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ATAC wins excellence in government award.

Great athletes raise their level of play in the biggest games. Great organizations also raise their level of efficiency when it matters most. The Navy's Advanced Traceability and Control (ATAC) unit is one such group. For their efforts during a time of transformation and war, the Federal Executive Board awarded the ATAC team its Excellence in Government Award Bronze Medal for Technical Accomplishment for 2003.

"We're very pleased," said Charles "Joe" Schumert, Fleet and Industrial Supply Center San Diego's ATAC Hub director. "It's nice to be recognized that we are capable of competing with industry at that level."

The award, which honors excellence and technical excellence by governmental agencies, was given to ATAC for saving money and improving overall efficiency in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Incorporating lessons learned from Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and anticipating an increase in retrograde material in the system due to impending conflict in the Middle East, the ATAC team, comprised of Schumert, Russell "Mac" McCollough, Hilda Martinez and Larry King of FISC San Diego, and Michael Pigford and Michael Garris of FISC Norfolk, sprung into action. Collectively, they identified a strong need to improve to meet the challenge of the increased operational tempo.

What resulted was a comprehensive web-based repairables returns management system. Applying superior technical acumen and coordination across several commands, the ATAC team vastly improved a business that entails the movement of 400,000 return repairable units worldwide valued at $10 billion.

Teaming with the Naval Inventory Control Point, ATAC was an integral part in the creation of eRMS, or the Electronic Retrograde Management System. eRMS is a hit for all parties involved. The computerized system ensures the retrograde material is properly identified and tracked throughout its journey to the repair point. The ship or command that drops off the material gets instant credit for the items, and no longer has to worry about the item getting lost.

"The ship is happy because the credit is instantaneous, and they can focus on fighting wars," said McCollough, deputy director of FISC San Diego's ATAC Hub. The inventory control point also benefits greatly because the part can be tracked all the way through the system, from the ATAC hubs and nodes to each stop in the repair process.

"It's kind of like FedEx," McCullough said. "I can see it was dropped at ATAC's San Diego hub, put on a plane, and when it arrived at the Defense Logistics Agency or the overhaul point. That visibility improves the overall accuracy of the entire Navy inventory."

The technology improved the Navy's ability to keep its fighting units fully operational during Operation Iraqi Freedom, and saved valuable dollars as well.

"It is a distinct honor," said FISC Norfolk's Garris. "The organizations that are considered for this award goes through an extensive selection process, if you are chosen as a recipient, you are among the best. It feels great. I work with a large group of professionals who are dedicated to service to the fleet, and I am really proud to be a part of that team."

The ATAC/NAVICP team is constantly striving to improve, having added aircraft engines and Marine ground forces retrograde material into its purview in the past year.

By Lieutenant Ronald Flanders, FISC San Diego Public Affairs
COPYRIGHT 2004 U.S. Department of the Navy, Supply Systems Command
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Copyright 2004 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Advanced Traceability and Control
Author:Flanders, Ronald
Publication:Navy Supply Corps Newsletter
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2004
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