By Wm. Cullen James, Navy Personnel Command Public Affairs
MILLINGTON, Tenn. – Navy officials across the personnel domains have created a dramatic reduction in the number of Sailors awaiting classes in two ratings from December 2010 – September.
A business improvement team (BIT), with members from Navy Personnel Command (NPC); Navy Education and Training Command (NETC); Fleet Forces Command; Naval Surface Forces; Naval Personnel, Planning and Policy Division; and Naval Training and Education Division looked at the electronic technician (ET) and fire controlman (FC) ratings where there were large numbers of Sailors awaiting training. By communicating strategies among the different stakeholders, the waiting time for ETs and FCs reduced from 53 percent in December 2010 to 31 percent in September.
“We still have work to do, and all the great work done must be institutionalized, but the results thus far are exciting,” said Cmdr. Mike Scott, head, surface combat systems rating detailer at NPC. “Understanding how these efforts will impact the day-to-day business for the future just fuels our fire to get it done and get it done correctly.”
Last year, NPC spearheaded an effort to make the enlisted supply chain more efficient. The supply chain is the process through which people are brought into the Navy, trained to be Sailors, learn their rate and are sent to their first assignment. Where there were problems in the chain is that at any given transition, Sailors were waiting for the next step. Tackling the waiting time for ETs and FCs was one of the major first steps in improving the supply chain.
“The major contributor to our successful reduction of wait time for ETs and FCs has been the willingness of different organizations to come together and in an environment of open communication, change the way we have been doing business,” Scott said.
According to Scott, they have been examining each step of the process and attempting to remove any barriers that slow down Sailors in the chain. Also, he explained that the collaboration of efforts across the different commands and organizations shows everyone how decisions made by one organization impact the entire process.
“It has been an eye opening experience for everyone as we have really tried to look at each step in the supply chain and asked ourselves and each other, ‘Is there a better way of doing business?’” Scott said.
Scott’s sentiments are echoed in other organizations too.
“This has truly been a team effort by all stakeholders,” said Cmdr. Ken Belkofer, training program coordinator, surface warfare enterprise at NETC. “No one stakeholder owns the entire supply chain and no stakeholder can change the overall process, but working together we have come a long way.”
While there is still work to do to further improve ET/FC waiting times, Scott explained that eventually these principles will be applied Navy-wide.
“Each rating will bring something new to the discussion as we bring different organizations in to the discussion,” Scott said. “As we examine other ratings and engage their training organizations I am certain there will be differences and those differences may lead us back to modifying the ET and FC supply chain processes. We will always look to gain efficiencies within the system.”