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Author Topic: Assets Management  (Read 2020 times)
Adam B
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« on: March 02, 2019, 02:15:39 PM »

Does anyone use an Assets Management System to track supplies in their squadron, specifically uniforms and gear in-stock and  those issued to members?

Here's my vision:
Cadet Snuffy joins your squadron, and needs a set of ABUs. You log onto your system and input the cadets size for blouse, pants, hat, etc.
The system returns that you have the pants and hat locally, but the closest blouse in that size is at the HighFly Squadron in the next town over. Logistical stuff happens between the two units, and now Snuffy has a full set of ABUs.
Each item would have an identifier that is then tied to a unit or member. Searches could be done by size and availability, or by member to request back issued items if a member leaves.

I know that national has a similar set-up  for tracking bigger assets, like radios and vans and such, but my idea is focused more on the smaller things, like the example above.

Could this be done at the unit or wing level? Are there any restrictions on unit or wing-run DB servers (security risk seems minimal with such low value assets)?
Does anyone currently have a system like this in their unit/wing?
Is there any interest in such a system if one was created?
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Adam
etodd
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« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2019, 10:04:07 PM »

Might be a good idea with the larger Squadrons with huge inventories.

Our Cadet uniform supplies are in a closet, in tubs marked by size. New Cadet sees what is there that can work and its done.  I'm not sure anyone here would want to have to constantly update a database every time someone took a shirt or returned some pants. Just easier to go take a peek in the closet.
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« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2019, 10:55:36 PM »

Might be a good idea with the larger Squadrons with huge inventories.

Our Cadet uniform supplies are in a closet, in tubs marked by size. New Cadet sees what is there that can work and its done.  I'm not sure anyone here would want to have to constantly update a database every time someone took a shirt or returned some pants. Just easier to go take a peek in the closet.

How do you know what you need to recover when a cadet leaves CAP?

Adam is mostly thinking about "issued clothing records," not so much "what you have still hanging in the closet."
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etodd
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« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2019, 11:47:45 PM »

Might be a good idea with the larger Squadrons with huge inventories.

Our Cadet uniform supplies are in a closet, in tubs marked by size. New Cadet sees what is there that can work and its done.  I'm not sure anyone here would want to have to constantly update a database every time someone took a shirt or returned some pants. Just easier to go take a peek in the closet.

How do you know what you need to recover when a cadet leaves CAP?

Adam is mostly thinking about "issued clothing records," not so much "what you have still hanging in the closet."

To the best of my knowledge, after a Cadet has worn a shirt or pants for a couple years, and then leaves ... we don't go chasing them down to get it. Do some Squadrons actually do that?
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HandsomeWalt_USMC
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« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2019, 12:23:32 AM »

Our unwritten policy is if the cadet leaves within a year then we request return of all squadron issued uniforms. Especially in regard to service coats and ABUs. We've had some issues with cadets joining, recieving uniforms, and then ghosting after a few months. I also try to use it as a teachable moment for the former cadets and parents in regards to commitment and follow through.
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Luis R. Ramos
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« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2019, 12:26:23 AM »

I believe the regulation that mentions management of the uniform for cadets states that the unit should get the Blues uniform back if a cadet leaves before a year is up. So the hidden meaning is "who should really care for retrieving the uniform after a year?" But I am not in a position to look it up at this time.

The ABU / BDU should be no different. After some time of a cadet wearing that uniform for meetings, activities, etc. why would anyone want to get it back? Faded from washing and wearing it, maybe ripped and torn.

Why getting it back?
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Luis R. Ramos
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« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2019, 12:31:53 AM »

Why would anyone care about getting a Service Coat back? Specially when the Service Coat does not match the Blues pants since they are different shades. Rather than issuing uniforms as soon as a cadet joins, requesting it back if said cadet leaves before a year is up, why not institute that cadets should wait a year before a unit gives away uniforms and uniform items to them? Saves on administrative upkeep as you now do not have to worry about keeping records!

Edited to add: The same with getting old BDUs and ABUs. Pants and shirts would not match either. Some difference in fading as well, since items are not new. Why worry about recovering said items?
« Last Edit: March 03, 2019, 12:44:41 AM by Luis R. Ramos » Report to moderator   Logged
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etodd
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« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2019, 12:35:43 AM »

BDU is all a newcomer Cadet gets around here.  They are own their on when it comes to ordering the blues and others.
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Adam B
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« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2019, 01:18:32 AM »

Well, being able to get the uniform back is only part of the system.

I think you're all missing the bigger topic, and maybe I didn't draw enough attention to it. If it could be implemented at a multi-unit (wing or group) level, it could help squadrons share resources. It may not be an issue in big cities, but around here, it's not unheard of for one squadron to find that they have a dozen belts, but no shoes. Meanwhile, another squadron has an influx of shoes, but not hats. Ect, ect, ect. Being able to efficiently share those resources could be a significant advantage to all the units involved.


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etodd
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« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2019, 02:05:43 AM »



I think you're all missing the bigger topic, ...

Nah. I got it the first time.  Our inventory is so low, that it wouldn't be worth the trouble, and the Squadrons near us are about the same. If we need a belt and don't have one, a quick text message to the Squadron down the road suffices.

Maybe in very large Metro areas like L.A. where you have a large number of big Squadrons within a few miles of each other. Thats where you might could sell your idea.
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« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2019, 03:03:14 AM »

Does anyone use an Assets Management System to track supplies in their squadron, specifically uniforms and gear in-stock and  those issued to members?

Many do, it's usually accomplished with a spreadsheet.

I know that national has a similar set-up  for tracking bigger assets, like radios and vans and such, but my idea is focused more on the smaller things, like the example above.

Could this be done at the unit or wing level?

Every couple of years someone tries, and the system(s) die on the vine as they aren't updated.

For most states, the wing level requires too much travel for items to be reasonably exchanged
between units. I would suggest the Group-level is as high as it should go, but even that may be
a challenge.  Anyone who has tried to get DRMS property from the depot to units understand
the non-trivial logistics.

"Free is free", but if it costs $5-10 to mail a used pair of pants that might fit compared to the
cost of a new item that will fit, with free returns, etc., etc., it becomes less attractive.

There's a reason uniforms are consider "expendable property" and are not tracked, they aren't
worth enough to make it required.

Use a Spreadsheet and save the effort of a "system" for other more worthwhile endeavors.

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Eclipse
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« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2019, 03:05:51 AM »

BDU is all a newcomer Cadet gets around here.  They are own their on when it comes to ordering the blues and others.

First-year cadets get (most of) their blues from Vanguard and those with a need get ABUs for
encampment as well. 

That's a couple of shekels if they are serviceable, and the regs encourage recovery.

They don't require recovery because CAP has no means, outside the civil court system,
to compel the return.
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SarDragon
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« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2019, 08:07:15 AM »



I think you're all missing the bigger topic, ...

Nah. I got it the first time.  Our inventory is so low, that it wouldn't be worth the trouble, and the Squadrons near us are about the same. If we need a belt and don't have one, a quick text message to the Squadron down the road suffices.

Maybe in very large Metro areas like L.A. where you have a large number of big Squadrons within a few miles of each other. Thats where you might could sell your idea.
Define large number, and big squadron, and few miles.

I think your perception of Los Angeles area units is a little flawed. There are ten units in seven locations, with distance between units averaging around 25-30 miles. I do not have unit population figures, but I doubt that many of them are over 40 members.
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Dave Bowles
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TheSkyHornet
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« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2019, 02:50:09 PM »

We have an internal electronic supply inventory log that we use to track items distributed, "need-to-orders," and what we might not necessarily hold in stock but can procure if necessary.

What we probably wouldn't do is tie in our inventory tracking with another unit, mostly due to the complexities and differences in how our unit and other local units operate as well as the logistics of moving supplies between each other.

It seems like the big "Does anyone have (this)?" items are always some variant of uniform shirt, jacket, or pants, whereas all the accoutrements are things we can easily obtain.
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arajca
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« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2019, 05:59:49 PM »

The few units I've seen with substantial uniform stocks have a system. IME, most units do not stock uniforms as they do not have space to stock them.

You can use the CAPF 117E through ORMS to issue expendables.
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etodd
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« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2019, 06:33:29 PM »



I think you're all missing the bigger topic, ...

Nah. I got it the first time.  Our inventory is so low, that it wouldn't be worth the trouble, and the Squadrons near us are about the same. If we need a belt and don't have one, a quick text message to the Squadron down the road suffices.

Maybe in very large Metro areas like L.A. where you have a large number of big Squadrons within a few miles of each other. Thats where you might could sell your idea.
Define large number, and big squadron, and few miles.

I think your perception of Los Angeles area units is a little flawed. There are ten units in seven locations, with distance between units averaging around 25-30 miles. I do not have unit population figures, but I doubt that many of them are over 40 members.

Which reiterates my point that this database system he is pondering just may not be useful "anywhere".  Well, useful may not be the best term, "practical" most like is.
 ;)

It still surprised me that there might be Squadrons that chase down former members to get a pair of pants back. We don't keep track. Give them a hand-me-down shirt and forget about it.
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« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2019, 07:34:47 PM »

It still surprised me that there might be Squadrons that chase down former members to get a pair of pants back. We don't keep track. Give them a hand-me-down shirt and forget about it.

This isn't just "hand-me-down shirts".

Don't your cadets get their Curry uniform?  Don't they apply for CEAP?

In far too many cases this is literally brand-new uniform items that may have been worn once, or perhaps never.

Cadet joins excited about CAP, gets his Curry by the first week of membership, signs up for a
an encampment that happens to be the next month, gets his CEAP and then drops out of encampment
and never goes to another CAP meeting.

This kind of thing is one of the reasons cadets have to get Curry now before the uniform voucher.

CAPR 174-1, Page 7:
https://www.gocivilairpatrol.com/media/cms/R174_001_F7C3242683CC7.pdf
"a. If a cadet leaves the program during the first year the unit commander should make an
effort to retrieve the uniform from the cadet."


The practical reality is a couple of emails and maybe a phone call.  No one should be "chasing
anyone down".

This is part and parcel of good stewardship of USAF grants and other funding, and it's when
the USAF see CAP, organizationally, disrespecting those funds that the taps run dry.

« Last Edit: March 03, 2019, 07:39:02 PM by Eclipse » Report to moderator   Logged


NIN
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« Reply #17 on: March 04, 2019, 02:50:39 AM »

There's a reason uniforms are consider "expendable property" and are not tracked, they aren't
worth enough to make it required.

Just because something is "expendable" doesn't mean you shouldn't a) manage it; and b) make an effort to recover it.

Uniforms, expendable as they may be, are a finite resource. If you're letting them walk away, you're squandering a resource.

I see too many units treating stocks of uniforms like "giveaways."  Considering the expense and effort to obtain and distribute them, we should be doing a far better job of stewarding our limited resources.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #18 on: March 04, 2019, 03:27:05 AM »

^ Agree completely. 

My point is that they aren't tracked in ORMS because the effort and cost involved in
following the entirety of the REG when something is missing or "stolen" (which could be
considered the case for a dropped cadet who doesn't return things).

That would require an ROS, and take it from someone involved in ROS's for items worth less
then $10, it's a huge PITA with zero benefit.

Making re-capture a "should" sets the best practice without the full-on regulatory requirement.
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Adam B
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« Reply #19 on: March 04, 2019, 02:21:57 PM »

Well, the point of this thread for me was to gauge interest in the idea to determine if I'd go forward with development, and I think it's fulfilled that purpose.

« Last Edit: March 04, 2019, 05:08:07 PM by Adam B » Report to moderator   Logged
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