SBIR/STTR: Vertical Program Management (VPM)

Period of Performance: 04/21/2011 - 04/22/2013


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Decision Sciences, Inc.
2018-B Lewis Turner Blvd.
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547
Principal Investigator


ABSTRACT: Production management concepts are needed to promote improved factory management and response to changing conditions. Goals of this effort are to reduce human effort through knowledge sharing of stakeholders and generate a responsive recognition of suppliers' contributions to end products. Improvements include reduction in time required to fabricate subsystems, less cost to fabricate end-items, and a capability to become responsive to customer demand. Raytheon needs manufacturing practices for producing high quality products in an efficient, economical, and time responsive manner. Decision Sciences, Inc. will team with Raytheon for commercialization of the VPM methodology to perform near real-time prediction of production yields for ESSM and other missile systems. New processes will integrate critical component information from key suppliers and mine information from legacy systems, both prime contractor and supplier's as available. Information is critical for performing predictive analysis. A Vertical Program Management (i.e., integration of key knowledge sharing throughout the supply chain) concept of total stakeholder involvement for a single product output will be melded with existing commercial concepts for manufacturing planning to provide a lean manufacturing approach that results in improved production efficiency and predictability. Results are expected to include increased prime integrator/supply chain partnering and bring product awareness to the entire value stream. BENEFIT: The benefits of the Vertical Program Management (VPM) concept are far reaching. They include generation of applications that seamlessly and non-intrusively integrate with existing Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP) systems (e.g., SAP and Oracle) and create self-contained and easy-to-use applications allowing managers and decision makers to look down into supplier networks, see vendor information, and visualize production of needed components. The resulting impact of VPM upon fabrication processes of delivery schedules shortened, cost of manufacturing reduced, and production yields greatly improved. Production status, communication of queries, information exchange, and gathering of data related to acquisition become readily available to stakeholders. Necessary communications become automatic and interchange of information is a granted product. Alerts are forthcoming in a timely manner to help defray delays and identify status allowing proactive correction of issues. The communications capability can provide for manual and free interchange of information through queries, and can interface with stakeholders through existing communication systems (e.g., Microsoft Office Outlook ®). A possible windfall is the ability to exchange information about forthcoming requirements and supplier needs for product planning at all levels.