted
to the depot, rejected, renegotiated, retransmitted, and
accepted by the depot in 1 day; most projects are accepted
in a matter of minutes. By contrast, these activities previously
required 2 weeks to 1 month to complete using multiple legacy
Depot operations. The LMP offers Army users
increased functional and end-user knowledge of the Army’s
depot operations and logistics processes. The system streamlines
materiel and parts requisitioning processes and facilitates
the movement of assets between the Defense Logistics Agency
and depots. These capabilities shorten the time required
to reconcile logistics activities among C–E LCMC, Tobyhanna
Army Depot, and other customers.
Financial operations. The LMP effectively integrates financial
and logistics operations, meets the requirements of the Chief
Financial Officers Act, and aligns with the DOD’s Financial
Business Enterprise Architecture. The system merges four
Army Working Capital Fund activities into one fund under
a single company code organization.
The LMP permits the Army to reduce inventories significantly
because logisticians are able to better plan and allocate
resources. That ability, in turn, allows the Army to reduce
the theater footprint in battlefield operations. Moreover,
the LMP complies with the requirements of the Federal Financial
Management Improvement Act and supports the full-scope audits
of the Army Working Capital Fund needed to achieve a clean
IT Platform Delivers Superior Performance
The unifying component underlying all of the Army’s
logistics transformation initiatives is the pursuit of excellence
in applying IT to meet strategic goals. IT is the key enabler
for mission success in the 21st century, and the LMP has
set high standards for IT performance and quality. This Web-based
system is easily accessible worldwide and supports the DOD
vision of building a global information grid that provides
the right information at the right time to the right entity.
From the outset of LMP solution design and planning, the
Government and its principal system integration partner,
Computer Sciences Corporation, were determined to use technology
components that would allow system performance to evolve
without the need for significant architectural changes.
The LMP also is technologically open, scalable, and secure.
it uses a common personal computer and Web browser, the
deployed LMP solution is accessible worldwide on a real-time
through the DOD Unclassified but Sensitive Internet Protocol
Router Network (NIPRNET). This provides users secure, yet
flexible, access to logistics information.
As an indication of the excellence of its technical engineering
methodology, the LMP has been awarded a SAP Customer Competency
Center certification—a first for a Federal Government
implementation of a SAP system. Only 3.5 percent of worldwide
SAP implementations, and less than 1 percent of more than
20,000 SAP North America clients, have earned this distinction.
The LMP also excels in seven major technology service categories
that measure logistics sustainment capabilities—
System availability. The
LMP exceeds best-in-class standards with 99.98 percent availability.
(Gartner, Inc., an IT consulting and research company used
by many corporations and Government agencies, specifies a
target of 99.50 percent for a best-in-class
System response time. The LMP exceeds industry performance
standards by completing 98.5 percent of user transactions
in less than 2 seconds. (The industry standard is
Trouble ticket management. The LMP achieved a significant
45-percent reduction in functional-related trouble
tickets since its deployment. (A trouble ticket is
a method used to track the reporting and resolution
Interface transaction flow. The LMP successfully processes
high transaction volumes without losing data or disrupting
business processes. Less than 1 percent of Defense
Automatic Addressing System (DAAS) transactions have
been rejected since
Security access. The LMP successfully meets Government
standards and regulations, granting system access within
target timeframes in 98.5 percent of all cases.
Movement of change requests to production. The LMP uses strict
change-control processes to validate 100 percent of all change requests,
ensuring that they are appropriately evaluated in the production environment.
Automated processing. The LMP exceeds industry standards
for batch-processing execution,
successfully completing transactions in 99.95 percent
of all cases.
These results demonstrate the extent to which the LMP delivers
a comprehensive logistics information management framework that meets
the needs of its constituents across the Army and DOD.
Supporting America’s Warfighters
In streamlining many of the labor-intensive proc-esses
involved in using multiple legacy systems since July 2003,
the LMP has been making a significant and measurable difference
in the lives of troops conducting vital combat operations.
The LMP is connecting the foxhole to the industrial base
in a manner that would have been difficult to imagine only
a few years ago. The result of LMP implementation is that
the Army has a system that empowers its leaders to make
strategic decisions about logistics operations in real
The LMP currently processes 8 million requisitions annually
and enables the Army to realize the benefits of a centralized
and standardized system. In this way, the LMP delivers
a significant advantage in managing Army operations at
home and on the battlefield. The LMP also helps the Army
reduce inefficiencies and related costs along its distribution
system. It reduces the accumulation of excess inventory,
eliminates the duplication of requisitions, and increases
efficiencies at theater distribution centers.
By replacing numerous nonintegrated information systems
and limiting the data inconsistencies and data duplication
that result, the LMP makes it easier for logistics professionals
to comply with Army supply policies and procedures. By
eliminating the need for extensive manual intervention,
the LMP reduces the time, funding, and human resources
needed to process the millions of transactions the Army
initiates on an annual basis.
The Logistics Modernization Program is a pivotal component
of the Army’s drive to ensure that business systems
and processes remain flexible and responsive to the needs
of a dynamic and rapidly evolving expeditionary force.
As a cornerstone of the Single Army Logistics Enterprise—the
Army-wide vision for integrating logistics business processes
from the factory to the foxhole—the LMP provides
the functional and technical benefits that bring rapid
order fulfillment, improved demand planning and forecasting,
streamlined depot operations, and financial visibility
to the Army’s supply chain and ensure that Soldiers
receive the right equipment and repair parts at the right
Every day, the Army is laying a foundation of flexible,
scalable, and modernized systems and business processes
that will allow logisticians to see requirements, control
distribution, and guarantee precise, time-definite support.
This is not a vision that can wait until some time in the
future. Effective, efficient, and integrated warfighter
supply and support are vital requirements now. The LMP
is helping to make them a reality.
Kevin Carroll is the Program Executive Officer for Enterprise Information
Systems at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. He holds a bachelor’s degree and
a master’s degree in business administration. He is also a graduate
of the Federal Executive Institute and a member of the National Contract
Management Association Board of Advisors.
Colonel David W. Coker is the Project Manager for Logistics Information
Systems at Fort Lee, Virginia. He was the Project Manager for the Logistics
Modernization Program when he co-wrote this article. He holds a bachelor’s
degree in business administration and master’s degrees in business
administration, procurement/contract management, and national strategic