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NEWS | Sept. 1, 2022

NSS-SY Spotlight: Material Pillar

By Aime Lykins, PSNS & IMF Public Affairs Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility

Across the waterfront at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility, essential tools and materials of all shapes and sizes can be found in the hands of mechanics and operators. Having the right materials at the right time is a key factor in completing maintenance availabilities on time with precision quality.

The Naval Sustainment System-Shipyards Material Pillar directly supports the production work schedule by reducing material wait times while increasing communications between the shipyard and its suppliers.

“The work we’ve done in the Material Pillar is vital to ultimately improving on time availability performance in the naval shipyards,” said Rear Adm. Kenneth Epps, commander, Naval Supply Systems Command Weapon Systems Support. “The challenges facing us in the shipyards are significant and demand we cement our role as the end-to-end supply chain integrator in this space. We’ll accomplish this through the Code 500s and partner with relevant PEOs to ensure the right resources are in place for our ultimate success.”

PSNS & IMF’s Code 500, Supply and Logistics Department, facilitates the ordering, tracking, receipt and delivery of material used by mechanics, and is working directly with Naval Supply Systems Command and the Defense Logistics Agency to create a clear picture of priorities and material concerns.

“The outcome of the Material Pillar’s overall goal is to help reduce the quantity and duration of material work stoppages,” said Capt. Michael Krisman, PSNS & IMF supply officer. “NAVSUP has stepped in to support NSS-SY as the Navy’s, and shipyards’, end-to-end supply chain integrator. The most direct collaboration with the Code 500s has been to help facilitate the full stand up of the organizations in terms of resources, processes, and metrics.”

An end-to-end supply chain involves an entire integrated process. From product design and procurement of raw materials to scheduling, production and final delivery. Supply chain integration means that the information and communication systems of all stakeholders are able to seamlessly exchange information through planning, execution and transportation throughout a material’s lifecycle.

NAVSUP has been working collaboratively with the shipyards to help standardize organizational structure and bring all material processes under the responsibility of Code 500. Code 500 will assist in developing standardized processes that can be used to calculate metrics to assess performance and identify upstream supply chain challenges that impact other NSSSY Pillars, such as the Inside Shop and Waterfront Pillars.

As the Material Pillar continues to strive for a reduction in material wait times, a focused initiative on the use of a spares pool has begun. The use of a spares pool, which is made up of components readily available to swap out with those that require repair or overhaul, is an approach that makes for more predictable work, and enables a project to more confidently rely on the timelines for necessary work.

“These are components that the Navy has identified are cheaper to repair and return to the Fleet than to buy brand new each time one is required,” said Krisman. “The more desirable approach is to have a ready-for-issue component (from a spares pool), that has already passed inspection, sitting ready on the shelf that can be used to replace the component that was removed, which can drastically reduce risk to schedule.”

Continued alignment between NAVSUP and the NSS-SY Material Pillar will help identify and work on upstream supply chain challenges to improve processes as the new Ford-class carriers and Columbia-class submarines emerge.