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Week 8 – Progress on Phase 2

Key Insights and Decisions

Going into this week, here were the two hypotheses we intended to examine:


  1. Would an automated equipment inventory and vehicle checks provide value to Operators and QC Chiefs?


It really depends on what we do with it. By simply making the process automated, i.e. some sort of app that just allows them to select from options, we won’t save much time on the floor. However, we would be able to make information much more accurate and be processed faster. As we progress to more sophisticated technology, such as scanning or image recognition, we would be able to significantly cut into the time spent doing this. Every day they have to start every vehicle and they do inventory multiple times a month. If eventually, these processes can take place without 1) time spent by Marines and 2) human error, it would be an incredible achievement and have impacts far beyond the individual companies but would save thousands of hours within companies.


  1. Having the ability to upload status’ of vehicles with a mobile device would save time and provide greater reporting accuracy.

There are many applications that a scanner or computer vision project would have in terms of improving the maintenance floors logistics, among which are vehicle checks, service requests, and LTI replacements. The primary beneficiaries differ by area of help but virtually every area of the Maintenance Battalion would benefit from some aspect. In all aspects, we have gotten relatively positive feedback regarding how much they would help, but we need to drill further into how exactly that would be accomplished. The goal eventually would be to combine all of these into a single autonomous system that removes human error and bias from the reporting and assignment process.


Next Week: We will be heading down to Camp Lejeune to actually meet with these potential beneficiaries. Our plan is to narrow down on the inventory checking if that proves to be as big of a problem as we believe, however, as we learned last time we were at Lejeune, the issues we believe exist may be a bit off base from what are actually present. So we are hoping to get a closer look at these areas.


Gunny List:

  • Wants us down there now. “Can’t understand it until you see it”
  • For barcodes on equipment:
    • He is planning on getting external barcodes and gluing them on or etching them into each piece of equipment.
    • Another option could be to use computer vision. There is a toolbox they use now that does the same thing with tools in a toolbox.
  • For developing an app, whatever we do, the most important thing to think about is what happens when it breaks.
  • GCSS/LTI – Reports for LTIs can be exported to Excel
    • Idea would be to have each shop set up an automatic report generation that automatically gets dropped into a folder. Our program would read from that folder into a mobile platform to output tasks to everyone on the shop floor


MSgt Richard:

  • Ops Chief: Been trained on motor vehicle operations since he first came into the Marines. Doles out equipment and personnel for missions.
  • He picks the time to do equipment checks and the Maintenance Chief actually determines what they do.
  • OVE check not really a thing. There is an OVE (SL3) NCO who does it all, this is assigned by Ops. Chief.
  • Has been involved in many conversations for automating parts of what we’re looking at with off the shelf trucks. Data is captured by a piece of paper is the part that needs to be changed. Wasting time by doing it. Also, there is a risk that it doesn’t get discovered.
  • An app that allows people to submit requests in some form would be awesome as what often happens is that many people don’t report things and it doesn’t get reported until 3 or 4 people down the line.
  • Mishap report module and that allow the Dispatcher to update service requests. Our app could make this connect to GCSS. The connection between the two systems is two way.
  • Connecting the systems would be a huge win… Funny we didn’t even have to mention it.


Cpl Stotsenberg

  • He is the GCSS specialist for his Motor Ops group.
  • One of the big headaches he has is operations that need to be addressed for several different vehicles such as a new modification.  The request to modify each vehicle has to be done individually and takes 10-15 minutes. It would be great if he could enter the request and associate several serial numbers.
  • OVE checks are done and maintained via paper records that are kept in the vehicle jacket. Supposedly the checks are being done daily.  However, last year he had to order a bunch of miscellaneous equipment over a short time period. This indicated that the checks had not really been getting done properly.
  • Vehicle checks face problems similar to the above.  Recently they found a broken window that likely had been that way for more than 24 hours.  That lead to back tracing through the paper reports to find who had been doing the checks and who had been signing-off on their work.
  • He believes an app to help manage OVE and daily maintenance checks would make things easier for the operator. It would also make things easier for him as reading handwriting for the service requests is often problematic.


Scott Frederick

    • Background
      • Used to be a Cobra pilot, became finance (disbursing) officer @1st MLG
      • Speak to Congressional leaders, deal with fiscal inquiries
        • Considered special staff
    • Finance Officer is only at the highest level
      • Can be either disbursing officer + Comptroller
      • Two Types of Finance Officers
        • Comptroller = getting money from Congress, disburse the money down to the units, typically pass money to supply officers
        • Disbursing = quartermaster pays Marines, pays out travel allowances
    • Battle Command Display (requested not to specify which units)
      • USMC and other branches are still using paper to keep track of most things
        • Frederick is aware of some commands in USMC developing readiness dashboards
        • Ex: Commander sticks CAC card into the computer, open up BCD, looks at entire MLG, motor pool will have yellow/green/red code (e.g. air filters, only have five, but system wants 8 at all times)
      • Knows of limited working prototypes developed in-house + private contractors working in this space
    • Advice
      • Look into Yardi
        • The massive company that creates dashboard-type software for the private sector
      • Commercial real estate software
        • Poke around, they have a couple of tools
        • Real estate management is very similar to military readiness
          • Property Management
          • Asset Management.
    • Wing version of MLG’s?
      • MAL’s
        • Cherry Point, NC (jets)
        • New River, NC (choppers)
    • GCSS Programming
      • Best way to contact them is through the MLG, need their approval to speak
    • Network Outages App
      • Everything needs to work in war


  • Get a physical output feature of some kind


  • A dashboard should print out a physical report that he’s used to seeing
    • Ask CG (or whatever level of leadership) what he’d want on his report + how current

Lt. Chris Gierl

    • Works for Chief of Naval Operations (2mo)
      • “HR consultant” in the Pacific NW
      • Surface, submarine, etc. forces
      • Inherent Resolve works for rescue in F-18
    • Navy F-18 Maintenance/Inventory
      • “X of Y part”
      • Probably more high tech than the Marine Corps
      • UMA (TCPT for USN planes)
        • Each plane has a binder that has the plane’s maintenance history
        • Kept updated and old things cycled out, but papers still kept and backed into the database
        • Haven’t really addressed what would happen if that database became inaccessible; very little trust in IT infrastructure; leadership believes they could survive on their own if need be for a while
      • Not digitized in terms of input


  • The app should have the capacity to print from the device, even before upload


    • Output
      • Not quite sure how clean it is
      • Can see where parts are and reach out to get it
      • Just used an excel sheet and projected it on the wall for maintenance
    • Connectivity
      • Being on a boat/sub isn’t ideal for connectivity
        • Collect inputs, cache them, and then inputted into the system when the connection returns
        • Becoming more paperless, uploaded to a database, transmitted when possible, paper reports printed out
      • Have had IT people make scripts and optimize systems talking to one another
        • Think just having one system would be helpful
  • Advice
    • Why do two databases? Try and change that, if possible
    • Intermediate game plan
      • What will get us to our final destination? What is step B?
    • Would assume the aviation side of Marines would similar to USN

GySgt. Sanchez (Ops Chief), Sgt. Chris (Chief dispatcher), Cpl Pena (GCSS), Cpl Valez (GCSS Chief), Cpl Gonez (Dispatcher), LCpl Berg (QC), LCpl Michskari (QC), Cpl Miles (QC)

    • Operations Chief
      • Ensure day to day operations are completed effectively
      • Works directly under Cpt. Hatchet (company commander)
      • Oversee GCSS Chief + Chief Dispatcher + QC
    • Preventative Maintenance Check (PM)
      • Take a manual (pictures/checklist) out to the vehicles and go down the list; write down anything out of place
    • OVE
      • Two types of check: one if it’s going on the road vs. one if it’s not
        • Going on Road (TMR)
          • Only need to check 3 pieces of equipment
            • Emergency triangles, first aid kit, fire extinguisher; no matter what
            • Depending on load, more equipment might be needed (e.g. chains for cargo)
          • Checklist records equipment taken on a mission; same form with different things checked off depending on mission
      • Monthly OVE checks
        • Every vehicle/trailer in the motor pool has an inventory sheet/record jacket
        • Inventory sheet has pictures/checklist, work down the list
    • Time Costs
      • Road Check/QC
        • 1 hour/vehicle
        • The purpose is safety, checked 1x before it leaves, 1x after it comes back
        • 15-20/day, 30 min x2
      • PM’s
        • 0.5-1 hour/vehicle
        • 10-15 Marines, all week (400-600 hours)
      • OVE Inventory
        • Depends on the vehicle (15min-2 hours)
        • 10-15 Marines, all week (400-600 hours)
    • Concerns about the Scanner
      • Concerned about getting screwed if the network goes down and they’re relying on an app
      • It would help speed things up, but it still takes a Marine to go out there and physically check; system integration would help several times more (“day and night”)
    • Wants
      • Want vehicle TCPT status updated automatically
      • Want GCSS and TCPT to talk more (our original prototype)
      • Equipment status changes all the time, so it’s incredibly difficult to keep updating the status of everything manually on two systems at once
    • Motor Pool Company Organization
      • Operations Chief
        • Truck Master
          • Chief Dispatcher
            • 2x Dispatchers
        • GCSS Chief
          • Opens and closes all service requests
          • Orders all of the equipment (supply chain)
          • Pena, Williams, Valez
        • QC
          • Heavily engaged in dispatching procedure
          • 3 Marines
      • 1st Sgt.
        • Admin
      • Platoon Commander


  • Two motor pool companies (3 driver platoons each, 1 ops platoon each)


      • Platoon Sergeant
      • Oversee 55 Marines (drivers, fuel operators, vehicle recovery)
    • XO
      • Admin focus (similar to 1st Sgt.)

1st Lt. Sanchez

  • SMU is the unit responsible for actually delivering equipment needs.
  • Existing solutions for tracking inventory in commercial space such as how Amazon or USPS track inventory could be interesting to compare with. A concern is that the Marine Corps is too unique in how they do things.
  • Image Recognition and Scanning
    • Image Recognition – Only way this would be helpful is if it was actually accurate. — Obviously a goal…
    • Scanning – They need it to be durable and flexible. It needs to be able to withstand any number of problems.
  • For a prototype, try  MWSS or CLB/TSB/ELB because of the amount of gear
    • Each of these segments is responsible for “an insane amount of gear”
    • If we want to try our solution in one place, a company that uses a lot of gear is the perfect place to try it. She would be willing to let us use her company.
  • Engineering vs. Motor Transport
    • Engineering: Bravo in TAM, they handle it better, look there. You can’t just merge it because there are many differences.
    • Motor Transport: Delta in TAM, has always been the worst because of the quantity and type of equipment used.
    • Alpha and Charlie equipment are Comms and Weaponry, much smaller and less volatile. Procedures for handling this equipment is likely not applicable to Delta.


MPR Auditing vs. Maintenance App.. Where the Majority of Value Lies

Key Insights and Decisions

Going into this week, we had two hypotheses we intended to examine:


  1. Would the ability to have a Maintenance Production Report audited autonomously provide value to a higher level, Quality Control level Marines?


It turns out that this sort of tool would primarily provide benefit to the Marine’s in charge of validating the service requests. By scanning through these reports for common discrepancies, we would present the Marine who is responsible for checking (MSgt. Lemus) with flagged items to check over more carefully. He would


  1. Having the ability to upload status’ of vehicles with a mobile device would save time and provide greater reporting accuracy.

This is an issue we approached before, one that we believed had a solution. We discovered that even if it is coming, the Marine Corps will not have the infrastructure needed to use it. There are many applications that a scanner would have in terms of improving the maintenance floors logistics, among which are vehicle checks, service requests, and LTI replacements. The primary beneficiaries differ by area of help but virtually every area of the Maintenance Battalion would benefit from some aspect.


Next Week: We will need to focus in on hypothesis two and determine which area in that we would first like to pursue. We will also need to decide which of hypothesis one or two would provide the most benefit.


Capt. Bender

  • An app that helps the operations side track QC checks would certainly have an impact on the groups with larger motor pools. Far less meaningful to units with only a couple of vehicles.
  • Applicability of the app to aid in the area of assisting readiness in actual deployments is likely a lesser case due to other tech in the pipeline.
  • The concept of an audit tool around the MPR is interesting. It would be a tool for both line managers and back-end managers.
  • Another area ripe for more study is applications of big data analytics. Ultimately, to truly advance this area we concluded data access and security clearance would be required.
  • Significant discussion of parting thoughts and advice and Capt. Bender retires and sponsorship shifts to Capt. Baker.


MSgt McLaughlin

  • TCPT expert. He knew about all the different fields that we would need to transfer between systems.
  • TCPT does auto-populate data with Excel sheets but not the date available field that we believed it could. This was the whole point of our idea, so it makes no sense to go down to Lejeune now.
  • TCPT can update the relevant information for the personnel side through excel, however
  • We will not be going down to test anymore, as it is a waste of time, we will instead prep a microservice to present to them that they can take to their vendors to fix or have us install. THere is no way to do it without having some form of access to their APIs.


MSgt Lemus

  • MSgt Lemus and GSgt List have spoken and are now on the same page regarding the desired outcome of an auditing tool for the MPR.
  • The tool would highlight shortcomings in various policies and provide concrete evidence for amendments.
  • While less close to his concerns, an app for frontline personnel that reduces the time to updated GCSS while increasing the accuracy and frequency of the updates is certainly powerful.
  • There would also be a significant power in demonstrating a better model for enabling frontline personnel with computing power.
  • Discussed details of the Friday test and visit.


GySgt List.

  • Knowledgeable source on many different areas we are examining, however, very eager to show he is different from the rest of the Marine’s, seems like he may be over exaggerating issues because of this.
  • In regards to the Auditing tool:
    • There are tools existing that do this but do it poorly. A tool called CCLM has a readiness rating for each part. Essentially would do what we are trying to do but it is just horrible at doing so. The ratings are very skewed and never really followed, so basing a tool off of this would be inaccurate.
    • Wasn’t a huge fan of the idea until he talked to Lemus after our call.
  • In regards to the Maintenance app:
    • He is working on a tool that will scan in equipment during inventory. It uses the QR codes on equipment to register it.
    • Says if we could make it do even just one of the parts of the maintenance process we would save hundreds of people time.
    • If we want to use the QR codes, he could give us a list of fields contained in the QR code.


SSgt. Clemens

  • Truck master in motor pool
  • Has the permissions and ability to export from GCSS and MOL
  • Can export reports from MCTIMS (training sheets and licensing not Excel, but can convert it over?)
  • To modify an entry in TCPT for a vehicle — right now just modify date available and status fields
    • while using TCPT, navigate to tabs at very top → equipment tab → equipment profiles → availability
    • TCPT has no set format because file just sits in the system
    • Date Available field inputted into TCPT for equipment is generated from dispatcher knowledge, NOT in GCSS
  • Can import docs into TCPT but it doesn’t do anything (can just be stored in places)
  • No specific export button in GCSS, just option to run the report
  • Can change user status, manipulate things, but can’t do that in MOL, only in profile on personal account
  • He has unit leader permissions that allows him to modify other profiles


MSgt. LeClair

  • Idea for an app to assist preventative maintenance is a big opportunity in his view.  He is Truck Master for 73 trucks. Marines spend 2 weeks of the month conducting preventative maintenance.
  • There are Marines out doing it now in the rain. Ink is bleeding, paper is getting ruined, the Marines are having to recopy everything once they get back inside.
  • If a vehicle needs to be inducted into maintenance, then GCSS needs a service request opened and vehicle availability needs to be changed in TCPT.  Otherwise, if the vehicle passes, there is no computer entry. The completed paper checklist is simply put on file until the next round.
  • An app to assist with OVE (On Vehicle Equipment) is also a major winner.  There are 50-130 pieces of equipment for each of the 73 trucks. They have 4-10 operators a day tasked to conduct OVE checks.  
  • It would also be valuable to supplement the OVE checks with an equipment check-out/check-in process.


SSgt. Crady

  • Already existing tool called Maintenance Management Toolbox that scans MMR (similar to MPR but more in-depth) and highlights inconsistencies between parts’ priorities, missing data
  • MMR is a report more for maintenance people; officers (who want more concise information) and people who aren’t familiar with the information on the MMR may find a similar tool for the MPR helpful
  • Noted that a similar tool may be helpful for a counter report, for when mileage has to be updated after a long trip in a vehicle. This information must be updated correctly after such a trip happens


Patrick Nevins

  • Does work for the Air Force on logistics, I brought up the idea of the app at the maintenance level and he said if we could accommodate some of the Air Force-specific areas, he could see a bunch of the people he works with benefitting from it.
  • As far as auditing goes, it is one of the biggest issues he has encountered is avoidable errors in reporting maintenance. If we were able to comprehensively understand errors, he sees this as a huge supplement to some of the things he is working on. It also has many commercial applications such as the maintaining of the post office and warehouse items.
  • He thinks that the app would be great but unlikely for us to win the contract for it unless we essentially create the contract. So whenever we end up building it we need to find the acquisitions officer and help him draft the contract.


Michael Jelen

  • Works in consulting
  • Working to make Abu Dhabi a smart city, implement ultra-modern infrastructure
    • Less developed than NYc or HK so makes it easier
    • Adopt and implement new technologies
  • Recommends looking into RFID
    • QR codes are good and cheaper, but not as automated
    • Lots of sensors are cheap in making Abu Dhabi a smart city: is this trash can full or not?
    • Look into buying sensors and making your own system around it for inventory
  • Photo recognition packages?
    • Not sure if possible, but recommends looking into it; has gotten a lot cheaper
  • Blockchain
    • Lots of value add for logistics and supply chains
    • Lots of players inputting into one place, not all players need to see all the info

Kati Samerigo

  • GCSS is DOD-wide
    • ERP system (enterprise resource platform)
      • Based off of SAP
    • PeopleSoft (Army is looking towards)
    • Look up GCSS team on Google to get the GCSS/GArmy API’s
  • Workcodes
    • System is German, inflexible, need specific work codes for specific situations
      • G-ARMY had a dictionary that translated all these work codes
  • Army weapons checkout process
  • Parts and Maintenance
    • Property Book Officer (find USMC equivalent); keeps track of higher level inventory/logistics
      • 5988E Form, print it out every week and go to PMCS (preventative maintenance checks and services) and note any deficiencies on the form; when it got turned back into the motor
  • Help USMC talk to GCSS programming team
    • Lots of disconnect between users and programmers
    • Issues often aren’t resolved b/c of disconnect (i.e. cryptic workcodes)
  • Figure out more on how deadlining works; what are the critical equipment list?
    • Army O26 report, the critical equipment list
    • Delve deeper in MPR’s

Capt. Baker

  • Filled her in on projects status and made the decision to not go down Friday.
  • Has very little experience with these systems and the different areas of maintenance that we are hoping to address
  • Sees the benefit of being able to mobilize GCSS. Her main value proposition is the ability to do this remotely. She wants us to explore the idea of how applicable this could be to combat situations.
  • Auditing tool is interesting to her, but she hasn’t noticed as big a problem as we have been hearing. Although she admits she has never worked closely with MPRs so her view may be incomplete.
    • Side Note: We may need help getting her to be responsive. We had to work very hard to get this short time with her. We had a lot of contact with Capt. Bender before and they are in the same position so she should have time to talk with us.

Approval to Test POC, Thinking Ahead to Scooter

Key Insights and Decisions

Going into this week, we had two hypotheses we intended to examine:

       1. We can run a mechanical test of our product live on site to establish a Proof of Concept.

We received immediate approval from Brigadier General Stewart to come down and test with his support. We will be heading down next Wednesday or Friday in order to test our idea.

        2. There are roughly 90 dispatchers across the Marine Corps, these dispatchers spend about 6 hours per day update data across systems. Data that is used in their jobs can be exported and imported from GCSS, MOL, and TCPT.


A new estimate from Capt. Bender via General Stewart was approximately 150 dispatchers, increasing our total hours saved to roughly 600. We are maintaining our estimate of six hours per day after multiple confirming interviews. We did not receive a concrete response in regards to Excel capabilities, we will be validating this at Camp Lejeune next week.

        3. While this aspect of bridging TCPT with the other systems will be helpful, we can apply this to many more areas of the Marine Corps.

Through discussions with Christopher List, MSgt McLaughlin, and MSgt Lemus, we have narrowed our focus to two new areas for our next step. The first is an auditing tool for GCSS, that provides feedback on the information Corporals put into GCSS so there is less discrepancy between actual readiness and reported readiness. Another area that we examined was revisiting the Motor Pool floor and actually improving this area in a similar way to how we had originally imagined. Finally, Lt. Pavlo thought that on top of a synchronized TCPT, a field ready TCPT would allow for even more accurate assignment of equipment and personnel as well as give our solution in combat application. Run Rosters are another key takeaway from this week, and we will be exploring them further.


Next Week: We will continue pursuing each of our leads on continuing problems, but will also be heading down to Camp Lejeune to conduct a field test of our design.

Capt. Bender

  • Demoed our MVP (Microservice)
    • Thought the CG would be all in for it.
    • Not sure if we will be able to actually implement our solution immediately
    • Liked the idea of a POC via mechanical run through of our solution
  • BG Stewart wants us to “go faster”
    • Plan on going to Lejeune Wednesday the 20th or Friday the 22nd
    • Dry run on site with Dispatchers
  • New Problem sponsor is coming in next week, brief Thursday 15th
  • Wants us to look into areas for our scooter.
  • DRRS may be difficult to penetrate. Security Clearance issues, however using dummy data to bypass this may work.

Lt. Pavlo

  • “That would be the dream” if TCPT spoke to the other three systems
  • Two Dispatchers and a backup
    • One in TCPT and one in field
      • A mobile TCPT would be huge for the field for combat
  • Across MLG, 50 overseers. At least one Dispatcher per overseer
  • Because systems don’t talk, continuous recognition and validation
  • Mobile would be great. Because group may be training, their reflected readiness is likely too high
  • Dispatchers would be training. Currently, you have to task out a person to update this stuff.
  • Currently, if a company goes on a mission. CO briefs higher-ups. MOL gets updated but that’s it.

MSgt McLaughlin

  • Availability of equipment vs. Maintainence readiness
    • This difference leads to differences in readiness
  • TCPT
    • Validates different types of licenses throughout MLG
      • Units don’t update it, so he pulls it and has one Marine update it by going around to each shop and verify.
    • Units don’t have the capability to update TAD advanced licenses.
      • IPAC is supposed to update it
    • MCTIMS connecting to TCPT would be money
    • Assign everything, but hard to identify and forecast to make a run roster
      • Motor pool gets a mission to create run roster
        • You’re driving this vehicle at this time
      • Command sees each motor pools run roster and who is providing support
      • Export TCPT to Excel document that needs to be manually created, nice if the system could create its own roster
      • The current system is a bit finicky, Microsoft Access. Homemade sheet everywhere. Means allocation.
      • Additional work put in, some units hand punch, some use system
        • Less work
        • Consistency
  • TLCM
    • Real-time GCSS tracker

MSgt Lemus

  • The Maintenance Production Report (MPR) frequently contains items that clearly demonstrate information was not properly entered into GCSS.
  • The hypothesis is that these improper entries are having a meaningful impact on readiness reporting. i.e. The readiness number is overly optimistic or pessimistic.
  • A tool that looked at the MPR and applied business logic could identify/flag items that do not appear internally consistent.  This would have two benefits: 1) Serve as a training tool for the mechanics. 2) Increase data accuracy and consequently the accuracy of readiness assessments

GSgt List.

  • Some of the inconsistencies in the MPR are intentional.  E.g. If an operator’s seat on a HumVee needs to be replaced, it is automatically a deadlining issue according to the manual. However, no maintenance chief in the Corps is going to deadline a HumVee that warrants a replacement seat because the seat is ripped.
  • There are other analytical reports and tools available to help ID problems in the maintenance chain. This may lessen the value of a tool that analyzes the MPR.
  • Anything that simplifies data entry into GCSS especially for the mechanics has value. One possibility, when a mechanic picks up a part from the Parts section, a bar code scan of the part could auto-update GCSS that the mechanic is working on that part & vehicle “now”.
  • Would like us to visit him when we come down for our demo

Lt. Reaver

  • Supply Officer: does everything from property management to acquisitions to contracts to managing a unit-level budget
  • Suggest reaching out to G4 (logistics shop) to get an exact # of dispatchers
    • Not sure how many dispatchers there are in the MLG given the variability per unit
    • Pavlo might work in G4 if not, contact Mappin again
  • IT System Approval Timeline
    • Depends on CG’s prioritization of project
    • Lots of front-end paperwork and IT waivers
    • Likely 6mo-1yr, 3-6mo after all testing is completed

SSgt. Clemens

  • Verified information entered from GCSS into TCPT is vehicle availability; confirmed that this is a simple available/not available with an option for comments
  • Confirmed that Staff Sergeants have the capacity to upload documents into TCPT, download from MOL and GCSS
  • Excel documents that are entered into TCPT do not auto-populate the respective fields
    • Automating this would make his life easier in entering information and generating run rosters
  • Licensing information is entered manually. Said that the information in MCTMS is unhelpful and serves no purpose

Cpl. Torres

  • Verified that fields entered into TCPT from GCSS is vehicle availability. Mentioned ability to write comments on the exact status of the vehicle
  • Licensing information is manually entered after receiving a morning report of the status and availability of personnel
  • Confirmed that not everyone has the ability to export information from MOL since this was a capability he could not use
  • Automation in generating a run roster would be a huge help. This report is generated using information from TCPT and GCSS, so there is potential for automatic creation

Sgt Collins

  • Reiterated that information entered from GCSS into TCPT is vehicle availability
  • Estimated around 30 dispatchers, putting in 5-6 hours a day
  • Was not really how Excel works with TCPT
    • you can pull it up as an excel sheet and that’s how you update it (is this what they meant by TCPT generates excel?)
  • Weekly update personnel status for individual Marines in TCPT
  • No one can get excel data from MOL
  • Don’t add new recruits to MOL (they’ll have their own profile), instead manually input it line by line in TCPT
  • Get licensing and availability from individual Marines

Sgt Brown

  • Verified that field entered into TCPT from GCSS is vehicle availability. Mentioned ability to write comments on the exact status of the vehicle
  • TCPT
    • Has the right to generate Excel from, but doesn’t know if you can/how to upload Excel
    • 1-2 hours updating personnel status, 4-5 hours inputting vehicles
    • Inputs licensing gets it from the individuals themselves
  • MOL
    • Receives availability from MOL, leaves it at “available”
    • Can export data from MOL, but he doesn’t
  • GCSS
    • Can’t export data from GCSS, but the truck master can
    • Would like GCSS & TCPT to talk about truck availability
    • No one knows how to use MCTMS or MOL to update licensing
    • Doesn’t see the purpose in using MCTMS/MOL for licensing because he still needs to manually input into TCPT
  • Manually updates roster
  • Would like it if GCSS & MOL generated a run roster
    • Personnel, vehicle serial #, date, time

Capt. Baker

  • Our new problem sponsor
    • Not too familiar with systems we are working with
    • Has many connections to different people in the Marines
  • Pain Points
    • Doesn’t fully understand our problem yet, wants to work with us to figure it out
  • Wants us down 2/22 for the demo.

Progress on Initial Tool

Key Insights and Decisions

Going into this week, we had two hypotheses we intended to examine:


  1. The different systems used by the Marine Corps are currently able to communicate with one another


We examined this hypothesis by first looking into the features of the different systems (GCSS, MoL, TCPT) and found that they currently have both data import and export capability. However, we found no evidence of this being utilized. This capability to import/export data through Excel makes it easy to transfer information autonomously between systems.

We also heard from our interviewees that the lack of communication going on between systems was a major pain point. We concentrated on the Operations aspect of this, but there were numerous examples of areas in which systems that talked with one another would save hundreds of man-hours a day. Most notably in the Defense Readiness Reporting System (DRRS).


  1. That our current MVP would save time on behalf of the user, and create value for leadership as that would consequently save money


We examined this hypothesis by asking individuals about how they are currently using the aforementioned systems, how much time they spend doing so, and what their other responsibilities entail. We heard ranging responses regarding these inquiries, with all individuals indicating that they spend anywhere between 1-8 hours a day updating information throughout the systems (with TCPT proving to be particularly inefficient and time-consuming). Their responses also indicated they do not know what they would be doing with the time saved. After estimating the time spent by all Dispatchers combined at the Company level, roughly 6 hours a day. We extrapolated out to the rest of the Marines, estimating 180 man-hours* a day would be saved with an autonomous system for transferring information. On top of this, we discovered the Company Commanders spend approximately 5 hours a week verifying information in TCPT, adding another 30 man-hours** per day across the Marines.


Lt. Rodgers

  • IPAC is responsible for the majority of entry into MOL
  • Alpha Roster may have the data but MCTFS (Source data that populates a Marines record, where the data is being updated) also does and could be better
  • Adjunctin chases around paperwork of errors regarding bad information
  • Systems not speaking to each other is a big problem –
    • MRS -> MCTFS
      • Erroneous data
      • Communication breakdown
    • Says probably 8 or 9 other areas this could help
    • DRRS Not automated… sucks to actually update
  • CLB 8
  • Training is a big issue


Lt. Ayala

  • 3270
    • Used for getting personal info if someone needs help
    • Pinnacle of Data, baseline data for all marines. IPAC deals with pay, new joins or leaves
    • ODSE is in MOL. What platoon, first last middle, rank, date of rank, primary MOS, gender, Marine Core Code that defines where you are, RUC is used for other stuff also where they are
    • Issues with personnel
    • 17 or 18-year-olds don’t know where to go. So they go to IPAC, but not all of them do.
    • IPAC not we’ll train
    • 3270, Barney style lol, would be nice if it was easier.
  • MOL
    • Leave – 75 or so… backlog of info
    • Alpha report
    • Limited duty
    • Full duty
    • On leave
    • Temp add duty
  • Morning report
    • Works fine
  • New system?
    • Barney style, auto-populating
  • Talk to Alpha Report


Sgt Dunn

  • Maintenance Management Report
    • Tells you at each level everything about all equipment
  • Can submit a report every time data is updated
  • Maintenance Production Report
    • Less information can be exported to the spreadsheet
      • Service request #
      • Priority
      • Serial Number
      • Resource Group
        • Ruc and maintenance

Sgt Brown

  • Functions as Chief Dispatcher.
  • Spends about 8 hours a week updating TCPT with info from the GCSS maintenance report.
    • To update TCPT, he is looking at the S/N, Vehicle Type, and Availability.
    • It would likely be adequate if the GCSS update to TCPT occurred hourly.  Ideally, a change in one would automatically update the other.
  • He is not sure how he would use that time if the GCSS updates were automated.
  • Currently, when a mission comes in, he prints the TMR (Transportation Mission Request) and walks it upstairs where the platoon sergeants are located and ask them who has the vehicles and staff to cover the mission. If equipment and personnel availability in TCPT were current, he would not need that conversation.  He would be able to determine how to staff the mission and then just notify the platoon sergeant.
  • He does not update TCPT with personnel availability.  The relies on the platoon sergeants for personnel availability.
  • MOL does not hold licensing information.  Licensing information is maintained in TCPT.
    • Once a quarter, he has the members of the platoon come to him and tell him which licenses they hold.  He updates TCPT on the spot. Usually takes about half a day to complete this task.


MSgt Mendoza

    • His company has two dispatchers who spend 6 hours combined monitoring TCPT for Requests. These dispatchers spend roughly half of this time simply watching GCSS for changes to equipment status, and with an automated system he estimates it would save 3 hours a day for his company simply on the GCSS side.
    • On the MOL side, they do not even update the information in TCPT anymore because it takes so much time. And while it doesn’t take too much effort (30 minutes) to read off the MOL report and analyze who is available, the trouble lies with the effort behind actually getting the request. The people who are using the reports to find available soldiers (Cpl, LCpl, Sgt) don’t have the proper rights to view the MOL reports for the company, so they have to wait for the right people (MSgt, GySgt, MGySgt) to be available to get the report. But with TCPT, they can view any of the data in TCPT and this removes that step.
    • Paraphrasing what he told us: “While it may be useful to combine these systems to save the dispatchers time, the real benefits of merging the systems would come in the form of predicting future capabilities based on all these different things. We would probably see a lot more benefits after linking the systems”


Dale Swink

  • Serves as Director of II MEF Movement Control Center – his group of 23-26 people is responsible for all inland transport for II MEF in N. America.  They coordinate both commercial and military transportation.
    • Freight haulers
    • Buses
    • Port Handling services
    • Rail Handling services
  • TCPT is not going away!  This is a rumor they have been trying to quash for a long time.
  • TCPT does have the capability to import data on vehicles, personnel, and licenses via pre-defined templates.  (He provided examples of the shell template files.)


John Myrka

  • GCSS trainer and guru
  • GCSS has the ability to output reports in spreadsheet format.
  • He believes MOL has the same.
  • His former employer prototyped a cloud-based system that unified the communication between maintenance and mission resourcing.  The marines shutdown that project.


Sgt Collins

  • Dispatcher works with TCPT.
  • He spends 4-5 hours per week updating TCPT with the information from GCSS.
    • He has the maintenance team run the maintenance report a couple times a week.  He then goes line by line and updates TCPT.
    • Specifically, he is updating each truck by S/N for:
      • Date available (when will it be available for service)
      • Status (Available, Op Degraded, Deadlined)
  • When he was based in Quantico, they updated TCPT with GCSS info in the same way.


Chet Boyd

  • Uses two new systems Sharepoint and Range Control; both of which do not require information from other systems so automation may not be able to help
  • Problems with a distribution email list
    • People who leave the base, get deployed, don’t want to receive these emails
    • Populating email list with information from MOL could help alleviate this
  • Believes that MOL can export CSV files but was unsure of this


Ginny Badanes

  • Course advisor works at Microsoft on a team dealing with government
  • Discussed security regulations regarding our team’s solution (suggested we implement user anonymity in order to surpass security restraints)
  • Mentioned that a dashboard would be a useful product because it would allow higher-ups a more holistic view of operational readiness in a palatable fashion
    • Could connect to team members at Power BI to help with building data visualization


Lt. Mappin

  • Finance officer for 2nd MLG
  • Serves as a funding disbursement point at the Group level; involved with “big” picture things
    • Contact later for larger scale questions
  • Had little idea as to the total cost of dispatchers
    • Got contact info for a Logistics and a Supply (purchasing, procurement) officer
    • Logistics should have a clearer idea of dispatcher costs at a more micro level


*There are 10 Companies in each MLG that use this system of readiness reporting.  There are three MLGs in the Marines, leading us to 6 * 10 * 3 = 180 man-hours a day for Dispatchers.

**By the same argument, Company Commanders spend 1 * 10 * 3 = 30 man-hours a day Marine Wide. Leading to an estimated 210 man-hours.