MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. -- The Marine Corps Materiel Command established a charter in early 2000 to develop and map the functions, processes and structure to support effective materiel life cycle management, to integrate product life cycle management under the cognizance of a single process owner and, ultimately, to provide Marines with the best possible support to accomplish their mission.
A major result of this charter is the implementation of the Supply Chain Management Center by Marine Corps Logistics Bases Albany and the integration of program management and weapon systems and equipment management.
This significant effort became official Friday when key players signed the proclamation that authorized the integration.
The stand up of the Supply Chain Management Center will affect more than 1,000 military and civilian Log Bases employees at Albany and Barstow.
The program management and weapon systems management integration will resulted in the transfer of more than 300 Marines and civilian employees to the rolls of Marine Corps Systems Command, reported Fred Howard, director of the Supply Chain Management Center.
"This is the result of a year-long coordinated effort with Marine Corps Systems Command [Quantico, Va.] and Marine Corps Logistics Bases [Albany]," said Shirley Lemon, Materiel Command Headquarters Chief Business Officer.
"Two integrated product teams developed and mapped the functions, processes and structure necessary to support effective materiel life cycle management with MatCom," Lemon said, "and necessary to integrate product life-cycle management under a single process owner. That owner is SysCom."
"This integration was absolutely necessary," Howard added.
"Prior to the merger, the functions and processes were more like a mixed bag," Howard explained.
"The weapon systems mangers' teams were made up of equipment specialists and inventory managers, and they oversaw the sustainment of fielded weapon systems," Howard said.
"The program managers were responsible for acquiring the assets and fielding [them]," Howard continued. "Because of the shifting responsibilities, there was a high chance of duplication of effort and not the best use of our most valuable asset -- our people.
"The purpose of transferring the form Weapon System Management [Division] to SysCom was to assign the full responsibility of readiness management to the program managers," Howard continued.
"They [program managers] will be supported by logistics management specialist [formerly weapon systems managers]. Equipment specialists will focus on technical work and will not need to become involved in supply-related work."
The integration places the whole spectrum of life cycle management on the program manager, Lemon said.
"For lack of a better term, a 'brick wall' existed between the acquisition and post-fielding functions of life-cycle management," Lemon explained. "The PM/WSM integration effort removed that brick wall and gave the responsibility to the program managers.
Program management involves planning, acquiring, and controlling the technical aspects, and sustaining and disposing of the weapon systems and automated information systems of the Marine Corps. The program manager is responsible for executing materiel life cycle management for assigned weapon systems and equipment.
Supply chain management involves planning and controlling the supply-oriented activities of the Marine Corps' wholesale and retail business to maintain and support principal end items and associated secondary items.