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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.

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