A collaborative effort was undertaken by the Warfare Center (WC) test and evaluation directors two years ago to interconnect machine shops and environmental test laboratories across the enterprise.
The initiative was co-chaired by Barry Mohle, engineering manager at Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Dahlgren Division, and Eric Spigel, head of Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Newport Division’s Ranges, Engineering, and Analysis Department. Together, they assembled WC subject matter experts (SMEs) and began site visits to establish trusted relationships and gain a comprehensive understanding of WC capabilities as defined by facilities, equipment and people.
As this effort matured, it evolved into the Warfare Center Industrial Service Enterprise (WISE), the long-term goal of which is to efficiently and effectively leverage Warfare Center capabilities.
While brainstorming ideas to improve communication and share resources, Mohle suggested a website where SMEs can connect to transfer work, materials, people and equipment, and this resulted in the Proposal Opportunity Website (POW), which resides on a server at NSWC Dahlgren Division. Technical experts/SMEs are linked in the POW so when one activity submits a request, all other activity SMEs immediately receive an email and a text message. If they can provide assistance, they can respond immediately.
POW is ideally suited for workflow that is cyclical and has long contract lead times. Instead of having 10 discrete activities operating independently of each other, the POW follows NAVSEA’s One Team approach by facilitating the sharing of workload, resources, and funding vehicles.
The POW currently has two channels of collaboration: machine shops and environmental qualification testing. Future channels may include additive manufacturing capabilities so available configurations can be accessed quickly across the WC enterprise.
Intentionally restricted to a one-page website for ease of use, the POW is intended to address surges and lulls in workload, leverage capabilities, and divest equipment. More than $2 million of equipment has been divested by offering unused equipment to other Warfare Centers. The only cost is transportation; WCs avoid the cost of disposing of equipment as well as the cost of purchasing new equipment.
As the team started to use POW to move work, the Warfare Centers were unable to move money quickly enough to provide the required rapid response. While the co-leads worked to unencumber the process, the rest of the team continued to leverage the newfound relationships. They provided technical assistance and shared processes, procedures and best practices.
One example of POW’s efficiency: a request was communicated on a Wednesday, requirements were negotiated and awarded by that Friday, the test was conducted on the following Tuesday, and reporting was closed out by the following Friday.
The team also has used POW to share Blanket Purchase Agreements and Basic Ordering Agreements. In one instance, NSWC Dahlgren Division provided assistance to NSWC Carderock Division for $362,000 in awards and NSWC Indian Head EOD Technology Division for $93,000 in ordering agreements.
“POW helps us normalize and standardize workloads across Warfare Centers," Spigel said. "This WISE effort demonstrates the ability of the WCs to function as a single, cohesive, collaborative capability to rapidly and cost-effectively deliver improved warfighter capabilities, expanding the advantage over our adversaries."
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