An electronic dashboard is helping Tobyhanna Army Depot better manage production and operate more transparently with employees.
Mission cost centers are now using the electronic production control board (ePCB), a centralized dashboard that provides real-time cost and schedule data for all steps of a particular process. The ePCB is projected on a screen right on the shop floor, making it easily accessible to all members of the workforce.
The development of the ePCBs was a cooperative effort between the production shops, continuous improvement personnel and experts on the depot's Logistics Modernization Program (LMP). Jude Buckwalter, an LMP specialist from the Production Management Directorate, provided coding support while Joseph Bilotta, a process improvement specialist from the Resource Management Directorate, helped facilitate the integration of critical issues impacting production. They explained that the effort, which was aligned with the Toby 2028 C5ISR Readiness initiative, was designed to help facilitate communication between process stakeholders.
"The goal was to create a single tool that could transparently communicate critical information needed by mission shops," Bilotta and Buckwalter said, adding that early identification of constraints can be key to resolving hurdles before they become actual production problems.
Ryan Stephenson, a first-line supervisor in the C4ISR Directorate, has been using the ePCB for about six months. He holds his daily start-up meetings around the board, encouraging participation and awareness of the metrics. Stephenson says the tool has been immensely beneficial for the entire cross-functional team that supports their mission.
"Because our cost center has multiple customers and project managers, the data can easily become overwhelming," he said. "The ePCB gives me and my team a 'one-stop shop' for the information we need to meet our objectives on a daily basis. It also helps make sure we're all on the same page."
The ePCBs are popular with upper management as well. Gary Roberts, chief of the depot's Tactical Radio/COMSEC Division, says the customizable tool fosters teamwork between organizations.
"For years, our reports only showed us what was going on in the prime shop without giving visibility to what is inbound or allowing downstream shops to become aware of what is coming to them and when it is coming," Roberts said. "The ePCB levels the playing field by pulling in data for all stakeholders of a particular project. There are no more surprises or misconceptions when it comes to our data."
C4ISR Director Jody Oustrich agrees.
"We have seen increased visibility and collaboration across the Directorates since we started using the ePCB daily," he said.