Whole Fleet Management (WFM) - Good or Bad ?

Discussion in 'Weapons, Equipment & Rations' started by Ramillies, Jul 11, 2003.

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  1. As I understand it, AFV engines and tracks are kept turning over on a regaulr basis by contractors in environmental hangers, supervised by REME. This saves track miles and increases availability for training. The BATUS concept works well and crews progressively train on their vehicles and hand them back for maintenance and storage. WFM should also reduce time in the vehicle park.

    Any views on the merits or otherwise of WFM ?
  2. Ramillies:

    Met police fleet management was privatised a few years ago, all I can say is there seem to be far more vehicles sick, they are off the road for longer and some nightmare safety defects have occurred. My station rarely has its full complement of vehicles and I know one person whose career was brought to a grinding halt having been thrown through a windscreen after a crash because her seat was not bolted properly into place.........

    You should keep maintenence, and the accountability that goes with it, in house.

  3. WFM - in my day (swing the light) we had WFM it was called REME.
    I can't understand why the Army would need anything else....

    sorry forgot, not enough manpower!, i used to work for one of the biggest freight companies in the UK, and has been said when we contracted out for servicing and  repairs, down time of vehicles nearly doubled in 2 years and maintainance costs went through the roof.

    Apparently this was to save money, on cutbacks of manpower/money in our garage costs.

    I personally think it will be a bad thing for reasons stated, and as we all know we leave training with a basic knowledge, but when reaching a working unit, things are done differently from what the book says. I would suspect things like unit mods to vehicles etc, would then be more difficult to achieve through being cost preventive, etc.
  4. Thanks for the comments and I can see we have a tortuous path ahead with WFM.

    It will mean less vehicles and hence a moneysave. Each BG will have trg vehs when required and it will mean those vehs we have will to be used more. A further concern is that Digitisation will mean that we have to regularly train using Platform BISAs - whether that can be done outside the veh is tbc and a simulator for this is clearly unsatisfactory.

    A lot of water still to go under the bridge before we get this one right I fear ! :)
  5. WFM will happen, we cannot avoid it. What will make it work is green manpower in the CHE storage area and in unit lines. Green manpower will allow core skills to be maintained and as we all know, 24hr turn-around times (something civilian manpower does not readily adapt to).
    If we allow civilian agencies to take on more of the work currently undertaken by the green, we will soon have even less manpower where we need it most (with the units).
    I do however remain ever more pessimistic. REME are about to draw down manpower from 1st line units to beef up 2nd line - whilst at the same time closing 1 Battalion REME at Osnabruck, and even after all this time spent talking and playing with WFM have not produced any REME manpower for the storage area, leading one to believe they WANT it to be civilian! :?: [/i]
  6. The _M,

    Yes with you on the green manpower arugument, but not:
    REME's strength lies in war fighting and with the Divisions - no one can take that from you. REME have to engage in order to influence which I think they are now doing.
  7. I bet WFM management would not be able to deliver when it mattered:

    We all know the situation when a certain vehicle has to deploy due to its' role or requirement on an op/ex. At the moment people (ie REME) will work their balls off to make this happen; will this continue with WFM? Or will you hear, "Well it came in on this date therefore you can't expect it back until that date".

    I bet that WFM does come into play. I also bet that as a consequence 'illegal'?!? repairs will be carried out by trained personnel (REME) as a quick turnaround/repair of a vehicle is needed.

    But it will make sense to those who carry the purse.
  8. Goatman

    Goatman LE Book Reviewer

    Brown Sauce, Ramilles, Plant-Pilot and others with an interest might like to check the thread in Seniors on this:


    I declare my interest - one of my jobs is to think about how the WFM change gets put across to the different audiences;

    - the soldier on the tank/vehicle park for whom it all appears to involve more work at the outset and less kit to work with once implemented

    - the armoured regt commander tasked with an operation

    - the TA guy wondering how it will affect him/her

    - the MP whose constituency includes a vehicle park or CHGE facility

    - the journalist looking for FACTS rather than spin.

    in this month's Soldier magazine is a very short piece presenting the case for - WHY it is a 'must-have' rather than a Gucci enhancemt. It's online at

    in addition to Crested's piece in the thread above, I've seen some other feedback - but it would be interesting to hear more from ARRSE members, whatever they think about WFM.

    ( and yes, I recognise there may well be bigger sharks nearer your boat!)

    << Laissez les bon temps r--o-o-o-o-o-ulez! >> :wink:
    Le Chevre
  9. Recent experience as a TA officer is that with the implementation of drivers' hours regulations it is increasingly difficult to achieve the same amount in the course of the training weekend. By definition arty is at the very least mechanised (in the absence of 24hr avn - yeah right) and this is the case for all the TA field guns (and more Reg as we speak) and all AD. Therefore everything has to be driven and we are now in the situation where exercises cannot begin until Sat am, cannot continue overnight on the Sat and have to have a prohibitively early endex on the Sunday in order to allow the drivers who will be on the road in their civvy roles on a Monday to get their hours in. Training wise the upshot is either no night-time deployments or the requirement to (at the very least) double hat every driver on an exercise.

    The potential for having a training area with a Regiment's worth of kit to CES ready to be signed over on a Friday pm when a coach arrives from TACs would put things in order somewhat. I've done it at MPA and in Wainwright; why not SPTA?

    So it might be an ill wind etc., but this still fails to answer virtually any of the queries raised higher in the thread and I remain deeply cynical about any justifications other than those beloved of the Treasury.
  10. My biggest annoyance about vehicles was with ABRO Stirling. B**tards.

    Not only did they claim (in the late 1990s) that there was a six-week minimum turnaround time for any vehicle going in, for any work done (i.e. even just with six-monthly checks, it meant that our vehicles were only in the TAC for 40 weeks out of 52); and anything in the slightest wrong with them meant that the six week was a minimum, not an expected duration. The vehicles got to Stirling, and promptly sat in a car park for five weeks waiting for their slot, because Stirling's processes were so sh1te.

    On top of that, they insisted that anything fitted to the vehicles be removed; so our rather nice CV wagons had to have all signals kit stripped out and rebuilt twice a year. Completely f***ing pointless.

    I've never been so glad as when our Bn QM managed to get the contract away from Stirling, and placed locally. Suddenly, the maintenance downtime dropped to near zero, and the civvy mechanic could come to us to do the work. Strangely, he didn't insist that all the signals racks and wiring be removed, just because he wanted to change an oil filter or a fan belt.

    What really gripped me was that ABRO started pushing out shiny brochures about how wonderful they were, and now as a Defence Agency they were tendering for contracts to maintain Council and commercial vehicle fleets. Hmmmm.
  11. msr

    msr LE

    Will WFM mean the end of 'A' jobs?

  12. Before about 1978 we had in the TA a type of WFM. We had to draw the TCVs out from a depot every time we wanted them. They had to be booked weeks in advance, and as the depot was civvi manned we had to get drivers in on Friday to collect, and on Monday to return (the depot didn't work on weekends to save money).

    The vehicles were always in cr@p order as no one looked after them on exercise (nor it appeared in the depot), and the system was inflexible and ultimately wasteful.

    I'm not saying WFM won't work, but I will take a lot of convincing.

  13. whatever, drop short...... :p
  14. WFM started in BFG as a good concept but has changed almost monthly. It is becoming evident that the state of the fleet in users hands is far from what is being reported to higher command. Servicings not being done, just a dodgy entry in the docs, mods not done including immediate ones, the non adoption of refrigerant changes on AS90s etc which still have the illegal product in them and these vehicles are being put into TFSU in that state. Who is going to rectify them?

    The TFSU is now under so much stress because of lack of manpower that mistakes are getting made and covered up on a regular basis. Ask questions about a Warrior that caught fire and still has not been repaired (its still on the workshop floor in bits). The REME there have gone down from 8 to 4 and is about to be cut even further! The VS guys & civvies who take in & issue the kit are not trained properly and on a regular basis number no more than 5!

    The BFBS video does not tell the whole story. Ask questions about the battery management system that doesnt work properly, only charges automotive batteries and not the turret ones. The all singing & dancing battery chargers that are supposed to reclaim discharged batteries but in fact can't & they have to go to CRB to get checked out.

    I know these things are being reported through the CoC, but nothing seems to get addressed. Oh, and all the people who appear in the video are leaving, so who will run with it?
  15. This is of course what happens when there are more budget managers than there are oficers in the army. Once finance instead of the operational running of the army takes control, things, as have been proved so far, fall appart.

    The army could never and can never be run on a commercial basis. We don't 'produce' anything and as such can't improve 'productivity. We can reduce the training and equipment budgets, but only with the corresponding reduction in training and equipment. We can reduce the manning and transport budgets, but only if we reduce what we have to do, and were we have to do it. The biggest saving would be to sack all the civil servants who are trying to 'save money' on their budget without a care for job the man on the ground is supposed to do.

    In short, you can't have a world class army on a third world budget.