Special Warfare Information Fast Tracker (SWIFT)
RF Logistics LLC (RFL) developed the Special Warfare Information Fast Tracker (SWIFT) to streamline and automate the Naval Special Warfare Command (NSWC) Government Commercial Purchase Card (GCPC) processes which annually handle more than 20,000 GCPC purchases worth approximately $25 million.
SWIFT is based on the Whitestein business process management (BPM) software Living Systems Process Suite - or LSPS and provides an automated, web-based system for initiating, executing, tracking, and paying for GCPC purchases while also providing complete visibility, accountability, and standardization of the GCPC processes. SWIFT also uses a Microsoft SQL Server database to maintain information on procurement requests, vendor quotations, card holder records, users, and individual purchases.
- Purchases move faster Procurement processing time (from request through purchase) improved from a matter of weeks with significant process time variation and major inconsistencies to 2.82 days.
- Purchases are more accurate and duplicate orders have been reduced. Previously, an individual placing a GCPC purchase request might be unaware that someone else had already placed the order or an individual frustrated by non-receipt of an order might re-submit an order without realizing that the original order was still proceeding slowly through the purchase process. Reducing duplicate orders saves funds and reduces unnecessary inventory.
- Significantly fewer labor hours are spent on GCPC purchase tracking because fewer errors are made, and all 4,000+ stakeholders have instant access to the status of any purchase without having to resort to a frustrating string of telephone calls and emails to locate purchase requests.
- Customers can track purchases from any location with internet and Common Access Card (CAC) access.
- Management has complete process oversight with readily available information in the form of dashboards and scorecards to measure performance and efficiency gains and provide standard audit and credit card reconciliation reports.
- SWIFT provides document retention, audit trails, and other valuable financial data so that there is complete transparency and accountability of each purchase request.
- Prompt payment rebates from the credit card bank have increased as easier purchase reconciliation has led to more timely payments.
SWIFT was executed in two parts:
- A pilot project with Naval Special Warfare Group Four (NSWG-4) to solidify requirements, develop the software application, and confirm its benefits to the organization.
- An enterprise-wide roll out for the remainder of NSWC.
The pilot project used Lean Six Sigma and Kaizen principles and techniques to gather the business requirements, map the business processes, identify process deficiencies, and translate all of this information into a business requirements document which served as the blueprint for subsequent application and database development.
Once consensus was achieved on common processes, RFL worked to adapt the software suite to deliver an automated, web-based system for processing GCPC purchases. This use of a superior software product that required minimal customization along with clearly defined customer requirements kept development costs low and allowed rapid development. Keeping the stakeholders engaged throughout the development process also ensured that everyone involved was in agreement about what the final product should deliver. End user training and thorough system documentation then produced a smooth roll out with few issues.
Implementation from initial process specification definition through development, testing, and roll out to NSWG-4 was just six months in 2011.
The enterprise-wide roll out involved deployment to six other NSWC components and was also completed in just six months,from March to August 2012.