Thank you, Steve. Good morning everybody. As Steve mentioned, obviously Northrop Grumman is serious about responsible expansion into areas that supports our customer’s need, and be there in a global capacity. That said, that expansion cannot occur without the appropriate infrastructure that ties the environment together. So we started this effort, to the shock of some of you, four years ago. And it’s been done very effectively, very responsibly focusing on proven solutions that have been adopted and risk mitigated in order to provide the most affordable solution at the most effective delivery rate to sustain availability in the field.
And with that said, we introduced an environment called Support Anywhere. Support anywhere is an integrated end-to-end data collaborative environment. And when I say “environment” it’s a combination of systems, people and processes. Without the people and the process, the system is a crazy science. You have to have the three integrated together for it to be an effective operation.
The benefit of that integrated environment is primarily two. Number one, as we start looking at the integrated solution from engineering designs through production through logistics support and fielding, there are a number of activities that takes place, to the tune of this is about 65 to 70 percent, depending on who you ask, the size of maintaining a system in the field over its lifetime. So there are a lot of activities from addressing the failure mode analysis that the engineering design perform, down to addressing the specific items that can be either repaired or replaced. So we’re talking consumable versus repairables down to addressing the technical publications to the training manuals that the field operator needs to have. All of that needs to be done upfront.
So having that integrated environment provide a seamless integration across all the different functional organizations so that we can process the data once and leverage it multiple times in turn reducing cost of execution, reducing risk, eliminating redundancy. So from overall responsible, sustainable performance, as our CEO, Wes Bush, always drives all of us to do and it is adopted by every member on our team, it is critical for our operation.
That being said – that’s only one piece of the equation – the other piece is linking it now to the field operations. So you got depot centers around the world. Steve mentioned IDS in Australia. We’re going to cover the world globally. Our weapons systems are covering the globe. And if we, as individuals, cannot take it on ourselves to have our car down for more than a couple of hours, and we get irritated, they have to order a part and wait for it for a couple of days, what about the soldiers in the field, that their lives depend on it. Availability is key, guys. We take this seriously. We are proud to support our military in the field. And that is our utmost priority, that our system work every time. Not sometimes, not every once in awhile. Every time. And we are committed to make this happen.
So availability is key, and the way we make availability. So one could argue, just buy two of everything. Well, in this day and age where affordability is a challenge, that’s not going to be an acceptable solution. So we are aggregating the view on what’s available in the field, what’s available within our supply chain, what’s available within our partners, suppliers, and providing a global visibility across the board so that we can optimize the environment and be able to effectively, without increasing the cost of spares and repairs, impact availability and be there according to our commitment.
So again, as I stated, there is an easy solution, and you can dump money on it and buy two of everything. But what we are trying to do is be responsible, be effective in our operation and drive that availability without increasing costs.
So how does Support Anywhere work? Three main characteristics to it. It is modular, it is scalable and it is configurable. And why do I say those three words? I’m not going to bore you with technical details, but the modular piece is essential because as we design a system, and a weapon system for instance could take anywhere between five to ten years in the design and analysis cycles. So during that phase we’re only applying the solutions that are required for that phase. But it’s a building block process as we go forward into the different phases of maturity of a program all the right pieces come to place. So you’re paying for the service that you need at the time that you need it. And that’s how we’re affecting affordability to our customers.
The second piece is scalability. In the past a program that has one or two systems versus another program that has hundreds of systems, they used to approach the solution differently. Say this solution is too big for me, you’re over-killing our need, and we don’t need it. So they go off and design something else. That resulted in a tremendous amount of overlapping solutions that was not sustainable from a cost efficiency perspective. So we designed the Support Anywhere environment to be scalable in a sense that you can activate the features that you want at the time that you needed without having to go build another system. And that’s how we’re driving commonality across the environment, and making sure the data across the board is consistent with a configuration management that we can track the changes along the way.
And last but not least is the configurable option. And this is key, especially as we venture globally, the international community in Australia, with NATO AGS as one of our key pillar, with our internal domestic need, Air Force versus Navy versus Army, versus all the three letter agencies that we support. They all operate differently. They have unique mission requirement needs that are different than each other.
So we have to provide the ability to be able to configure the system to their needs so that it matches their operational environment while in the back end it’s all operating seamlessly together. So that’s the value of Support Anywhere. It’s a proven, risk mitigated solution that allows us to tie to our suppliers, to our field operators, as well as to our internal functional organization so we can have global visibility of where the inventory is, impact availability, without driving higher costs. And I believe Joe and Jim will talk specifically how this is applied to specific programs.