The demand for increasing the operational availability of the naval ships is at its peak due to the increasing mission commitments across the world. The exponential cost of building complex naval ships coupled with the global economic slowdown has constrained even the most powerful governments from venturing in to the programs for fleet expansion at a rate proportional to the existing demand. This situation has forced the world navies and leading naval ship builders to focus on optimizing and strategizing the maintenance aspects of the naval platforms and the equipment onboard in order to provide enhanced availability and a robust Through Life Management of the assets. The requirement is to increase the operational availability of the existing assets through the implementation of efficient maintenance strategies and to optimize the life cycle maintenance of the future assets through the application of logistics engineering right from the design and construction phase up until the disposal phase.
The engineering decisions taken during the various phases of the life cycle of a naval platform is not only relevant from an overall cost perspective but also has the potential to make serious impact on the efficiency and availability of the platform to deliver the role and functions envisaged during the conceptual stages. Life Cycle Management Matrix has been developed to focus on identifying the key elements and areas of logistics engineering which needs to be considered during the life cycle of a naval platform for optimizing the maintenance requirements and to establish an efficient and cost effective maintenance program.
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In any project there are several important factors which determines it’s prospects for success or failure. In this article the attempt is to focus of the ‘P’ factors which fall in to this category.
- Past Experiences
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Reasonable estimation of the Maintenance Cost of the ships is one of the important requisites for preparing the fleet Operation and Support (O&S) budget of any Navy. The O&S cost would mainly include the Personnel, Fuel and the Maintenance cost and normally the yearly maintenance cost of commissioned Naval Ship would consist of the following:
1. Afloat Maintenance Cost – Man-hours of the ship’s crew involved in the Level 1 maintenance activities.
2. Intermediate Maintenance Cost – Man-hours of the Base Maintainers involved in the Level 2 maintenance activities.
3. Workshop and Depot Maintenance cost – Man-hours for the Level 3 maintenance activities, Cost of Docking, Refits, Planned Additions & Alterations, unscheduled maintenance costs etc.
4. Material costs – Cost of spares, consumables etc. including material handling costs.
5. Industrial Service Costs – Cost of optional and mandatory service support availed from industries, including the OEM assistance.
6. Maintenance Training and quality costs.
While the calculation of the maintenance cost based on the historic data for the fleet and organization shall give a more accurate estimation, this is often tedious and time-consuming; especially in cases where the availability of reliable historic data is a question mark. In such situations the alternate solution is to go for a high level estimate using the Life Cycle Cost thumb rules.
According to the thumb rules of Life Cycle Costing the procurement cost of a ship amounts to 40 percentage of the total Life Cycle Cost and the balance 60 percentage amounts for its sustainment and disposal. Further break down of the cost of sustainment shows that the cost of maintenance amounts to 20 to 30% of the procurement cost and it varies with the size and complexity of the ships.
The ‘Clean India’ campaign launched by our Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi is surely a mission which was long overdue to be undertaken. The key to the successes of this campaign will be the cultural change which needs to be inculcated in to the minds of our people who never think twice before littering in the public places. It is required to develop a sense of responsibility in the minds of every individual to ensure that our country is kept clean and tidy in the same manner as they would like to keep their homes. This campaign is surely a right step in the right direction to propel our country’s march towards becoming a developed nation.
For the ‘Clean India’ campaign to be successful in all respect, it would be necessary for the authorities to focus on the elimination of causes which leads to an unclean India. It’s high time that we address the issue of lack of toilets in our country. The lack of proper waste management system too is a matter of concern. The lessons of personal hygiene and cleanliness needs to be taught to every individual and stringent rules and regulations are to be put in place by the government to punish those who are guilty of begriming and polluting our country.
While the ‘Clean India’ campaign would help us in making our country physically clean, a similar campaign needs to be launched by each citizen of India to clean our country from the other evils which are threatening to damage our society and the place we live. The most dangerous among them is the fire of communalism and terrorism that are being ignited in the minds of our people by religious and political groups who stand to get benefitted in vote politics by dividing the society. The incidents of communal violence and terrorist activities which were orchestrated by these anti social elements in recent past have scarred the social fabric of our country to such an extent that polarization created by it now threatens to live at large not only in the minds of people who were directly affected by it but also in the minds of the generations to come. The real act of cleaning India would be by eliminating the scars thus created and also socially eliminating the forces which were responsible for the creation of such scars.
Another evil which needs to be cleaned from our society is that of corruption and red tape that exists among the political and the bureaucratic fraternity. The cases of corruption which have been exposed by the media recently shows that our country is ahead in one area for sure – the art of corruption. Corruption has become a part of our social living and it seems to be accepted as a part of our culture. This thought and culture needs to be cleaned from the society before it derails our positive efforts to make India a developed country.
The real ‘Clean India’ also means that we eliminate the causes that pollute our nature and exploit our natural resources. An ideal ‘Clean India’ should also ensure that we have ‘Green India’. The authorities will have to get serious about the preservation of our nature and focus on the strict implementation of rules and regulations in this direction.
There are several other evils in our society which also needs to be cleaned on priority. It is the duty and responsibility of all Indians to play our part in the real clean up of India. Let’s launch ourselves in to this campaign to ‘Clean India’ in the real sense to ‘Save India’.
The success of a project is mainly determined by the quality of the human resources. In large organization the selection process of the key project team members normally starts before or during the final stages of a tender closing. More often than not, one of the key positions for which the resource is identified for the Project would be the Project Manager or a Technical Lead for the project. The association of key members during the pre-project phase not only facilitates the smooth transition of the project to the Project Team from the Sales Team but also provides the much-needed continuity in taking forward the project from a technical and management perspective.
Once the Project is confirmed, the selection process of the project team commences on priority to ensure that the required resources are mobilized to kick off the project in accordance with the resource mobilization plan envisaged during the project conceptualization stages. The success of the resource mobilization process greatly depends on the quality of the mobilization and sourcing plan envisaged during the tendering stages and the support extended by the organization to materialize the same.
The roles and quantity of the team members are decided during the tendering stages based on the requirements of the project and this estimated manpower is also used to do the costing and budgeting for the project. The details of the roles shall be elaborated through Job Description documents produced during the initial stages of the recruitment process. The resource mobilization plan may be materialized through a sourcing strategy which leads to the formation of a project team constituted through a combination of existing resources of the organization, new recruitment or sub contractor personnel. The formulation of the sourcing strategy depends up on the availability of suitable internal resources, the time frame available for the recruitment and cost considerations.
All the above mentioned activities lead to the recruitment and mobilization of the Project Team and the key part of the recruitment is the selection of the right candidates. Personnel with the right qualifications and experience are to be shortlisted and thereafter interviewed to verify their capability and suitability for the project. Apart from the qualification and experience, the important factors to be considered while selecting the project team is the attitude and the inter personnel skills of the candidate which plays a major role in the successful integration of the project team. Honesty, reliability, flexibility, discipline and team spirit are few the qualities to be given utmost consideration while selecting a project team member.
The capability of the interviewers to identify the suitable candidates also plays a major role in the selection of the right project team. Therefore the panel of interviewers shall be carefully chosen by the management and the panel shall ideally consist of the management and lead technical representatives of the project, subject matter experts and HR representatives.
One of the most common mistakes which is committed while recruiting the project team members is the selection of over qualified personnel for positions which do not demand the higher level of qualifications possessed by the candidate. Such candidates once selected and inducted in to the team, find it difficult to integrate in to the project team leading to poor cooperation and communication among the team members. Another mistake of similar proportion is the selection of under qualified candidates which may happen due to nepotism and organizational pressures to select the available internal candidates. It is the duty and responsibility of the management to support the project by eliminating the factors which may lead to such mistakes leading to the selection of the wrong candidates in to the project team.
Choosing the right Project Manager and Project Team is extremely important and the criteria for the selection are much beyond the qualification and experience of the candidates. It is equally important to continuously improve and strengthen the team by organizing an efficient induction plan for the selected team members followed by training programs and team building activities.
The image of Kerala – ‘God’s own country’ is under severe threat of being branded as the ‘God’s own dumping yard’. The most common sight while travelling around this beautiful state today is neither the coconut trees nor the greenery for which the state had been famous for. It is the heaps of waste and dirt that have been showered around at the road sides and back waters by the people of Kerala. The accumulation of waste in such proportion in densely populated areas should be seen as nothing less than a huge biological bomb which may explode to spread diseases and disease producing agents resulting in epidemics. The most important factors which have played a major role in the creation of such a dangerous and unhygienic situation in the state are the lack of adequate and efficient waste management facilities and the corrupt and laidback approach of the governments. A careful study about the waste management initiatives taken by the governments at all levels in the state would reveal that all the steps taken in this regard were not only short sighted but also plagued with the corrupt motives of the politicians and bureaucrats. It would be practical for the people to accept that no immediate magical solution could be expected from the authorities at this critical juncture and we will have to wait for at least a few more years to get a permanent solution for this problem. Therefore as responsible citizens, it is the duty of each individual to ensure that the generation of domestic waste originating from our homes are reduced to the best possible extend and are disposed at designated places. Each individual should actively participate in the collective efforts of the community to clean up our surroundings and thereby play our role in keeping our ‘God’s own country’ Green and Clean !!!