Using BI tools to

By Shelley Solheim  |  Posted 2005-04-04 Print this article Print

be all that they can be"> The Air Force piloted the program on the domain responsible for maintenance of the forces more than 6,000 aircraft and for the millions of parts for those aircraft, which are spread across nearly 200 air bases worldwide.

Within the first week of implementing the new system, AFKS identified more than $600 million in excess parts and recouped $300,000, said Rusnak. And now maintenance data is available for users in near real time.

Click here to read about Microsofts and Dells $500M deal with the Air Force.
"The ROI [return on investment] is tremendous on AFKS in general," said Rusnak. "Were getting the war fighter the support they need, getting them in the air quicker, identifying trends and doing analysis of alternatives to find out how do we do something better."

The data warehouse and BI tools are also accessible to Air Force contractors using the military domain .mil, such as Lockheed Martin Corp. and Northrop Grumman Corp.

Getting suppliers hooked into supply chain data early is one of the key strengths of the Air Forces program, said Business Objects spokesperson Patrick Morrissey.

"One of the failures with a lot of people who talk about optimizing the supply chain is that they spend a lot of time on cycles internally, and then its several years before they make that information available to suppliers," said Morrissey.

Both Morrissey and Rusnak said the biggest hurdle of the project is its sheer scale.

"When you look at the scale of the Air Force, that scale is larger than anything youll see [in business]," said Rusnak.

The next step for the AFKS, Rusnak said, is to use the new insights gleaned from the BI tools to identify trends and to alter business processes to cut off potential problems in advance.

"The next step is evolution," Rusnak said. "Im getting new information. For example, maybe I was never able to notice before that parts wear out more in wintertime than in summertime. As we reach a critical mass and get the majority of data in the warehouse, [we can] look at data in new ways and move toward a more proactive approach. So Im going to put this and this together, and it really makes a difference to the war fighter—and thats what its all about."

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