The Navy introduced a major upgrade to its Electronic Retrograde Management System called eRMS 2.0.
Naval Supply Systems Command Weapon Systems Support, or NAVSUP WSS, collaborated with NAVSUP Business Systems Center to develop the web-based application that ensures Navy can move, control and track depot-level repairables worldwide. The system provides both NAVSUP WSS and an end-use activity such as a ship, aviation squadron, or shore station with positive asset visibility and accountability during the repairable turn-in or transfer processes.
“Legacy eRMS needed modernization for several reasons,” said Nancy Powers, NAVSUP WSS repairables distribution division director. “A growing number of users were requesting system enhancements and changes that were not possible with the old system, which was also becoming costly to maintain.”
ERMS 2.0 replaces a program originally introduced nearly 20 years ago. The upgrade reduces maintenance life-cycle costs, enhances user networking capability, incorporates new management software, and provides better monitoring and control of the depot-level repairables retrograde pipeline.
From the user’s perspective, eRMS 2.0 provides a more intuitive and informational interface. The new dashboard provides greater degrees of customization based on the user’s role to ensure the information presented is more relevant and streamlined.
“The evolution of eRMS is most evident in the modern dashboard-style interface,” said Powers. “In eRMS 1.0, the user needed to keep going out of one module and into another, so the ability to navigate between sections without going back to the main menu is transformative. We’ve received a lot of positive feedback from the fleet.”
Depending on the user’s role, eRMS 2.0 can be used to: identify incoming shipments; obtain directions for preparing parts for shipment using the NAVSUP P700 Common Naval Packaging resource; create shipping documents, labels and manifests; display critical shipping, handling and international customs instructions, schedule both military and commercial shipments, capture proof of shipment or delivery and much more.
In addition to helping users move and track repairables, eRMS also helps standardize and integrate how NAVSUP WSS captures data. In order to maximize the usefulness of that data, dropdown and autofill functions were added to the new version. This ensures everyone is speaking the same language, streamlining work at the user level while also resulting in more organized and actionable datasets.
“The autofill and dropdown functions are tailored to each user’s role,” Powers said. “That really makes things easier while also giving us better metrics and more accurate data.”
Many Sailors, civilians and contractors use eRMS to include: NAVSUP WSS repairable distribution managers, asset trackers and supply planners; depot-level repairable managers; processors at Advanced Traceability and Control program sites; asset trackers for Defense Logistics Agency and Navy Type Commands (TYCOM); field representatives for Technical Assistance for Repairable Processing (TARP); intermediate maintenance activities; and commercial or organic repair facilities. Essentially, an eRMS user can be any naval, ground Marine, or Coast Guard personnel processing repairables.
After several weeks of using eRMS 2.0, NAVSUP WSS eRMS program manager Alex Sanchez, called the upgrade a solid improvement.
“This version is faster, more user friendly for the customer, and—when it comes to research—the data is all there,” said Sanchez. “You have a very clear view of your workload and you can forecast everything much more accurately.”
Sanchez cited a flaw in the legacy version where multiple transactions might share a document number, forcing a user to pull data manually to get the information they needed, often a difficult process for less experienced users. In eRMS 2.0, he said, each transaction has a unique ID number within the database, which can make transportation data clearer to the user. Upgrades like this can have a big impact beyond the user experience.
Although its developmental roots precede the nascent Naval Sustainment System-Supply initiative, eRMS 2.0 nests firmly within efforts to reduce repair turnaround times which is at the heart of the increase End-to-End Velocity pillar. NAVSUP WSS is leading this effort to reduce repair turnaround times by 50% to align with commercial standards. By the end of fiscal year 2021, roughly 90% of new aviation contracts and 73% of new maritime contracts are expected to include reduced repair turnaround times, targeting a $50 million reduction in inventory requirements.
“The entire supply community is working hard to meet the goals of NSS-Supply, and we’re using a diverse set of tools to accomplish that,” said Rear Adm. Doug Noble, NAVSUP WSS commander. “The redesign of eRMS 2.0 gives us a powerful, comprehensive, digital toolbox that puts the right tools, in the right hands and the right time.”
NAVSUP WSS is one of 11 commands under Commander, NAVSUP. Headquartered in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, and employing a diverse, worldwide workforce of more than 22,500 military and civilian personnel. NAVSUP's mission is to provide supplies, services, and quality-of-life support to the Navy and joint warfighter. Learn more at www.navsup.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/navsupwss and https://twitter.com/navsupsyscom.