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News | May 10, 2021

Fleet Readiness Center Southeast saves thousands by implementing various process improvements

By Ashley Lombardo

A lot of magic happens in the BMS. This area operates as a central hub, receiving all raw materials required for manufacturing processes. 

“The BMS team is responsible for receiving, evaluating, certifying and distributing every piece of raw material purchased by FRCSE,” said Production Controller Daniel Janansky. “We supply material to all the depot’s manufacturing shops, as well as MRO Production Lines and FRCSE’s satellites, such as Detachment Jacksonville, Detachment Mayport and Cecil Commerce Center. The work performed in the BMS is the first step in what is often a lengthy manufacturing process.” 

Encouraged by the recent implementation of the Navy Sustainment System (NSS), FRCSE’s MRO Manufacturing Execution Branch Head, Gary Joshway, decided during 2020 that it was time to get organized.

“I was challenged to spearhead and improve the receipt and distribution process of all raw materials needed for repair or manufactured parts for our customers,” he said. “BMS is the focal point of that request, and it needed a more robust structure so that everyone could truly understand how raw materials flowed in and out during the manufacturing process.”

Considering the sheer amount of materials coming in and out of this area, it seemed like a no-brainer to Joshway, Janansky and a team made up of experts ranging from CPI professionals to technicians and upper management agreed that the site should operate in a way that was efficient, effective and financially frugal.  

The team quickly delved into the 5S system, but while they sorted, straightened, shined, standardized, and implemented control measures to sustain their newly defined space, a more extensive project evolved. 

Poor flow, inaccessibility, delays, a lack of inventory lists, excessive stored metals, and partial and remnant materials were just a few of the areas that needed to be addressed. 

In short, something more had emerged from what had begun as an organizational task. BMS was budding with opportunities to continue improving.

Queue FRCSE’s Richard Sikorski Continuous Process Improvement Specialist. 

At the request of Joshway, Sikorski, among other subject matter experts, began putting their heads together.

“After finishing, the 5S flow map, we stood back and took a hard look at our documented process,” said Sikorski. “From there, the team identified that we had several bottlenecks occurring in the area. Our goal was to remove them so that product would flow smoothly in and out of the BMS.”

Portable benches with wheels made workstations moveable. Process maps helped promote better workflow and operations. Specific storage areas were designated to hold and organize partial shipments awaiting more material. An extensive inventory list identified how to address, manage and dispose of excessive stock, and allowed sharing among departments to satisfy orders more efficiently. 

“By evaluating thousands of pieces of material throughout the BMS, neighboring ‘Green Monster’ location and off-location warehouses, we were able to post an inventory that accurately represents what FRCSE has available on hand in real-time,” said Janansky “This is where our cost avoidance numbers came into play.”

By addressing excessive storage, the folks in the BMS were not just able to create an inventory list that would help satisfy expedited manufacturing orders, or Golden Tickets, but they also were able to adequately address remnant and partial materials and dispose of metals costing the depot thousands in unnecessary storage costs.

“Considering that there is an associated cost for storing metal, the team vetted a disposal process through management that can now be implemented at the shop-level,” said Sikorski. “This allows the team to make swift decisions regarding what should be disposed and what should be stored.”

Further, remnant materials or scrap materials must be sent back to supply chain vendors for FRCSE to receive a monetary credit. A spinoff from the inventory list was a two-card system used to identify material before and after it has been used in the manufacturing process so the team can store, return and order new items appropriately. 

The two-card system for remnant pieces tells the team precisely what raw materials need to returned to vendors. The partial storage allows for organized, safe storage while the team awaits more shipments, and the final inventory list is shared with the Planning and Estimator Division so that both groups know what material can be issued for future projects and Golden Tickets. Not to mention all three streamlined processes keep money in the command’s pocket by minimizing the number of items being stored unnecessarily for extended periods. 

“The project is closing in fast on $110,000 of cost avoidance,” said Sikorski. “The cost avoidance is calculated by evaluating the cost of material we can issue directly from inventoried stock instead of repurchasing. This aids in reducing turnaround time for material backorders, delivery and the cost of reordering duplicate metal. The success of the project also goes beyond monetary savings as multiple Golden Tickets can be expedited, by proper inventory utilization.”

With a little elbow grease and many great minds, FRCSE’s BMS has not just become a clean, organized, and highly-productive storage area and workspace, but it has also become a model of collaboration for other areas of the command.

About Fleet Readiness Center Southeast

Fleet Readiness Center Southeast (FRCSE) is Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia's largest maintenance, repair, overhaul and technical services provider, employing more than 5,000 civilian, military and contract workers. With annual revenue exceeding $1 billion, the organization serves as an integral part of the greater U.S. Navy, Naval Air Systems Command, and Commander, Fleet Readiness Centers by maintaining the combat airpower for America's military forces.