Over the past few decades, business globalization has imposed significant changes in the way companies plan and execute major events. Synchronization of resources often requires access to information housed in multiple database systems. Typically, legacy software systems required layered software approaches not designed around an open architecture capability. These systems were costly and time consuming to build, maintain, and upgrade. They lacked the ability to interact effectively across multiple core enterprises to process, inform, manage, and interpret data for current initiatives and future planning.
Today, industry and government are moving toward more integrated information architectures in which multiple users can create and exploit authoritative information for their specified functions through a shared data environment. To better operate under the uncertain and complex conditions defining the current era of persistent conflict, the Department of Defense (DoD) is following the lead of the commercial sector and migrating away from stove-piped legacy readiness management and reporting information applications. As part of this migration, a potential next step for DoD is to share best practices through a collaborate initiative. The Mission Analysis Readiness Resource Synchronization (MARRS) initiative attempts to take the next step by assessing Army Reserve Component (RC) Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) implementation strategies and developing optimal operational procedures for supply and readiness retrograde activities as they apply to Army RC forces. In the future, these lessons learned can be applied to other Army and DoD entities as well as industry.
The MARRS application is a web-based tool operating on and communicating across classified and unclassified networks in support of United States Army Reserve (USAR) and Army National Guard (ARNG) business processes. It supports levels of command from Headquarters, Department of the Army (HQDA), through the Reserve Component (RC) headquarters down to the individual Soldier level. In FY16, MARRS reached Initial Operational Capability (IOC) and has become a comprehensive RC Business Process Application (BPA) supporting the development and fulfillment of real-world operational and training requirements.
MARRS is a platform which allows all general staff directorates to operate within the same environment, thereby reaping the benefits of a cross-pollinated array of decision support tools. This automated integration enables real-time analysis to identify qualified and available personnel and units which are the best fit for each specific operational mission or training requirement. The system then enables the tracking of personnel and units throughout the training and deployment process. In its first year of operation, MARRS has managed 2.6 million transactions for over 8,200 users. By the end of Phase 2, the functionality built into MARRS will result in approximately $5 million per year in cost savings via efficiencies gained across the various staff elements of the RC headquarters, 36 Reserve Commands, and 54 Joint Force Headquarters (JFHQ).
MARRS is being developed through an enterprise systems partnership between HQDA, USAR and ARNG using the Mobilization Common Operation Picture (MOBCOP) enterprise system as a backbone. MOBCOP was built for HQDA by MKGCS LLC and contains holistically synchronized data derived from disparate personnel, force structure, financial, and operational systems of record. The existence of an established data repository, combined with MKGCS personnel’s subject matter expertise with regards to RC mobilization business processes and data architecture, significantly reduced development time and cost. The MARRS development methodology resulted in a minimum of $50 million in cost avoidance as compared to the cost of USAR and ARNG pursuing their own newly developed unique solutions.
Going forward, the MARRS team hopes to incorporate other partners in the mobilization business process into the MARRS system. 1st Army, FORSCOM, and Reserve Component headquarters from other services should be able to automate their processes using the existing MOBCOP / MARRS infrastructure to enable an even more encompassing enterprise.