By Kaylee La Rocque
Fleet Readiness Center Southeast Public Affairs
Fleet Readiness Center Southeast (FRCSE) is implementing ConcertoTM project management software on numerous aircraft repair lines in an effort to increase aircraft throughput, reduce turnaround time and provide on time deliveries to warfighting customers.
In 2009, FRCSE adopted the software created by Realization Technologies, Inc., which applies Theory of Constraints and Critical Chain theory that aided in the repair of P-3 Orion aircraft with structural wing fatigue that threatened to ground one-fourth of the P-3 fleet.
The project management software has proven highly successful by providing the P-3 Integrated Product Team (IPT) and its support groups with a first-rate execution tool used on the industrial floor to oversee the progression of aircraft repairs.
"ConcertoTM is a software tool used for production execution at the floor level to standardize work content, control work in progress (WIP), identify work stop barriers and provide a road map for the production supervisors," said Gregory Wallace, the FRCSE ConcertoTM implementation team lead.
"They can use this tool to determine the sequence of [repair] operations that occur on the aircraft by allowing them to focus on small 'buckets' of work instead of the big picture."
The goal, according to Wallace, is to implement ConcertoTM across all aircraft lines at FRCSE by the end of 2014.
"We plan to implement ConcertoTM, develop a level of standardization across all aircraft lines and create an aircraft business model for FRCSE," he said.
ConcertoTM enables supervisors, support groups, team leads and managers to have one common place to communicate and identify barriers with their teams. The software automatically updates project plans and sets priorities.
"It basically provides a road map for the production supervisor and support groups focusing on the critical chain path," said Wallace.
FRCSE leaders reunited the original FRCSE P-3 ConcertoTM implementation team (Gregory Wallace, Tim Knowles, Diane O'Brien, Clinton Batten, Rodney Boone and Wilbert Barton) to rollout the software on the remaining aircraft lines aided by Realization Technologies.
"We will start with the F/A-18 line because that is our biggest and most challenging area," Wallace said.
"Our first step is to have Realization come in to discuss the benefits of ConcertoTM project management software with our core team members."
The implementation team plans to establish a core team for each of the remaining aircraft lines (F/A-18, EA-6B Prowler, T-6/34/44 Trainers and H-60), then value stream map their processes to develop templates that they will load into the software.
Then each IPT will develop strategies for its aircraft platform to determine WIP capacity and ways to increase throughput utilizing the project management software.
After full implementation across all aircraft lines, Realization Technologies will assess the depot's progress to ensure everything is on track.
"We are always looking at continuous process improvement," said Wallace.
"Every process has uncertainties. You can plan for the best, but Murphy's Law is always going to happen somewhere down the road. This program determines as early as possible those critical chain paths that may cause future issues. An aircraft that has been out in the Fleet always has problems. It may come in for a simple repair but after evaluation, many times we may find something else wrong. ConcertoTM is a really good program and will enhance production on all our lines once fully implemented."