U.S. Army Gets ERP Help From Northrop Grumman, SAP, IBM

The GCSS-Army program is managed by the Army Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems (PEO EIS) and a cornerstone of the Army's single logistics enterprise initiative

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With the recent launch of the Global Combat Support System-Army (GCSS-Army), Northrop Grumman Corporation is helping the U.S. Army transform tactical logistics with enterprise resource planning (ERP). GCSS-Army Release 1.1 was successfully launched in July at the National Training Center and Fort Irwin, Calif.

Working under the direction of PEO EIS, the members of Northrop Grumman’s GCSS-Army team are: IBM, Armonk, N.Y.; CSC, Falls Church, Va.; SAP America, Newtown Square, Pa.; and Joint Logistics Managers, Inc., Prince George, Va.

The GCSS-Army program is managed by the Army Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems (PEO EIS) and a cornerstone of the Army’s single logistics enterprise initiative. It is now the largest ERP implementation in the history of the Army, with an anticipated user base of more than 169,000 personnel. GCSS-Army will permit logistics commanders and staffs at the tactical level to anticipate, allocate and synchronize the flow of resources across the area of operations in support of the Army service component commander and joint force commander.

The GCSS-Army Release 1.1 replaced the current logistics management information systems operating throughout the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment at Fort Irwin with an ERP solution that will manage all sustainment functions, as well as key tactical logistics financial functions.

The release replaced three of the Army’s major logistic systems: Property Book Unit Supply Enhanced (PBUSE), Standard Army Maintenance System-Enhanced (SAMS-E) and Standard Army Retail Supply System (SARSS) with the single, Web-based capability that will provide improved asset visibility, near-real time readiness status and enhanced integration of sustainment functions to the regimental soldiers and commanders. For Release 1.1, the GCSS-Army team converted more than 20 million data records, developed 38 independent interfaces, successfully integrated with 16 U.S. Department of Defense agency programs and trained more than 200 soldiers and civilians via Web-based and instructor facilitated training.

“The enterprise approach we took with GCSS-Army is transformational and will reap significant benefits in dollars and time,” said Mike Twyman, vice president of Integrated Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence Systems for Northrop Grumman’s Information Systems sector. “By integrating Army tactical logistics data using a single automated enterprise system, we leverage the information from logistics activities and interfaces with other applications and systems across the Defense Department environment to deliver a highly accurate view of resources, assets and budgets to Army and joint commanders.”

The technology behind GCSS-Army is SAP, a commercial-off-the-shelf ERP system that will incorporate multiple standalone and overlapping Standard Army Management Information Systems used in tactical logistics environments worldwide.

In preparation for Release 1.1, GCSS-Army teams have been on site at Fort Irwin since January. The teams conducted hardware and network assessments, legacy system data migration and training to support cut over to the new system, which occurred on July 5. The Northrop Grumman team will enter the planning phase for the next release in the fourth quarter of this year.


About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at pburnson@peerlessmedia.com.

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