Navy Missile Maintenance Can Be Done Cheaper by Improving Productivity

LCD-80-43: Published: Apr 9, 1980. Publicly Released: Apr 9, 1980.

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The Navy has not tailored its intermediate missile maintenance resources to effectively meet its needs. To achieve an effective and economic match of maintenance resources with its needs, the Navy must be able to compare the facilities' capacity with projected requirements. However, the Navy has neither determined its facilities' capacity nor the private sector's capacity to meet its missile maintenance requirements.

Navy officials recognize that its missile maintenance resources are greater than needed, but they do not know to what extent. An analysis indicated that the Navy's missile maintenance capacity should be reduced. Weapons stations are not using their work force efficiently because of fluctuating or insufficient workloads. As a result, there is excessive idle time and skilled workers are assigned to nonskilled jobs. The underused missile maintenance capacity is costing millions of dollars annually, but this information has not been provided to the Secretary of Defense. Furthermore, the customers of the maintenance facilities are paying for the unused capacity. The Navy lacks assurance that missile maintenance production is accomplished efficiently because the maintenance facilities are without effective work measurement systems. Consequently, actual performance standards cannot be evaluated or compared to performance standards or to other work at similar facilities.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Navy should (1) determine the private sector's and the Navy's available capacity for intermediate maintenance of air and surface launched missiles; (2) properly size the Navy's maintenance capacity to meet the air and surface launched missile requirements; (3) develop and implement a plan to systematically eliminate unneeded capacity; (4) report to the Secretary of Defense costs to retain or sustain unused or underused maintenance facilities in a readiness-for-mobilization position; (5) delay planned facility improvements that will not adversely affect mission effectivenss until capacity determinations have been completed and the improvements can be justified; (6) provide greater management support and reinforcement of work measurement concepts and principles at all management levels; (7) critically examine workloads at each maintenance facility to determine on which tasks labor standards should be developed; (8) direct missile maintenance managers to compare operating costs among facilities as a tool to increase missile maintenance productivity; and (9) closely monitor these actions and establish a realistic target date for estimating labor requirements based on labor standards rather than on historical data.

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