Management of Naval Supply Center Labor Resources Can Be Improved

NSIAD-85-129: Published: Aug 9, 1985. Publicly Released: Aug 9, 1985.

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GAO reviewed the effectiveness of labor resource management at seven naval supply centers.

GAO found that opportunities exist for better labor resource management at the centers. Between fiscal years 1980 and 1984, annual civilian labor costs increased from $152 to $259 million. In the late 1960's and early 1970's, Department of Defense (DOD) activities used work-measurement techniques as part of a formal program, reporting annual cost savings of $121 million. However, by 1974, the Navy began to deemphasize work measurement. GAO found that the Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) does not have an effective work-measurement system for the supply centers or an overall plan to develop and implement one. Instead, the supply centers rely on a management information system that is not effective in evaluating the efficiency of the labor force. Some supply centers have individual ongoing projects to improve work measurement, but they are limited in scope. In 1985, NAVSUP initiated a project which includes an industrial engineering survey to determine the most efficient material and work processes flow, develop standards to control the movement of materials, and track work processes. In addition, NAVSUP initiated a physical distribution resourcing plan to determine the cost of physical distribution work at a supply center, project work loads, and determine a labor rate for work loads to measure performance against. The Navy planned to expand the use of the rate system at supply centers in October 1985.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: NAVSUP initiated a major project called "Engineering the Workplace" to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of physical distribution operations and reduce costs at naval supply centers. Corrective actions have been implemented or initiated and an EWP project office has been formed to continue these efforts.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Navy should direct the Commander, NAVSUP, to develop and implement effective work-measurement and management information systems for the naval supply centers. These systems should include: (1) identifying the most efficient way to do a specific task; (2) determining how much time each task should take; (3) collecting accurate labor hour data to compare with the labor standards; (4) reporting and comparing work-load production and labor usage data at the work center level; and (5) using the above information to set productivity goals, analyze labor usage, and determine labor resource requirements.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy


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