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VectorCSP and Coast Guard Logistics Transformation

By September 2021Blog Posts

By: Janis Nagy, Chief Strategy Officer, and Stan Walz, Former Chief Executive Officer

Real Change is often Real Hard… But not Impossible

In 2006 the Coast Guard, under Commandant Thad Allen, embarked upon a major logistics enterprise transformation effort. Admiral Allen, during the Coast Guard’s response to Hurricane Katrina, observed how Coast Guard aviation was able to seamlessly mix flight crews and maintenance crews from different units across the country, enabling higher levels of readiness and response in an effective, efficient, and extremely safe manner. He essentially ordered the rest of his operational enterprise to transform, adopting the same logistics support principles and processes that made Coast Guard aviation so successful during this highly demanding response effort.

VectorCSP won a competitive contract to develop the enterprise business model that would effectively emulate and imitate the logistics support Admiral Allen valued in the Coast Guard aviation community. VectorCSP staff rapidly and very effectively captured this model in a proprietary relational database known as the Workforce Performance Model (WPM) and used this model to help transform the Coast Guard surface community. While the WPM incorporates hundreds of processes and industry best practices, the Coast Guard Chief of Logistics chose four fundamental concepts to communicate the essence of the business model, labeling them the Four Cornerstones: Configuration Management, Total Asset Visibility, Bi-Level Maintenance, and Product Line Management.

The Coast Guard’s surface community, with assistance from knowledgeable VectorCSP subject matter experts (SMEs), successfully transformed to this model. The Coast Guard’s Small Boat Product Line Manager stated that he realized a 30% – 50% reduction in maintenance across all asset classes after completing the transformation using the rigorous Measures of Effectiveness (MOE) that are integral to the business model.

The Coast Guard is in the process of recapitalizing a large portion of their surface fleet with new National Security Cutters, Fast Response Cutters, Offshore Patrol Cutters, and Ice Breakers. A recent article in the Seattle Times describes the Coast Guard’s interest in tripling the size of its Terminal 46 operations in Seattle to accommodate a major increase in U. S. Arctic presence. This growth in operational assets and mission demand presents both challenges and opportunity within the Coast Guard mission support enterprise.

Today, VectorCSP is working with the Coast Guard’s logistics leadership to assist with the transformation of their Shore Infrastructure community to embrace the successful, critical processes, and best practices of the WPM and adapt them to achieve similar lifecycle cost savings. Establishing standard facilities that are designed to support Coast Guard operations most effectively and efficiently, embracing the four cornerstones, and incorporating rigorous metrics for facility systems that reduce lifecycle costs and extract the design service life of facility equipment is the current challenge. VectorCSP is helping to define the optimal path to Affordable Readiness that is captured in the best practices of the WPM.

Major transformation of large bureaucracies is complex, but not that complicated. Identifying the optimal solutions, crafting the change management roadmap and developing the Integrated Master Schedule (IMS) are usually interesting and sometimes fun challenges. The part that is always hardest is changing hearts and minds… identifying change champions and removing the blockers from the selected course of action is the toughest part. It takes commitment and time… sometimes a long time.

Real Change is often Real Hard… But not Impossible