Whole Fleet Management (WFM) - Good or Bad ?

#1
...The whole idea of WFM places what I believe is misplaced trust in the ability of organisation 'x' to take care of a fleet of vehicles which does not 'belong' to it.  I understand that there are likely to be penalties written into contracts etc for vehicle availability (at least I would hope so), but the fact remains that our fleet of (ageing for the mostpart) vehicles are looked after by the troops who need them to work in battle.  Anyone who has done anything on the heavy side knows that the panzers only work when they are regularly used and maintained.  By this I mean considerably more than just turning the engines over.  Already within my Bn, we have experienced the problems of vehicle availability caused by a lack of track miles.  The fact is, irregular use means VOR.
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.

Trotsky
 
E

ex-dvr

Guest
#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:
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).
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.
 
M

Mohammed

Guest
#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.
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#8
Brown Sauce, Ramilles, Plant-Pilot and others with an interest might like to check the thread in Seniors on this:

http://www.arrse.co.uk/cpgn/index.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=9402

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
http://www.soldiermagazine.co.uk/mag/feature3.htm


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
fas_et_gloria said:
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.
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
Will WFM mean the end of 'A' jobs?

msr
 
#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.
 
#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.
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#16
Plant-Pilot said:
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.
Huzza! Quite agree with most of this P-P, particularly the last remark.

Don't worry about sacking me and my fellow CS too much though because come the General Election that nice Mister Howard has already said that 235,000 of us are to be sent to a gulag in Scotland somewhere.

That's assuming the present gang of rodents doesn't get re-elected...in which case Gordon Brown will be looking for some more savings from the Defence budget next year....

good 'ere innit..............
 
#17
The vehicles that are brought in are US or have major faults. You have always got units in fixing there vehicles when they should have turned up fit in the first place. Whats the point of spending all this money on storing these vehicles if their all f***ed when the units bring them in.
 
#18
Some units have no choice - several boring reasons why - but to send in vehs that are not in a fit condition. These are stored in CHE so they do not deteriorate further. They stay on the units "books" so that is why they are often in MG reparing them as by that time the spares or manpower etc are available.
Other units have been able to get their vehs to a reasonably acceptable level for transfer to TFSU - note that this does not neccesarily mean fit, again for several reasons, and manpower has to be found to make them fit at some stage.
There is a balance to be struck here. Do you stop sending vehs into MG because they are unfit due to non-availability of spares, CES, POL, or no manpower as they are deployed and can't fit the spares etc? Or do you send them to a secure CHE area where they do not deteriorate further and cannot be cannabalised to put other vehs on the road?
Not really a perfect world is it?
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#19
chelsea said:
The vehicles that are brought in are US or have major faults. You have always got units in fixing there vehicles when they should have turned up fit in the first place. Whats the point of spending all this money on storing these vehicles if their all f***ed when the units bring them in.
This is a key consideration. My spies say that TFSU Germany is turning away vehicles which arrive unfit to be rolled out in a fit state. The reason " units are in there fixing them up" is because those units made the mistake of thinking that they could palm off their VOR hulks for someone else to look after.... TILT ! ....that is NOT what Controlled Humidity Environment storage is for , actually.

My other spy tells me the thousandth vehicle was accepted by TFSU(G) in early January (a DROPS MMLC).

I'm told that this is a very straightforward policy: if it isn't fit for purpose, it ain't going in there sunshine. 8)

One of the things that WFM will inevitably expose is the true state of the current Land vehicle fleet.......discuss!

Lee Shaver
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#20
Article from current Jane's FWIW, :

---------------------------begins-----------------------------
British Army urged to change fleet practice
TONY SKINNER JDW Staff Reporter
London

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) needs to introduce a mandate ensuring British Army vehicles are contracted for availability in order to realise operational readiness, according to a former army Director General, Whole Fleet Management.

Retired Major General Murray Wildman said that under the army's existing practice of "run to fail" there was never any guarantee how long vehicles would last during an operation. "The premise upon which we base our land logistics is running to failure. But that does not work on operations. If you head out with 100 tanks and 50 break down, have you realised your mission?"

A spokesman for the Defence Logistics Organisation (DLO) said contracts for repair and support tied to availability had already been brought in where appropriate and studies were under way into taking the concept further.

Wildman - who retired from the British Army in August 2001 - said health and usage monitoring systems (HUMS) needed to be installed across the board; maintenance should be carried out after a set number of kilometres rather than over a designated amount of time and every procurement project contracted for availability.

"At the moment industry loves it when things break down because they make money on spares and maintenance. Where's the incentive to make it more reliable? So you should contract for availability - 'I am going to buy your tank but I want 80 per cent reliability and every time it breaks down you lose money'," said Wildman.

The DLO spokesman said use of the expression "run to fail" was inaccurate as regular inspections generated preventive maintenance tasks designed to intercept potential failure.

"Furthermore, we are progressively introducing built-in test facilities into new electronic systems and process changes such as oil health monitoring. Using oil health monitoring for example, we are now predicting engine, gearbox and other [failures] and exchanging the items before catastrophic failure at some considerable saving in repair cost."

The spokesman said the MoD already contracts for repair support, for example, with heavy equipment transporters (HET) where the contractor and MoD share the risk and the maintenance burden is specifically addressed in a service contract.

However, he said each case was judged on its merits.

"A contractor will only take the risk of contractual responsibility for operational availability when they have authority over all the levers which deliver the availability. In the case of HET, they provide sponsored reserves - staff who are TA [Territorial Army] members - with a full call-up liability."

The future degree of industry involvement in the management of the land vehicle fleet and the prospect of increased contracting for availability are currently being examined as a part of the Whole Fleet Management project. This will also deliver the information and tools to enable further improvements in failure prediction and preventative maintenance, the spokesman said.

The UK MoD is being urged to extend the concept of repair and support contacts like those for heavy equipment transporters
(Source: P Allen/Jane's)


--------------------------------ends---------------------------------------


As I say, for what it's worth. only the last para relates to WFM.

' contracting for availability' is the latest buzzword-bingo phrase to come down from the Adminisphere - I don't know what is meant by it and I suspect that it means whatever the user wants it to.

Amazing how everybody focuses on 'A' vehicles - the Challenger,Warrior and AS90 fleets are miniscule in comparison with the B vehicle numbers.

On DROPS alone some anorak told me we have around 800 basic MMLC worth about £240M.

Without the humble truck fleet , your lead armoured Battle Group is going about 30 miles from the SPOD, if you' re lucky.....less if it runs out of ammo in the first 5 miles.

On Telic 1, the guys in my unit who earned the clasp were the ones with DROPS licences....

Le Chevre
 
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