Printer Friendly

Air Force Materiel Command news service (Feb. 3, 2006): Electronic Systems Center gets "Smart".

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. (AFMCNS) -- In a sweeping effort to improve its processes, the Air Force recently launched "Smart Operations 21," which combines key aspects of several industry efficiency tools. The most notable among them are Lean and Six Sigma, which have been used extensively to improve customer value while reducing waste, especially in manufacturing processes.

As Gen. Bruce Carlson, commander of the Air Force Materiel Command, noted in his Jan. 27 commander's log, this doesn't mean the Air Force, or AFMC, has been doing things wrong. It simply means "we cannot rest on past success," he wrote.

AFSO 21 is a continuous process improvement initiative. That means it's designed to help people keep finding ways to make things better, even if they're already "good." This requires "a passion for continuous improvement--a spirit and mindset that we can always get better," General Carlson wrote.

Air Force leaders hope that this mindset will be contagious, that everyone will continue looking to eliminate steps that add little or no value to a process or product. They might also look at combining process steps to save time. Those sorts of critical process examinations are at the heart of Lean.

Six Sigma looks at various segments of a process to determine what a customer truly needs. That enables deliverers to determine where they should spend more time or money to achieve greater precision and perfection; conversely it allows them to determine where, from a customer's perspective, the extra time and money aren't warranted.

"Smart Ops 21 is all about continuous process improvement," said Electronic Systems Center Vice Commander Maj. Gen. Arthur Rooney. "There are many weapons in the Smart Ops 21 arsenal, including brain storming, problem solving, benchmarking, Lean and Six Sigma, to name just a few. We must look for opportunities to use these weapons each and every day. In so doing, we will make sure we remain the world's greatest Air and Space Force."

At ESC, Lt. Gen. Chuck Johnson, the center commander, wants to begin implementing this initiative immediately. On his behalf, Rooney has already asked members of the staff to begin thinking about processes that could be streamlined with AFSO 21.

He has identified the ESC Plans and Programs Directorate as the lead organization for implementing AFSO 21 and for meshing it with ongoing Balanced Scorecard efforts.

Paone is with Electronic Systems Center Public Affairs.
COPYRIGHT 2006 Defense Acquisition University Press
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2006, Gale Group. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Acquisition & Logistics Excellence
Author:Paone, Chuck
Publication:Defense AT & L
Date:May 1, 2006
Previous Article:Air Force Materiel Command news service (Feb. 2, 2006): engineer honored for innovations.
Next Article:Air Force Materiel Command news service (Feb. 6, 2006): directed energy scientist's career honored.

Related Articles
Air Force Materiel Command: vice commander's retirement sparks series of AFMC moves.
Air force senior leader management office announcements (April 8, 2004).
Department of defense news release (July 8, 2005): general officer assignments.
Air Force Materiel Command news release (Feb. 1, 2006): leaders meet to plan future.
Air Force Materiel Command news service (Feb. 3, 2006): successful acquisition transformation tied to risk-based management.
Air Force Materiel Command news service (Feb. 3, 2006): OUSD(AT & L)'s Business Managers' Conference--Ken Krieg keynote speaker.
Air Force Materiel Command news service (Feb. 2, 2006): engineer honored for innovations.
Air Force Materiel Command news service (Feb 27, 2006): acquisition career track may be redirected.
Army news service (June 5, 2006): new command to improve logistics management.
Air Force Materiel Command news release (Aug. 1, 2006): continuous improvements deliver success.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2021 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters