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NEWS | June 27, 2021

NSWC Panama City develops urgent purchase request process to meet emerging needs

By Katherine Mapp NSWC PCD Public Affairs

Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division’s (NSWC PCD) Purchasing Branch has developed an urgent purchase request process to enable the workforce to meet emerging needs and rapidly deliver solutions.

The Urgent Purchase Request Process is a localized process to NSWC PCD to fit the functionality and perform with the local Requirements Form (RF) tool and its metrics database.

Brandt Weilbacher, Property Management division head at NSWC PCD, said his team identified a need to make the pre-existing Urgent Process easier by combining an “urgent” check box on the RF Tool that can be selected during the initial RF creation. Once marked the only additional step of the RF creator is to attach an approval email from their department head or deputy department head that states the approval of the urgent order.

“When the 1071 Purchasing Branch receives an RF that is marked as urgent with the attached approval email it is worked at the top of the processing que to ensure the purchasing team is providing rapid solutions to the Warfighter through expeditious procurement screening and processing utilizing the One Team approach,” said Weilbacher. “This new Urgent Purchase Request Process has replaced a more laborious and analog workflow of sending emails to be expedited all while having to manually track the urgent metrics.”

The Purchasing Branch teamed up with the Information Technology (IT) Division to have the Urgent Process added to the RF tool and develop the desired metrics tracking. IT was able to quickly turn around this requirement and publish the desired changes to the RF tool.

Dr. Andrew Schicho, High Volume Long Range Precision Strike lead engineer at NSWC PCD, said during a recent test event, a Power Distribution Box (PDB) and Control Electronics Box (CEB) suffered damage and required repairs. With a demonstration event upcoming, the team needed to troubleshoot the issue, order replacement parts, and repair these boxes in approximately one month.

After identifying the hardware, which needed replacement, the teams lead electrical engineer, Gavin Taylor, used the urgent purchase process and received the materials needed in less than a month allowing the team to repair the PDB and CEB.

“Repairing these critical components allowed us to complete testing of the Expeditionary Launch Module and attend our demonstration on schedule,” said Schicho. “Without the Urgent Purchase Request Process we could have been forced to delay testing, reschedule travel, and miss project deadlines affecting multiple internal and external partners.”

Leveraging the Urgent Purchase Request Process played a key role in supporting this critical path.

“It was the goal of Property Management and all collaborators to provide a streamlined process for the workforce while being able to simultaneously capture and provide metrics for leadership,” said Weilbacher. “When there is an urgent need, it needs to be visible to everyone involved and this new process provides that visibility.”