The Single Stock Fund (SSF) is a Department of the Army (DA) initiative to reengineer inventory management functions and associated financial processes throughout the Army. It represents one of the most sweeping changes in logistics functions and business processes in recent memory. When it is fully implemented, the SSF will consolidate the management of existing wholesale, theater, corps and installation, and division authorized stockage list (ASL) inventories into a seamless logistics and financial system, thereby creating a single virtual supply and maintenance operation. The SSF will change the way the Army operates at every installation, every corps and division support command, and every Army Materiel Command (AMC) integrated materiel management center.
The implementation strategy for the SSF is being coordinated by a program manager, who is appointed by the DA Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics. An SSF General Officers Work Group, which meets quarterly, and an Executive Steering Committee coordinate and approve major elements of the program. A separate SSF Board of Directors, consisting of the commanders of the four-star major Army commands (MACOM's), is the authority that approves moving the SSF program from one milestone to the next.
Milestones to Achieving the SSF
The SSF Campaign Plan, approved by the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army in November 1997, serves as the blueprint for current efforts to create an SSF. It originally called for implementing a single Army Working Capital Fund-Supply Management Army (AWCF_SMA) account according to the following schedule
Subsequent decisions by the SSF General Officers Work Group adjusted these target dates to ensure that they would be synchronized with the Army's budget and programming processes. The current plan is to implement milestones 1 and 2 concurrently beginning in October 2000. (See the chart below.)
Under the SSF Campaign Plan, one of the requirements that must be achieved before SSF implementation moves to milestones 1 and 2 is a successful demonstration of SSF business practices. Following an extensive Army-wide integration and planning effort, the Army is scheduled to conduct the SSF demonstration at Fort Sill, Oklahoma (part of the Army Training and Doctrine Command); Fort Lewis, Washington (under the Army Forces Command); and Redstone Arsenal, Alabama (an AMC installation), from April through June 2000. This demonstration will permit early identification and quantification of the impact of the new SSF processes on installations, field MACOM's, AMC, and non-Army sources of supply.
A demonstration plan that was staffed extensively with the field identifies the new business rules, processes, policies, procedures, and technical solutions needed to achieve the required SSF functions. It consists of eight separate chapters that address roles and responsibilities; key logistics, financial, and automated system elements; training requirements; procedures for assessing the effectiveness of demonstration operations; areas of risk; and the Army plan for mitigating those risks. Technical guidance and reference materials that amplify these chapters are contained in separate annexes.
Key Demonstration Features
The goal of the SSF demonstration is to operate the business processes needed to achieve milestones 1 and 2 at the selected installations successfully and in a way that links the national AWCF_SMA to installation customers without degrading either their materiel readiness or the fiscal solvency of the AWCF.
The exit criteria that will determine if the demonstration has been completed successfully include achieving
Special interest areas identified by the SSF General Officers Work Group include reducing impacts on materiel readiness, maintaining the solvency of the AWCF-SMA, suspending requisition order number/document order number (RON/DON) operations (so that all requisitions will be passed to the Commodity Command Standard System [CCSS] rather than the Standard Army Retail Supply System [SARSS]), and revising procedures for handling partial issues.
The SSF Program Management Office (PMO) conducted multiple site surveys of the three installations and associated Defense Finance and Accounting Service operating locations to prepare for the demonstration and share information among participants. During these visits, the PMO finalized intraservice support agreements that specify the roles and responsibilities of all parties in the demonstration.
Concept of Operations
The SSF PMO began establishing small functional teams at each demonstration site in January 2000 to oversee preconversion activities and coordinate the details of executing the demonstration. The functional teams began working with their installation counterparts by tackling the SSF training requirements. An aggressive training plan based on the new equipment training approach was coordinated with the installations and refined during the site surveys.
Once the demonstration begins, the SSF PMO will host weekly program reviews to identify areas that need corrective action or policy changes. The results of these reviews will be posted on the SSF homepage on the World Wide Web during the demonstration.
To achieve the business processes required for the SSF, a number of automation changes are underway. The current wholesale logistics system, CCSS, and the field logistics system, SARSS, will remain in place, but changes are being made to both systems to ensure that business processes are synchronized.
In addition, software interfaces will link CCSS and SARSS to create the SSF logistics and functional environment. The software strategy will use an interim architecturecalled middlewareto link current retail and wholesale legacy systems until objective solutions, such as the Global Combat Support System-Army and the Wholesale Logistics Modernization Program, are developed. The middleware will intercept incoming and outgoing transactions, modify them in accordance with SSF business rules, and route them to the appropriate recipient using the existing logistics and financial Stand-ard Army Management Information Systems.
Certain financial accounting systems will be eliminated or significantly altered under the SSF. AMC's Retail Army Standard Financial Inventory and Accounting System (RASFIARS) no longer will be required. The Standard Army Financial Inventory and Recording System (STARFIARS) suite of financial and accounting systems will be altered so that it is not a true financial accounting system; it is being renamed the Installation Supply Buffer (ISB), and its primary function will be routing transactions.
Evaluating the Demonstration
The SSF PMO will perform normal internal evaluations of the demonstration and will generate the demonstration after-action report. An independent team will conduct a separate evaluation under the auspices of AR 73-1, Test and Evaluation Policy. This team will be composed of representatives from the Army Audit Agency and the Army Operational Test Command, augmented as needed by other evaluation staffs.
Following a successful demonstration and approval by Army leadership, the three installations will remain converted to the SSF business processes. The target date to begin implementing milestones 1 and 2 is 1 October 2000. We anticipate that, over a 1-year period, all Active Army and Army Reserve installations and activities will be converted to the SSF in a phased approach.
We will provide a complete assessment of the demonstration's operations in a future edition of Army Logistician. In the meantime, readers can review SSF program highlights and demonstration results at the SSF website at http://www.army.mil/ssf/index.html/. ALOG
Sue Baker has served as the Department of the Army Program Manager for Single Stock Fund since January 1998. She has over 24 years of Federal serv-ice in both Air Force and Army assignments. She holds a B.A. degree in political science from New Mexico State University and an M.A. degree in national resource strategy from the National Defense University.
Lieutenant Colonel Michael J. Mannion, USA (Ret.), is a project manager with the Battelle Memorial Institute assigned as the Functional Lead for Plans and Support within the Single Stock Fund Program Management Office. A former Transportation Corps officer, he is a graduate of the Army Command and General Staff College and holds a B.A. degree in political science from John Carroll University, an M.A. degree in international relations from the University of Southern California, and an M.Ed. degree from Marymount University in Virginia.