It was almost midnight in the Indian Ocean, and a storm was bearing down on the USS Enterprise (CVN 65); poor timing for the carrier to lose access to the classified Intelink website. An information
systems technician (IT) 3rd class petty officer (IT3) called NAVY 311 to find an expert who could quickly troubleshoot the problem. The NAVY 311 call center representative immediately documented
the issue and referred the IT3’s request to the Regional Maintenance Center (RMC) and Intelink Services Management Center (ISMC) service desk. In less than an hour, the ISMC responded directly
to the IT3 via SIPRNET and resolved the Intelink website access issue.
On the other side of the world, the son of a deceased Navy veteran urgently needed official U.S. Navy documentation to prevent a major financial crisis for his mother. Her home was pending foreclosure and sale within a week — unless official U.S. Navy documentation could verify that she was eligible for benefits. The son contacted NAVY 311 and his request was expedited to the Navy’s Survivor Benefits and Entitlements Branch, which, in turn, produced the proper documentation. Foreclosure averted.
Thousands of stories like these characterize the power of NAVY 311. Simply stated, when in need of assistance, turn to NAVY 311. The NAVY 311 call center operation is a single entry point into hundreds of help desks, call centers, and support organizations across the Navy. Ask any question, about any topic, anytime, from anywhere.
The NAVY 311 capability is not a new service or program start, but rather a new name for the customer relationship management (CRM) component of the Navy’s Distance Support (DS) capability,
which was established in March 2007 by the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO).
Basically, NAVY 311 rebrands and simplifies the various service request methods under the Distance Support umbrella whereby Sailors can get help.Those methods were 1-877-41-TOUCH,
the AnchorDesk website and the Global Distance Support Center (GDSC), which formed the core DS CRM effort,” explained Cmdr. Cord Luby, assistant program manager for Distance Support. “With NAVY 311, Sailors need only remember one point of entry — via phone, email, Web, text, chat — to get on-demand non-tactical information assistance 24/7, classified or unclassified. And, the NAVY 311 call center is available to all U.S. Armed Forces members and their families, DoD civilians, contractors and the occasional inquisitive citizen.”
Adopted by more than 300 major cities, “3-1-1” is becoming a universal moniker for citizens to get non-emergency help. Baltimore, Chicago, San Francisco, New York, and other large municipalities, are using their centralized 3-1-1 call center operations to make city government services more accessible and transparent. Likewise, under the Sea Warrior Program (PMW 240), the
Distance Support team is applying the principles of customer advocacy and knowledge management to provide the first-of-its-kind 3-1-1 solution focused on Navy needs.
From Distance Support to NAVY 311
The customer relationship management component of Distance Support originated in 1999 through a collaborative agreement between Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP), Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) and the fleet commanders to provide a better interface for the fleet into the shore support infrastructure. This effort produced the Global Distance Support Center, a hub for the shore-based sources of support (SoS) network for fleet logistics and technical assistance.
The requests for assistance quickly grew beyond the bounds of the hardware that systems commands provided to include other Echelon II command services such as personnel, Chaplain Care, medical, facilities, training and other needs.
“Early on, we quickly found ourselves at the tip of the spear when it came to helping Sailors figure out who to call for what,” said Craig Brandenburg, Navy 311 director. “By removing the burden from the Sailor trying to navigate the shore infrastructure, we connect their problem to the appropriate service provider. What Distance Support, and now NAVY 311, has become over time is a coordinated and collaborative network of responsive support to the fleet that spans the entire shore infrastructure and the provider enterprise.”
Significant about NAVY 311 is the federated approach for providing service through the network of support providers. A helpful analogy is to compare NAVY 311 to a health maintenance organization (HMO). Although the type of organizational structure, independent specialty and membership vary across an HMO network, all share the collective goal of providing comprehensive
care. The kinds of expertise and delivery systems vary across an HMO, but the providers agree to standardize provisions making available the care, facilities and services the customer base requires.
NAVY 311 and the support provider network operate in a similar fashion. A Sailor may submit a service request to the NAVY 311 call center via any NAVY 311 channel. Or, a Sailor may directly contact one of the Navy’s independent help desks or contact centers (e.g., 1-800-U-ASK-NPC in Millington, Tenn.) for support. Either way, the Sailor’s request is processed following mandated SoS business rules; each support request is documented, processed within a pre scribed response time, and accessible via the shared CRM data environment. The end result is the same: Sailor problem resolution with the transactional information captured for business intelligence. All participants of the SoS network are focused on serving Sailors and customers while maximizing business efficiency.
The Emerging Business Value of NAVY 311
As the NAVY 311 CRM solution continues to evolve, opportunities are evident to use the vast amount of collected service request data for better management decisions.
Currently, NAVY 311 technologies and processes integrate data from various transactional support systems across the Navy to give fleet customers and program offices a broader view of recurring system issues. There are three NAVY 311 call center hubs focused on various areas of support: Norfolk, New Orleans and San Diego. The shared data environment houses more than 6 million support request records.
“Today, NAVY 311 metrics reveal that we [support providers] are very good at being reactive and responsive. We are focused on decreasing both the find time and fix time when it comes to getting Sailors what they need. It’s very exciting; the next step is to help the Navy business managers and stakeholders with the use of robust data analytics. Ultimately, NAVY 311 should help forestall issue occurrences, save money and improve readiness. The good news is the CRM data and volume of tickets amassed over the past decade has evolved in size and scope. We are poised to start using more sophisticated business analytics on the CRM data,” said Laura Knight, program manager for the Sea Warrior Program (PMW 240).
The Surface Warfare Enterprise (SWE) has used data analysis to evaluate all tech assists for recurring maintenance problems to provide type commanders with insight into who repeatedly requires support.
In the training and education area, course curriculum managers revised training curricula to address fleet trends and highlight ongoing areas that need attention.
NAVY 311 is an invaluable tool. It quickly brings a Sailor and other customer issues to the experts who can help solve them. And by mining NAVY 311 data, engineers, acquisiton managers and resource sponsors can more proactively anticipate problems and cost effectively respond to them.
Isn’t it time you used NAVY 311?
Contacting Navy 311
About the Sea Warrior Program
The Sea Warrior Program (PMW 240) manages a complex portfolio of information technology (IT) systems to recruit, train, pay, promote, move, retire, and support Navy personnel and deliver Distance Support IT to the fleet. The PMW 240 Program is part of the Navy Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems (PEO-EIS), which develops, acquires and deploys seamless
enterprise-wide IT systems with full lifecycle support for the warfighter and business enterprise.
For more information, please contact the PMW 240 Public Affairs Office at 703-604-5400 or