Handheld Devices Streamline Theater Enterprise-Wide Logistics System
[author type=”author”]LTC Shon-Neil Severns and Holger Gerlach[/author]

On March 21, the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Center-Korea (USAMMC-K) became the third Army Medical Logistics Enterprise organization to use the Theater Enterprise Worldwide Logistics System (TEWLS) Radio Frequency handheld device within its medical supply chain operations.

The devices will help USAMMC-K achieve its mission and improve efficiencies across the enterprise. With the implementation of Radio Frequency (RF) handheld devices, USAMMC-K can now process and track all medical supply orders electronically, which will reduce the number of Supply Discrepancy Reports submitted by customers and will lessen the paper requirements placed upon the organizations.

USAMMC-K supports the holistic, operational, and strategic medical logistics approach employed by both the 65th Medical Brigade and the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command. The team is ready to execute the 8th U.S. Army’s Single Integrated Medical Logistics Manager mission and serves as the Theater Lead Agent for Medical Materiel by providing world-class, customer-focused medical supply, optical fabrication, and medical maintenance support to Joint Forces in the Korean theater.

[image align=”left” caption=”USAMMC-K Soldiers, civilians, and Korean Augmentation to the U.S. Army members are taught how to operate the Radio Frequency handheld devices. (U.S. Army photo.)” linkto=”/web/wp-content/uploads/DSC_0030_compressed.jpg” linktype=”image”]”/web/wp-content/uploads/DSC_0030_compressed.jpg” height=”167″width=”246″[/image]

Before this implementation, USAMMC-Europe developed a project plan and hosted multiple teleconferences with key USAMMC-K personnel to ensure that milestones were met and the system interfaces were connected. USAMMCE sent a team to Korea March 15 to assist with RF implementation. The three-person team’s task was to build warehouse cues, validate connectivity, and train USAMMC-K Soldiers and civilians in the RF technology. The first part of the training took place in a classroom, where the participants learned the basic configuration and navigation procedures of handheld devices. Once the initial training was complete, the students were different handheld device functions.

Simultaneously, the implementation team collaborated with the USAMMC-K staff to diagram the warehouse, configure the warehouse cues for daily pick waves, and execute “test” cycles to ensure that the RF systems were operating effectively. While preparing the system for RF capability, a detailed analysis of master data was conducted, and knowledge transfer was performed on key performance indicators and management reporting techniques in various TEWLS modules including sales and distribution, financial management, warehouse management, and materiel management.

When the training and testing were complete, USAMMCE-K used the new RF system to pull medical supplies on March 21. The system operated flawlessly; the USAMMC-K team especially liked the system’s accuracy and the reduction of paper requirements.

The implementation of RF capabilities within TEWLS demonstrates the Army Medical Logistics Enterprise’s continued commitment to the ever-changing mission of providing medical logistics support to Soldiers, families, and health care providers. By implementing forward-looking strategic initiatives, the enterprise will be fully integrated and will provide America’s premier medical team with innovative medical logistics solutions.

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  • LTC SHON-NEIL SEVERNS is the Commander, USAMMC-K. He holds a B.S. in business administration from the University of Nebraska at Kearney; an M.E. in education from Touro College; and an M.A. in business and an M.A. in computer resources and information management from Webster University. Severns is Level III certified in program management and life-cycle logistics and is a member of the U.S. Army Acquisition Corps.
  • HOLGER GERLACH provides is the Chief, Business Support Office for the U.S. Army Medical Department Theater Enterprise-Wide Logistics System. He holds a B.C.S. in computer science from IBE Karlsruhe, Germany and a B.M. in business management from Fachhochschule Unna, Germany.