US Army: Real Property Inspection Transformation
The U.S. Army Installation Management Command (IMCOM) is the steward of the largest property inventory of military departments and Department of Defense globally. With responsibility for overseeing the day-to-day operations of more than 204,000 facilities and $375 billion in assets, it is critical for IMCOM to have consistent, accurate reporting of Army Real Property inspections. Learn how the inspection process was modernized with EY and Pega resulting in improved user experience, expedited inspection times, and significant cost savings.
Speakers:David Holly, Senior Real Property Accountable Officer, U.S. Army James Menard, Partner, Government & Public Sector, EY
- Hello, I'm Jim Menard, partner with EY Consulting in our government Public Sector practice. With me today, is one of our customers from the U.S. Army, Mr. Dave Holly. Who is a senior real property officer from Headquarters Installation Management Command, IMCOM, located out of Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Dave, thank you for joining us today. I really appreciate you spending the time.
- My pleasure, Jim. Thanks for having me.
- Absolutely. Dave, so we can help our audience understand a little more about Army Real Properties. Can you help us by defining real property of the Army and sharing some information as to why it's so important to account for it correctly?
- Sure, Jim. For our purposes, real property consists of land, buildings, structures, and linear structures. It includes equipment affixed and built into a facility as an integral part, such as an HVAC system. If you think about your house, your heating system in the house. At IMCOM our inspections encompass approximately 204,000 facilities, with a total value of approximately $375 billion. Now why is that important? Well, because it's your money. We're stewards of the largest property inventory of the military departments and the Department of Defense. Now the majority of which is paid for with taxpayer dollars. A properly conducted physical inventory and the accountability of facilities is the foundation of real property management. It's important to provide consistent and accurate reporting of the Army real property inventory, the RPIs, it's referred to. And ensure that it meets the financial statement audit compliance. In addition to other requirements that are set by Congress and senior leadership. Those results are vital to the Army planning and decision-making processes.
- Okay. In the past, Dave, what has been the process to keep track of real property and how has the Army or broader Department of Defense tried to conduct this activity?
- Well, that that's a real interesting question. And you kind of bring back memories for me with that, Jim. When I began my career as a Realty Specialist at White Sands Missile Range, I would regularly drive 130 miles up range. Or maybe into launch sites in Utah or Idaho or tracking sites on the mountains in between those points to gather data on a clipboard. Then I would have to drive back to White Sands, do the paperwork, and I would have to go into the accountable property system of record of APSR and make updates and corrections. The total process may have taken weeks to complete, depending on the location and other duties I had to perform. The inspection and tracking process was manual. Like I said, it may include spreadsheets, word documents, paper slips, handwritten supporting documentation. I remember using gas receipts to make notes on. Email communication, back and forth. And all the problems we know are associated with that, in understanding communication or misinterpretation of information. There was certainly no consistency or standardized manner to track our status or progress. This meant Army leadership never had an accurate or reliable set of data on the RPI to work with.
- With that as the history Dave, what do you want to be able to accomplish by transforming the way that real property inspections have happened in the past?
- Data accuracy and time savings, Jim. We need to establish an accurate, user-friendly and complete installation, Real Property Inventory application within the Army APSR. This will enhance the accuracy of the data and provide us with a high degree of confidence that the Army Real Property Inventory meets both audit and unit readiness requirements.
- In your work thus far with us at EY to implement the Pega platform for real property inspections. What have we been able to do so far to accomplish those goals?
- Well, today we're realizing a number of benefits. Primarily, we've been able to automate and streamline our current manual processes. And this actually addresses one of the corrective action plans for the audit. This also allows our inspectors to standardize our validation, methodologies, boost the quality, establish consistency across the enterprise. We've been able to create easily available metrics, collect and review data, update systems data, as well as drive increased operational efficiency, reliability, and the turnaround time.
- How has this IMCOM real property solution helped to redefine and improve the inspector work experience? Well, I'll touch on just a few of the benefits we've realized so far with this application. We've seen inspector production increased by approximately 25 percent. In our compliance team, reviews have increased by about 50 percent. So we know the application is most definitely streamlining our current manual process and increasing our productivity. This allows us to help standardize our validation methodologies, quality, and our turnaround time. These two points are extremely important to us as we are often working under very strict suspense periods and doing it without full human capital resources needed to accomplish the mission.
- No, that's excellent. How would you say the IMCOM real property processes have improved the work lives of soldiers and possibly even the way that other branches organizations in the Army approach real property?
- Well, our access to better information improves how we do our work, how we serve the Army as an organization. It provides decision-makers the ability to make determinations on facility requirements. On building a new facility to possibly renovating or replacing old. We're already benefiting from the new process in several ways. The inspection timeframe has expedited four to six hours down to approximately two hours. If you multiply that by the approximately 204,000 facilities, you realize a savings of about 410,000 man hours. We've also been able to show standardized results. These include automated PDFs generated by the solution as well as attachments that are uploaded directly to the tool and tied to specific inspections. This results in improved reporting and will greatly increase our audit component. One more key benefit to highlight is that everything happens now in one place. Information is centralized. Before there were multiple tools and platforms to complete an inspection. Users had to jump around, copy and paste, and move information back and forth. Now it's all in one place. Also, this is important, the workflow allows for a direct and clear segregation duties. People know their roles and responsibilities. Users only see the screens or tasks that are assigned to them. And this helps them focus on what they need to do and their part in the overall process.
- Well, Dave it's clear that IMCOM is doing some very important and significant work to improve the real property process. And you've made some great strides in enhancing the experience and productivity using Pega technology. I know we at EY have certainly enjoyed our work together with you. I appreciate your service to the country and thank you very much for sharing your story with us today.
- Well thank you Jim. I know my bosses and the installation real property staffs, especially all appreciate the effort of the EY team and the Pega-based application for making this a very successful project for the United States Army. Thank you.
- Thank you.