Allowance Development: Reduction of NAVAIR Precision Measuring Equipment Inventory
Adding more, removing less
Everyone wants equipment that looks shiny and new, and the U.S. Navy is no exception. Over the last 40 years, the Navy has continued to purchase the latest in precision measuring technology. The amount of equipment can add up quickly, as can the number of different support requirements for keeping both older and newer equipment operational.
The approach that the Navy had been taking for the last four decades — added more equipment than it could remove without risk to its weapons system support — was clearly no longer a viable option. Neither was the most obvious solution, which would be to get rid of the oldest equipment in the Navy’s stock. The age of a piece of precision measuring equipment doesn’t necessarily correlate to its usefulness, which is why we needed to think outside of the box to create a uniform structure for determining what pieces of equipment were needed in which of the Navy’s facilities.
What's most important
Before we could start organizing the Navy’s equipment, we needed to know what we were dealing with. To say the Navy has a lot of test equipment would be an understatement. The Navy needs to have the necessary equipment on hand to troubleshoot and verify all of the aircraft in its fleet, some of which have been in service since the 1960s and 1970s. We needed to determine which technologies were necessary to service each of the 3,700 aircraft in the Navy, and pinpoint any redundancies in the Navy’s laboratories.
We set out with the goal of creating an Allowance Development Program that would keep precision equipment variety down by specifying which pieces of equipment were required in each Navy laboratory. Prioritizing was imperative during our development process. Trying to determine how to substitute new equipment in lieu of old equipment can get very problematic, and we had to do a lot of technical analysis to ensure we were making the right decisions at every step along the way. We needed to determine which Calibration Procedure was supporting the required test equipment. If a certain procedure was using older methods and older equipment, then we modernized the procedure first ensuring the Navy moved forward on its best footing.
Reducing the footprint
If our sailors and marines know which pieces of equipment are allowed in which laboratories, it makes it easier for teams to manage their own inventory toward that allowance. For example, if the allowance establishes there should be three pieces of Equipment A in each laboratory, then each laboratory supervisor knows that he or she should have three pieces of Equipment A — not more, and not less.
Our technical analysis found that the age of a piece of equipment was not a major factor in determining its usefulness. Redundancy was a much bigger issue, with new equipment having been introduced to fulfill the same needs as older equipment in many of the Navy’s laboratories.
We accomplished our goal of leaning the footprint of the U.S. Navy’s precision measuring equipment by creating a standardized Allowance Development Program. We went from having 600 pieces of equipment in a single laboratory down to 400, without sacrificing any necessary technology. In the end, we saved the Navy money and made it easier for Navy technicians to do their jobs.