MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Virginia --
A team of Marines and engineers from Marine Corps Systems Command created an innovative fleet management tool for Marine Corps Installation Command’s Safety Division. The Safety Vehicle Fleet Lifecycle Management Tool, or SVF-LMT, will assist MCICOM in forecasting replacement assets for the Marine Corps Safety Program.
The Marine Corps requires all Marines who intend to purchase or operate a motorcycle, and all operators of government-owned motorcycles, to complete a motorcycle rider safety course. The Marine Corps purchases motorcycles, and all-terrain and light utility vehicles for use in these classes. The MCSC Cross-Competency Analysis Team, or CAT, developed SVF-LMT in response to a MCICOM request to determine when and how the motorcycles, ATVs and LUVs are replaced, as well as the effect on operations and future replacement costs.
“These vehicles are not part of the normal supply system in the Marine Corps, so there was previously no official repository to store the Safety Division’s vehicle information,” said Capt. Jeramiah Lujan, the CAT senior Marine who created SVF-LMT. “Nor is there a universal contract for repair, so no real analysis of any kind existed for this fleet.”
MCICOM will use the SVF-LMT to assist in managing the safety fleet for the Marine Corps and to record maintenance data. The SVF-LMT takes into account the maintenance performed by fleet managers throughout the world and forecasts when an individual asset needs replacing.
“This way, you are replacing individual assets as needed instead of the whole fleet or large chunks of the fleet at once,” he said.
Early estimates predict this method of managing the safety fleet will avoid about $500,000 in costs within the first five years of implementation. Additionally, the system itself provides significant cost avoidance for MCICOM and the Corps.
“These types of [modeling and analysis] services are normally contracted out and can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars,” Lujan said. “Since the tool was developed organically by MCSC Marines and civilians, the services were provided to MCICOM free of charge.”
The CAT includes Naval Postgraduate School graduates, Marine officers and civilian engineers who provide model-based analysis capabilities to MCSC program offices.
“This particular effort [with MCICOM] provides an exceptional value to the Marine Corps,” said Capt. Charles Mohler, a logistics specialist in the CAT. “Leaders—whether at MCSC or MCICOM—can now make better informed decisions based on the data.
“As the Marine Corps buys new [Commercial-off-the-shelf] equipment, maintenance history and predictions can be difficult to come by,” Mohler said. “But this effort is a perfect example to show there are methods to track [commercial] gear maintenance and perform solid analysis.”
According to Lujan, the SVF-LMT is nothing new as far as technology is concerned, and the math is actually very simple.
“We merely use computers to crunch the numbers when there’s more information than the human mind can handle,” he said. “Using model-based analytics to attain a greater fidelity of information for decision makers is key, and I think we would be better off making this a common practice in any important decision.”
MCICOM also sees great potential from this effort.
“The results are even better than we hoped,” said David Spasojevich, director of MCICOM’s Safety Division. “There are so many other activities where this kind of process can be applied.”
The CAT has already performed several analyses for MCSC including life cycle models and predictions, a warranty analysis, readiness studies and more.
“We look forward to providing an organic capability for Marine Corps Systems Command,” Lujan said. “With the high cost of contracted services, we are an option for programs lacking a large budget to get the rigorous analysis they need to make decisions at no cost to the program.”