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News | June 13, 2019

Joint Strategic Quality Council develops virtual remote technology for contract oversight

By Tonya Johnson DCMA Public Affairs

The Joint Strategic Quality Council, which the Defense Contract Management Agency is a member of, is developing different concepts to support the detection to prevention efforts using virtual remote technology for contract oversight.

The council is made up of DCMA, contractors from six major defense acquisition programs, the Aerospace Industries Association and the Americas Aerospace Quality Group. DCMA is working with the council to develop strategies and concepts aligned with the agency’s strategic plan and detection to prevention efforts.

For example, DCMA Raytheon Tucson Missile Systems in Arizona is working with its contractor to work on a pilot project to validate virtual remote theory at the contract management office.

“Leveraging this new technology will provide improved objective evidence of technical conformance, improve supply chain management, and allow DCMA to reduce cost and travel time to suppliers’ locations to perform the acceptance function,” said Michael Shields, DCMA’s executive director of Quality Assurance. “These shorter cycle times mean quality products get to warfighters faster with reduced oversight cost to both the contractors and DCMA.”

In March, Shields, Henry Pandes, the Western Region’s Quality Assurance director, and others from around the agency visited DCMA Raytheon Tucson Missile Systems to assess the status of the virtual remote project. Kendall Loomis, manager of the Immersive Design Center at Raytheon Missile Systems, provided an update on DCMA-specific cases for the technologies and key milestones coming up to achieving a successful deployment. Attendees had an opportunity to participate in a demonstration to gain an understanding of the technology, equipment and capabilities.

According to Shields, the objective of using virtual remote technology is to improve efficiency and effectiveness in accepting and delivering supply chain items and minimizing negative impacts to production schedules at reduced costs.

“DCMA Raytheon Tucson and Raytheon Missile Systems’ collaborative working relationship is the cornerstone of deploying the virtual remote model,” said Shields. “The contractor and DCMA are collaboratively working together to facilitate the success of this effort. DCMA Raytheon Tucson is leaning forward helping DCMA to understand virtual remote capabilities.”

JSQC is planning to deploy the virtual remote technology model to other organizations, including offices throughout the agency and its contractors. Throughout the process, JSQC will work to update industry standards and business processes, as necessary. DCMA senior leaders will also update policies to align with the latest industry standards and best practices while possibly reducing certain government requirements and regulations.