By Michael P. Kleiman U.S. Transportation Command
SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill., Dec. 13, 2017 — U.S. Transportation Command has completed a proof-of-principle effort that fused an off-the-shelf commercial transportation management system capability with government-integrated platforms.
A TMS allows users to plan and execute the shipment of cargo of any kind more efficiently, reliably and cost effectively. The new system has the potential to substantially increase Transcom’s ability to manage its logistics enterprise by delivering enhanced air, sea, and land movement solutions, as well as real-time visibility of cargo from point of origin to destination.
Testing New System
The proof-of-principle process started on Aug. 7, and during the next four months the TMS team, along with the command’s components, worked with industry and subject experts from across the joint deployment and distribution enterprise.
Together, they identified capabilities within numerous scenarios to “stress” a TMS and also validated that the system would support the command’s transportation requirements.
Ultimately, the command’s employment of TMS smartly leverages enterprise technologies to maintain America’s competitive advantage in logistics operations.
Transcom’s TMS journey demonstrated that the new system:
-- Brings people, processes, technology, and data together across the organizational enterprise;
-- Provides management and visibility of all transportation requirements and shipments in one system for optimized planning, including real-time deviation alerts and the ability to replan; and
-- Delivers the capacity for cost-informed options and end-to-end shipment financial visibility for fiscal improvement and audit-readiness compliance in a single system.
“The world we live in today demands we do things differently than what was done yesterday. The pace of technology and information, as well as the changing character of war, will not wait for us to catch up,” said Air Force Gen. Darren W. McDew, Transcom’s commander. “TMS supports the command’s effort to evolve for tomorrow, by enhancing our operational processes and supporting information technology to conduct efficient and effective multimodal operations while providing proven, end-to-end best-practice transportation solutions.”
After the 2016 alternatives decision to the Joint Staff-approved program, integrated multimodal operations, which evaluated readiness, life-cycle costs, and risks, the command subsequently identified TMS as the preferred solution from five options.
Six months later, McDew directed the formation of a TMS joint planning team to rapidly conduct a 120-day proof of principle of the TMS and government off-the-shelf systems, assessing its ability to perform global transportation-management functions. He charged the team to strain the system, stating, “If it’s going to break, let’s break it fast.”
Following a successful system demonstration on Dec. 1, 2017, Transcom Deputy Commander Marine Corps Lt. Gen. John Broadmeadow subsequently directed the command to move forward in establishing a joint integrated product team to develop a TMS prototype.
“The TMS is not just an internal solution for the command, but it will redefine how we do business on a global scale,” said Air Force Brig. Gen. John C. Millard, the command’s TMS joint planning team lead. “In implementing the TMS prototype, Transcom capabilities and information resident in today’s existing systems will be leveraged to ensure success.”
During the upcoming months, Transcom’s joint integrated product team will partner with key strategic stakeholders, customers, and transportation partners to create and execute a detailed implementation plan