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Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany

Readiness Enabler for Operational Forces  •
New activity set to become Marine Corps Logistics Command’s knowledge manager

By Mr. Art Powell | | April 19, 2007

As Marine Corps Logistics Command reorganizes to better serve the warfighter, Col. L.M. Baudoin d’Ajoux feels like a coach. 

Col. “Bo,” who is comfortable with the nickname used by his staff, has been down the reorganization road before.

“In the past, I’ve taken part in bringing together into one unit organizations from three commands. I found that there are cultural barriers, there’s anxiety and at the same time, excitement,” he said. 

As director of the new Logistics Capabilities Center at LogCom aboard Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Col. Bo says the LCC’s key functions are to advise Marine Corps decision makers on a wide range of logistics issues and to facilitate continuous process improvement of logistics capabilities. Also, the LCC will serve as chief knowledge officer and share information with others in the organization.  

“We’ve got a strong team and we’re unified with the purpose of achieving the commanding general’s goals. Our goal is to let our people know what we’re about and how we’re going to be an integral part of LogCom’s reorganization,” he said.

LCC was created in March, as part of the LogCom reorganization, from the fields of enterprise analysis, business performance, marketing, quality and a few sections from Supply Chain Management.

But when LCC is fully operational, projected for June 2008, it will probably look different than it does now.

Col. Bo believes in management tools like off-site gatherings for key managers, picnics and town hall meetings for LCC staff.

“One key factor, through my experience with merging organizations, is that you have to keep people informed, and at the same time you’ve got to let them know there’s going to be change,” he said. “But with any new organization there is a need to be flexible and acknowledge that details may change.”

LCC’s mission is to optimize logistics chain management, and Col. Bo said a case study exercise at a recent LogCom Academy class proved how LCC can be of value.

“The case study looked at the armoring program here (at Maintenance Center Albany) and four out of the six teams that briefed their problem focused on LCC as the lynchpin for products, information and things of that nature, to go through first or last as part of the integrator,” said Col. Bo.

Performing as an integrator to other competencies within LogCom, key business processes and information management will be critical enablers within LCC.  Pam Dervan, Bill Vinyard and Brad Pangle, within Studies and Analysis, provide enterprise analysis, developing decision-support tools.  The enterprise analysis function will become the foundation for knowledge management in LCC.  Taking disparate information, synthesizing it into usable data for decision making, add integrity and simplify logistics performance measurement are key tenets required to become the knowledge broker for Logistics Command.  The knowledge management function will also include a data archive capability with research capabilities to enhance responsiveness to taskers and aid in trend analysis.  

“Our goal in the future is to have capabilities available off-the-shelf before a requirement comes in, instead of waiting for a requirement and then having to reinvent the wheel. We can do that with prior planning and scenario playing. We can do it for a product or a process,” Col. Bo said. 

The process of standing up a new organization is on the minds of LCC managers.

“The LCC stand-up will pull together existing business functions within LogCom into one cohesive unit. The LogCom headquarters staff has begun multiple initiatives such as Products and Services and Lean Sigma Six. The resources at LCC will have the capability to mature these and provide added value services to our operational components to meet emerging warfighting requirements,” said Vickie Layer, director, LCC Business Office. 

As the director, Process Analysis Division, Studies and Analysis Department, Pam Dervan served as the program manager for the Life Cycle Modeling Integrator Initiative as well as the Chairperson for the Marine Corps Materiel Readiness Integrated Product Team, chartered in 2000.

“The LCC structure will provide the Command with an enhanced analytic capability that will facilitate our ability to provide competitive, comprehensive, integrated logistics solutions.   We will meet each challenge with renewed enthusiasm and a strong commitment to the war fighter,” she said.

Change can also bring “excitement” with it, as Col. Bo put it, and Rita Merritt in the LCC Marketing Office understands what he means.

“This is an exciting time to be part of LogCom. The marketing office employees are excited, motivated and challenged to be part of the LCC,” she said.

Donna Harris, director of marketing and co-chair of the Command Alignment Implementation Team, pointed to the improved integration of capabilities within LogCom.

“The newly aligned structure includes two primary areas that will serve as entry-ways to the command: Logistics Operations Center as the Marine Expeditionary Force facing and the Program Support Integration Center as the Systems Command facing organizations. The closer alignment with our customers will enhance our ability to sense and respond to emerging requirements,” she said. 

Dale Brown is the deputy director of marketing at LCC. He knows that in what he called “times of great technological and social changes,” there is an imperative to provide optimal capabilities to the Marine Corps.

“The creation of the LCC, and the reforging and intensive re-thinking of the needed functions will help to better provide dynamically responsive support to the Corps,” he added. 

With June as the target date for LCC to achieve initial operational capability, and full operational capability targeted for 2008, Col. Bo knows he’s dealing with human dynamics and wants to keep the momentum going.

“It’s about attitude. We have to give our workers ownership. It needs to be the plan of everybody in the leadership and they’ll lead from the top down. So will their people. They’ll buy into the process and when you have ownership of something, it lasts a long time. People will take care of that,” said Col. Bo.

While LCC is moving toward achieving IOC, Col. Bo knows that initial impressions are important.

“How we step off will determine the expectations that people have of us and will determine how they see us in the future, as far as our capability,” he said. “We need to step off smartly and successfully. And we can’t fail.”