Friday, October 03, 2003

Theatre Integrated Logistics Architecture: Coming soon to your world

TILA is inbound, folks, and I believe that it provides us a huge consulting opportunity. First, a little background.

TILA Background:

TILA is an acronym that stands for Theater Integrated Logistics Architecture. The TILA vision is to create an integrated Coast Guard logistics system that supports the operational commander. The purpose of TILA is to improve logistics support to operating units through centralized logistics management and localized delivery. The TILA objective is to centralize management of field logistics by assigning greater responsibility and accountability to MLCs. The outcome of TILA is to identify selected logistics support functions and resources (billets, equipment, facilities and funding) currently under operational unit control to be reassigned to the Maintenance Logistics Commands (MLCs). The Coast Guard Leadership Council actively supports and monitors the TILA initiative. TILA fulfills agenda item R-10 on the Leadership Council agenda.

TILA Definitions:

LANTAREA operations are the organizations and units that provide services direct to the public. These organizations include the Area, Districts, Air Stations, Groups, Activities, MSOs and other operating units. In addition to providing services direct to the public, operations also includes necessary “operation support functions”. These “operations support functions” provide direction (supervision, management, tasking, planning) and guidance (plans, policies, procedures) for conducting operations.

LANTAREA logistics are the organizations and units that provide logistics support to operational organizations and units. These organizations include the MLC, NESUs, CEUs, ESUs, ISCs and other logistics organizations. In addition to providing logistics support to operational units, logistics also includes necessary “logistics support functions”. These “logistics support functions” provide direction (supervision, management, tasking, planning) and guidance (plans, policies, procedures) to conduct logistics.

Questions for consideration & some of my thoughts in response:

Under the TILA concept, what must logistics supervisors do to ensure that they are proactively providing support for operations?

TILA will only be successful if logistics supervisors use the Coast Guard’s management framework as expressed in the Commandant’s Performance Excellence Criteria. Of particular importance is the issue of customer focus. Logistics managers must identify customers and key customer segments; must listen and learn in a systematic manner to determine customer requirements and expectations; must use information to determine customer satisfaction from both hard and soft perspectives; must use feedback, customer satisfaction, and other customer information for product/service planning and process improvements. Without a systematic approach to customer and mission focus, TILA will succeed only by exception.

For TILA to be successful, what “bottom line performance measures” should be established in order for logistics to be considered responsive to operational requirements?

To succeed TILA must have a system of performance measures in place and used to make management decisions. While we do not know what these bottom line performance measures are, we believe that through the use of the Coast Guard’s management framework – the Commandant’s Performance Excellence Criteria – logistics managers, in conjunction with their customers – can determine these needed bottom line performance measures.

If there are gaps in performance, TILA is designed to identify and close them through systematic improvements. What business process checks should be built into TILA to ensure that the MLC fulfills the expectations of operations?

Cascading use of CPEC-supporting tools – such as the Developing a Customer Focus Model or the 2-4-7 Planning Model will ensure the logistics providers plan, do work, and meet customer needs is a systematic manner. These tools must be cascaded from the highest levels of the logistics organization to the lowest levels of the organization.

How can we leverage TILA so that operational expectations and logistics performance are in alignment with Commandant standards?

In order to leverage TILA to align the operational expectations and logistics performance, we must adopt management practices in alignment with the Coast Guard’s management framework, the Commandant’s Performance Excellence Criteria. We must develop systems which are CPEC-based and use those processes systematically.

In the past, the Coast Guard has employed the concept of detached duty. Under what situations and at what rank/rate can an individual perform detached logistics duty? Does anything prevent this concept of support from being expanded to all logistics disciplines centrally managed under TILA?

Detached duty can work well, given several supporting factors. First, performance expectations must be explicit, yet flexible. The use of cascading models and systems – such as the Developing a Customer Focus and the 2-4-7 Planning System – will provide the framework to set and broadcast performance expectations. Second, detached duty personnel must be given the tools, skills, and knowledge to succeed at their work and mission. In the same way the Coast Guard would never expect a fresh HS to be the HS on a WMEC, we cannot expect any YN or SK or ET to work, alone, detached with out the right knowledge/skill set. The independent duty HS gets special training before starting the tour and support from the supervising physician during the tour. We must create a similar situation for other detached personnel.

Final thoughts for this blog post:

As you can see, TILA provides huge opportunities for consulting. We must get CPEC used; with management-by-the-seat-of-our-pants, our usual management style, TILA will succeed only by accident and force of will of individual players. For the most part, it will fail.

We have the opportunity to prove CPEC works. We have the opportunity to show the value of the CPEC and our services.

In the words of John Belushi, "When the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor... Are you with me?"

No comments: