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CHIPS Articles: Accelerating Digital Solutions to Build Navy Capacity

Accelerating Digital Solutions to Build Navy Capacity
By Capt. Douglas M. Bridges, Jr., Commanding Officer, Naval Supply Systems Command Business Systems Center - May 7, 2019
MECHANICSBURG, Pa. -- Throughout my 12 years serving as a Navy leader in the information technology (IT) field, I’ve watched the digital realm and cyberspace environment evolve at an astronomical pace.

Over time, our Navy team of IT professionals has also grown - incorporating new technologies and digital practices that eliminate manual processes and improve automation; ensuring the security of our systems, people, and assets; and continually striving to maintain and sustain relevancy and technical proficiency within our industry to meet the needs of our nation.

And while systems and applications that once took years to develop and deliver are now completed in a fraction of time, keeping pace with the rapid evolution of technology remains our biggest challenge.

A challenge we must overcome to build capacity, increase lethality, and restore readiness to our Navy team.

Spanning the cover of Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. John Richardson’s, ‘A Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority, Version 2.0,’ we see ones and zeros cascading over a photograph of our Navy’s ships at sea.

This subtle illustration depicting binary computer data serves as an acute reminder that to sustain maneuvers across our digital battlespace, we must expand the boundaries of IT to build a networked, agile fleet, capable of defeating our enemies.

Uniquely positioned under Naval Supply Systems Command’s (NAVSUP) responsibility for Navy supply chain management, NAVSUP Business Systems Center (BSC) is poised to provide secure and effective IT solutions across a myriad of global supply and logistics challenges to deliver strategic and tactical advantages to the Navy, DoD, and our allied partners.

Through data analytics, application development, afloat systems, and new technology integration; NAVSUP BSC designs, develops, and delivers solutions that support building a networked, agile fleet, and allows Navy leaders to make informed, data-driven decisions that restore readiness, increase lethality, and build capacity.

As we continue building capacity for the Navy’s future supply chain infrastructure, we can deduce that there will be no supply chain without IT.

IT systems will be integrally embedded within business units to support accounting systems reduction, business systems consolidation, and streamline the financial reporting process.

Forecasting this future data-centric supply chain can yield somewhat of a blurred vision as technology is moving faster than ever, and currently outpacing the rate at which our current infrastructure can adapt.

To right the ship, keep pace with the explosive rate of technological creation and adoption, and accelerate the Navy’s competitive advantage during a rise of global information systems and the proliferation of big data, NAVSUP BSC must operate at the tip of the digital spear through integration of advanced technologies and introduction of new operational concepts, while fostering a culture of creativity and innovation, and leveraging relationships that strengthen alliances and attract new partners.

NAVSUP BSC has versatile capabilities to develop, maintain, and broker specialized IT solutions for supply chain requirements.

Solutions span wholesale to retail, enterprise to unit specific needs, and monolithic to mobile. Supply department personnel in operational units and logisticians ashore use these tools to accomplish their missions.

Each solution is a culmination of available technology at inception, requirement drivers, and last but not least; budget resources.

Navy IT management, like other disciplines, has a set of governing policies which dictate the type of funding, spending limits, workforce qualifications, authority to operate on Navy and DoD networks, and security posture.

When delivering solutions, the focus must be on customer needs and their mission accomplishment. As customer needs evolve, refinement of solutions continue.

As a solution provider, NAVSUP BSC must masterfully and rapidly navigate any barriers, constraints, and hurdles on the path to employing products for customers. Creativity and tenacity become our second nature, nurturing a sense of urgency and mission accomplishment.

Innovation bridges the gap between IT development activities and customer delivery by leveraging commercial best practices and partnering with industry leaders.

Delivery of solutions in areas including mobile platforms, data analytics, finance, and supply chain business processes is made possible by a cadre of dedicated professionals specializing in IT and includes Supply Corps officers serving as Business/Supply Chain Enterprise Management (BEM) professionals.

In addition to our centralized location in Mechanicsburg, the reach of NAVSUP BSC’s IT professionals is further amplified by our strategically located Regional Support Sites.

Positioned in fleet concentration areas across the continental U.S. and Hawaii, NAVSUP BSC stands ready to address our customer needs at a moment’s notice throughout the logistics enterprise.

Providing the Navy with information systems support through the design, development, and maintenance of information systems in the functional areas of logistics, supply chain management, transportation, finance, and accounting, NAVSUP BSC is one of 11 commands under Commander, NAVSUP. Headquartered in Mechanicsburg, and employing a diverse, worldwide workforce of more than 22,500 military and civilian personnel, NAVSUP's mission is to provide supplies, services, and quality-of-life support to the Navy and joint warfighter.

For more information about NAVSUP BSC, visit https://www.navsup.navy.mil/public/navsup/bsc/.

Capt. Douglas M. Bridges Jr., commanding officer, Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Business Systems Center (BSC), speaks with staff members during a NAVSUP BSC regional site visit in Mechanicsburg, Pa. The regional site visit served as an opportunity for employees to meet personnel assigned outside of the Mechanicsburg area and collaborate on NAVSUP BSC missions and functions. NAVSUP BSC’s mission is to deliver Information Technology/Information Management (IT/IM) solutions with specific emphasis on logistics and financial related products and services. U.S. Navy photo by James E. Foehl/Released
Capt. Douglas M. Bridges Jr., commanding officer, Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Business Systems Center (BSC), speaks with staff members during a NAVSUP BSC regional site visit in Mechanicsburg, Pa. The regional site visit served as an opportunity for employees to meet personnel assigned outside of the Mechanicsburg area and collaborate on NAVSUP BSC missions and functions. NAVSUP BSC’s mission is to deliver Information Technology/Information Management (IT/IM) solutions with specific emphasis on logistics and financial related products and services. U.S. Navy photo by James E. Foehl/Released
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