Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Business Systems Center (BSC) leads the Navy in developing, delivering, maintaining, and securing business information technology (IT) solutions that also support the Department of Defense and international partners in the functional areas of logistics, supply chain management, transportation, finance and accounting.
CHIPS staff caught up with NAVSUP BSC Commanding Officer Capt. Douglas M. Bridges Jr. and BSC subject matter experts at the Department of the Navy (DON) IT East Conference 2018 in Norfolk, Virginia in April and asked him about how NAVSUP BSC supports DON business processes and the warfighter. Capt. Bridges and his staff responded in writing.
CHIPS: First, I have to say I am amazed at the scope of NAVSUP BSC’s responsibilities. To begin, can you describe what Navy Business Intelligence Services (NBIS) are? Are other Navy commands part of the NBIS environment?
Capt. Bridges: The NAVSUP BSC team is phenomenal. Our expanding reach and responsibility is a true testament to our talented staff and their hard work, commitment, and service to the Navy.
Today, NBIS provides big data consumers secure access to
financial, supply chain, workforce management, and acquisition data in an easy to use format that reveals statistical information in near real-time. NBIS is data agnostic, which makes it future proof and allows leaders to rapidly analyze data and improve informed decision-making.
Yes, other Navy activities included in NBIS environment are predominately members of the Business Intelligence Community of
Excellence (BI COE).
Additionally, NBIS uses Navy data to improve readiness across the fleet. It puts the data into the hands of Sailors and other Navy support personnel, which allows quick and decisive decision making.
CHIPS: I see that NBIS is an integrated data warehouse, reporting, and analytics environment. Where does the data come from and who are your customers or users? Can customers come to you to design systems for them or do you have a select group that you are required to support?
Capt. Bridges: NBIS data comes from authoritative sources spanning financial, supply chain, workforce management, and acquisition areas. NBIS customers include Naval Air Systems Command, NAVSUP, Naval Sea Systems Command, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, Office of Naval Research, Strategic Systems Programs, Chief of Naval Operations, Office of Financial Operations, and Office of Financial Policy and Systems.
BSC is an Echelon III activity within the NAVSUP Enterprise and is required to support NAVSUP’s mission. Additionally, BSC can support other DoD and international partners.
NBIS is architected so that it can readily scale to meet the net-centric data strategy and the national information exchange model, which allows the Navy to share data across the DoD.
CHIPS: Are NAVSUP BSC’s business solutions cloud ready?
Capt. Bridges: NAVSUP BSC has been preparing for several years to transition to cloud computing as well as training our workforce to design, develop and maintain cloud applications. While NAVSUP BSC is required to maintain specific legacy systems that are not compatible, we are poised to develop new
business solutions that are cloud ready. At this time, we are waiting for official guidance to implement our solutions through the use of the cloud.
CHIPS: I see that NAVSUP BSC supports Navy Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) optimization, does BSC define and manage the requirements and maintenance of ERP on behalf of
the Systems Commands (SYSCOMS)? Can you explain how NAVSUP BSC optimizes ERP? The Navy’s Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems (PEO EIS) is the acquisition entity for ERP, how does NAVSUP BSC work with the PEO EIS team?
Capt. Bridges: No, NAVSUP BSC does not define or manage the requirements and maintenance of ERP for SYSCOMS. All work efforts are coordinated through (PMW 220) Navy Enterprise Business Solutions.
BSC provides operations, maintenance and development services for the Navy ERP system. As an efficiency-driven organization, we are constantly identifying and executing process changes to provide a better experience for our users or a lower sustainment cost to the Program Management Office (PMO).
BSC is the lead system integrator for Navy ERP and provides sustainment services directly to PMW 220, the PMO within PEO EIS that supports enterprise business systems.
In any warfighting scenario, the Navy cannot accomplish their mission without strong logistics support. ERP supports the DoD’s capability to mobilize the best-trained, fully-equipped, lethal naval force by delivering a financial and supply chain system of record and accountability.
CHIPS: I understand that NAVSUP BSC provides afloat automation for inventory management, food services, and retail operations onboard ships. Is this a packaged software suite that is provided to all Navy ships? Can you describe what the automation does?
Capt. Bridges: NAVSUP BSC is currently working on a business solution that will package products together and deploy as one suite to Navy ships. Our afloat automation allows Sailors to build menus, reorder food, and shop for retail items.
The Food Service Management Version 3.0 (FSM3) system is an automated tool for Navy food service personnel, both afloat and ashore, to perform all administrative and record keeping functions relating to daily operations of a dining facility.
FSM3 provides food service officers and other key personnel with an automated method of ordering food, creating menus, processing receipts, tracking inventory, generating recipes and menus, and other functions associated with general mess operations.
The Retail Operation Management System (ROM3) enables ship’s store personnel to maintain accountability of merchandise, track sales, determine profitability, and effectively manage ship store operations afloat. It is also necessary to render required ship's store financial returns and reports to the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) and to the fleet type commanders.
ROM3 provides the means to order merchandise, receive and transfer merchandise to a selling location, and record the sale of the merchandise. It also provides a means to conduct periodic inventories and determine gains or losses of merchandise. ROM3 also adds the ability to document the receipt or expenditure of merchandise with other Navy activities. The system maintains all data needed to produce periodic financial returns and receipt transmittals that are provided to DFAS.
Afloat automation directly contributes to NAVSUP BSC’s mission to support and provide supply chain IT and management solutions for supply and financial requirements that increase fleet readiness by improving automation and information sharing.
CHIPS: In NAVSUP BSC’s Application Development brochure, does LCS refer to the littoral combat ships? If so, is this service unique for all LCS?
Capt. Bridges: Yes, and yes. LCS does refer to littoral combat ships. Logistics Integrated Fleet Tool (LIFT) will be used to support LCSs until the program of record develops a distance-support solution for them. [Logistics Integrated Fleet Tool (LIFT) improves LCS support with integration of maintenance, supply, ship, shore and Mission Package Support Facility (MPSF) data. LIFT provides a single fused view of logistics and maintenance, enabling LCS Distance Support from ashore.]
CHIPS: The Center works with international partners in the functional areas of logistics, supply chain management, transportation, finance and accounting. Can you talk about who your international partners are and what you do for them?
Capt. Bridges: NAVSUP BSC has recently partnered with Mexico, Germany, Republic of Korea, and Royal Saudi Naval Force (RSNF). NAVSUP BSC’s longest running international partnership is with RSNF. The 40-year partnership began in 1978 and, over the course of that time, NAVSUP BSC has designed, developed, installed and maintained customized business solutions for RSNF.
The latest system is the Computerized Provisioning, Allowance and Supply System (COMPASS). This supply and logistics system is supported at multiple sites throughout the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
NAVSUP BSC assists RSNF in four key areas: IT consulting; developing enhancements to the COMPASS program; COMPASS and technical training; [and] maintaining day-to-day operation of
Working with international partners extends our network of capability by building a foundation of mutual respect, collaboration and interoperability.
CHIPS: Does this support encompass all DoD agencies and NATO allies? For example, would the BSC be involved in planning a NATO exercise or assist in budgeting/accounting?
Capt. Bridges: No. NAVSUP BSC's customer base includes select DoD agencies and international partners. NAVSUP BSC would not be involved in [logistics] planning for a NATO exercise or assisting in budgeting or accounting.
NAVSUP BSC provides IT solutions in support of customers' functional areas of logistics, supply chain management, transportation, finance and accounting and is the Navy’s primary business solution provider.
CHIPS: Can you talk about how many employees are in NAVSUP BSC’s workforce? What types of skills do they have?
Capt. Bridges: NAVSUP BSC is comprised of many talented professionals who specialize in a myriad of skills and abilities that contribute to mission success. However, the majority of our workforce skillsets stem from the IT community and include experts in cybersecurity; Java, .net, and web development; IT
project management; data analytics; database, server, and network administration; cryptographic management; and enterprise architecture.
Made up of more than 1,000 military and civilian professionals, NAVSUP BSC is a world-class team. Our mission to deliver, maintain and secure business IT solutions could not be achieved without their hard work, commitment and service to the Navy.
CHIPS: Is there anything else that readers should know about the BSC’s work?
Capt. Bridges: NAVSUP BSC is poised to support future Navy reforms with enterprise business systems and big data strategies to improve visibility and accountability for our leadership. The seamless integration of information NAVSUP BSC provides, ultimately supports sustained military advantages globally and maintains the key capability of resilient and agile logistics for a more lethal force.