Meeting Customer Demand through Process Excellence: A Fleet Readiness Center South West Case Study

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Genna Weiss

When the Fleet Readiness Center South West (FRCSW)—the Commander Naval Air Force’s premier West Coast aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul facility specializing in the support of Navy and Marine Corps aircraft and related systems—could not meet all the equipment needs of its customers, it took action. In this Lean Six Sigma Process Excellence Awards podcast, Genna Weiss of Six Sigma IQ speaks with Lt. Dennis Narlock, Intermediate Maintenance Level Continuous Process Improvement Officer at FRCSW and featured speaker at IQPC’s Performance for Government Roadshow, who shares this success story that led to honorable mention in the Best Project Contributing to Innovation under the Large Corporations Category for IQPC’s 10th Annual Lean Six Sigma Summit awards.

Narlock explains how FRCSW redesigned its intermediate level support equipment maintenance process—which performs preventative and corrective maintenance on ground support equipment that is utilized to service and maintain aircraft in preparation to conduct flight operations—after customer feedback revealed the process was not meeting required equipment numbers for flight operations. Narlock goes over the process improvements steps that FRCSW took to solve the problem, including using seven years of customer demand data, Lean Six Sigma and the Theory of Constraints. As a result from these process improvement efforts, FRCSW’s intermediate level support equipment maintenance process went from experiencing an average of three to five out-of-stock equipment situations for an average of 125 opportunities per week to experiencing only six out-of-stock equipment situations for more than 5,000 opportunities. Narlock also reveals the financial benefits that have resulted from the project, such as cost savings over $1.5 million, and he shares the staggering intangible benefits that have affected the men and women in uniform who operate within the process.