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          TEST TIME         Marines to Try Common Food
                           Service Management at Quantico


S
      ometime early in the upcom-                                         useful to understanding how closely
      ing fiscal year, dining facilities                                  meals consumed meet the common
      at Marine Corps Base, Quantico,                                     nutritional requirements set for ser-
Va., become the proving ground for                                        vice members in each of the five
a state-of-the-art common food man-                                       branches or if dietary adjustments
agement system (CFMS) being devel-                                        should be made.
oped for use throughout the military                                         Before testing at Quantico begins,
since 2005.                                                               the prototype system undergoes a trial
    The common management system                                          simulation at the Defense Supply Cen-
aims to achieve improved and con-                                         ter in Philadelphia (DSCP). Plans are
sistent end-to-end support for Class I                                    to key months of mess hall account
subsistence by integrating wholesale                                      data into personal computers running
ordering and receipt processes with                                       CFMS software to confirm that the
retail dining facility and food man-                                      data is properly processed and com-
agement processes, including point                                        municated back to DSCP for analysis.
of service capability.                                                       The test marks a critical step in de-
    Each of the services currently                                        velopment and brings DLA closer to
uses its own proprietary food man-                                        realizing additional advantages. “Af-
agement system, some in use for                                           ter CFMS is fully implemented and in
more than a decade, but these need                                        use by the Air Force, Army, Navy, Ma-
modernization and lack interoperability. “[The] Air       rine Corps and Military Sealift Command customers,
Force, Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Military Sea-         only one system will need to be maintained vice the
lift Command each operate legacy food management          five current customer systems,” Foster explained. “All
systems. They are either government developed, or         customers will be trained on one system, reducing
based on commercial-off-the-shelf software products,      the need for five different training plans with associ-
or a combination of both,” explained Robert Foster,       ated instructors and training materials. In addition,
the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Defense Logistics       CFMS will address all financial, accessibility and se-
Agency (DLA) program executive officer and acting         curity requirements in a single system; resulting in a
deputy director of information operations.                reduction of the overall cost to DoD.”
    Getting the services unified under a common sys-
tem is progressing on schedule and on budget. A pi-       toWArd CFms
lot test of the system is scheduled to begin early in         Food supplies, also known as subsistence items,
the next fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1, 2010. “The     used by the U.S. military are procured through DLA,
Marine Corps volunteered to be the proof-of-concept       which provides worldwide logistics support.
service. Initial testing will commence in early fiscal        About five years ago, the DoD Food Policy Coun-
2011. The dining facilities located at Marine Corps       cil set the goal of reducing costs, adopting commer-
Base, Quantico, Va., will participate in the first pro-   cial practices and gaining technological advantages,
duction (live) test of the CFMS. Following these tests,   according to “Department of Defense Food Procure-
the system will be deployed to the remaining Marine       ment: Background and Status,” a Congressional Re-
Corps dining facilities, worldwide,” Foster continued.    search Service (CRS) Report for Congress from July
    Testing dates at Quantico are not finalized but       2005.
could begin as early as September, and aim to deter-          In March 2005, according to the report, DLA an-
mine whether the data collected yields information                                                     —Continued


66    Government Food ServiCe • JULY 2010
See us at the DSCP Food Show Booths 800-802, 901-903
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nounced a $48 million contract award to Horizon           and change management.”
Software International LLC of Atlanta, Ga., to pro-          Last year, DLA decided to cancel the contract
vide software to support the new sysem. DLA also          with IBM Business Consulting Services, which was
awarded IBM Business Consulting Services, Fairfax,        awarded on March 24, 2005. Following completion
Va., a $7.6 million contract.                             of an Analysis of Alternatives that recommended
    “Horizon Software International’s OneSource soft-     next steps for re-starting the program, DLA and the
ware is the core commercial-off-the-shelf application.    customers agreed the CFMS Program Office would
Common Food Management System users at all lev-           directly manage the development, deployment and
els, dining facility to service or DoD enterprise, will   on-going support of the system,” Foster explained.
see the OneSource user interface as they conduct             Using off-the-shelf instead of government-devel-
their daily business,” Foster said.                       oped software is a key advantage of the CFMS, but the
    Essentially, Horizon is the quarterback coordinat-    decision was more a requirement than a choice. “The
ing overall system software development. “The DLA         Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996 directs that government
Contracting Support Office awarded a Blanket Pur-         agencies should determine if commercial-off-the-
chase Agreement (BPA) to Horizon Software, Interna-       shelf software exists to fulfill an information technol-
tional, provider of commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS)       ogy requirement prior to initiating development of a
software, and to several small businesses in April        new information technology system,” Foster said.
2009,” Foster said. “Under the BPA, task orders have         Like the current system, the CFMS is designed to
been issued to Horizon Software for development           work on Windows-based servers, laptops and point-
of the COTS product and to Intelligent Decisions,         of-service machines. Data will be communicated to
Regent Systems Inc., Object Ctalk and Horizon In-         and from interfacing systems in either real-time or
dustries for development of reports, extensions and       planned batches throughout the day, dependent on
interfaces, and for technical infrastructure support,     the processes supported, e.g., menu planning or in-
functional and technical analysis, testing, training                                                   —Continued




                           See us at the DSCP Food Show Booths 100-102
68
See us at the DSCP Food Show Booth 518
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ventory,” Foster said.                                  of consumables issued, according to the CRS report.
   Commercial food vendors are unaffected by the            The Army, for example, would buy and manage all
conversion. “Commercial food vendors will not have      U.S. military food and clothing while the Navy man-
a need for direct access to the Common Food Man-        aged all medical supplies, petroleum and industrial
agement System. Customer food orders will continue      parts and the Air Force managed electronics.
to be placed with subsistence prime vendors via the         Further evolution of the system came in 1961 when
Subsistence Total Order and Receipt Electronic Sys-     the single-manager agencies were consolidated into
tem (STORES), seamlessly, as they use CFMS to con-      one with establishment of the Defense Supply Cen-
duct their daily business,” he said.                    ter, a predecessor of the DLA. In 1986, DLA became a
                                                        combat support agency providing worldwide logistics
History                                                 to the military, civilian agencies and foreign countries.
    Each U.S. military service branch procured and          Currently, DSCP is responsible for nearly all of
distributed its own food until the end of World War     the food, clothing and medical supplies used by the
II, when Congress required that a commission (later     military.
named the Hoover Commission) to study the logisti-
cal management of military food and supplies, the       Prime Vendor
CRS report explained. It also recommended central-         Military food acquisition follows a defined process.
ized management of perishable foods, preferably in      For DSCP customers, the process begins with the gen-
one organization.                                       eration of a product need or requirement. Customers
    This led to establishing the joint Army-Navy-Air    receive an introductory presentation about the Prime
Force Support Center.                                   Vendor program, and identify their organization’s on-
    A change in the procurement of food and con-        going new or anticipated requirements. DSCP gathers
sumables came in the mid 1950s. Each military ser-      the data and develops a formal solicitation package to
vice acted as a single manager for various categories   meet the requirement.                             —GFS




70   Government Food ServiCe • JULY 2010
See us at the DSCP Food Show Booth 502

				
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