Helping Support the Army's New Vision

RAND Develops New Tool to Help the Army Measure and Improve Equipment Readiness

The new Army Vision emphasizes rapid deployment capabilities.  This vision depends on sustaining a high level of equipment readiness.  Rapidly deployed troops won't be effective if weapons and other supplies aren't equally as ready as they are.

Since the middle of 1999, RAND researchers have briefed high-ranking U.S. Army officials about a powerful new tool that can support the new Army Vision by improving the Army's measurement of equipment readiness and its components, thus improving the ability to identify the underlying causes of equipment readiness problems.

RAND researchers call the new tool the Equipment Downtime Analyzer (EDA).  

The EDA does for Army equipment readiness what activity-based cost/management (ABC/M) systems enable commercial corporations to do:  assess the contribution of each process and organization to the bottom line of equipment readiness in order to make the most effective decisions.  It works by combining data from various Army databases to provide a comprehensive picture of overall operational results.  

Link to audio-enhanced slideArmy organizations have identified several ways to use the EDA.

RAND has completed a fully functional prototype of EDA with data from two volunteer Army divisions.   The Readiness Operations Management Directorate at the Tank-automotive & Armaments Command (TACOM) have produced an audio-enhanced MS PowerPoint slide that demonstrates how the EDA prototype works.  

The Army's Acting DCSLOG, MG Charles C. Cannon, is pursuing EDA implementation.  He is working with the Combined Arms Support Command and the Ordnance Center and School to insure that the innovations generated by the EDA research will be incorporated into the Army's new logistics information systems.

The EDA is the latest innovation to emerge from the Arroyo Center's analytic support of the Army's Velocity Management (VM) initiative.  

Velocity Management -- a term coined by logistics analysts at RAND's Arroyo Center and adopted by the Army -- adapts many of the technological and managerial innovations that have succeeded in commercial entities like Motorola and Toyota to the military.  VM, implemented in the Army by a coalition of senior logisticians known as the Velocity Group, has resulted in dramatic reductions in order and ship times, in some cases by up to 67 percent.  VM improvements aren't limited to the order-and-ship process, however; part repair stockage determination, and financial management processes have all benefited from the initiative.

Uses for the EDA:

Uncover fleet management issues with weapon systems and parts
Identify technical help needed by certain units
Help evaluate and improve design reliability
Help make recapitalization decisions
Evaluate the effectiveness of organizational structures
Diagnose opportunities for logistics process improvement