US Army: World’s Best Analytics Teams Compete for INFORMS Franz Edelman Award in Huntington Beach, CA

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US Army – Maximizing the Army’s Future Contribution to Global Security Using the Capability Portfolio Analysis Tool

HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA, April 6, 2015 – The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS®), the leading professional association in advanced analytics, will host six finalist organizations competing for the 2015 INFORMS Franz Edelman Award. The competition takes place on Monday, April 13 during the 2015 INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics & Operations Research, which will be held at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa. The Prize is the world’s most prestigious recognition for excellence in applying advanced analytics to benefit business and humanitarian outcomes. 

The US Army is one of the six finalist organizations, with a submission titled, “Maximizing the Army’s Future Contribution to Global Security Using the Capability Portfolio Analysis Tool (CPAT).”

The United States Army has faced tremendous portfolio management challenges due to unprecedented budgetary pressures that have put many important programs at risk. Regardless of such budget pressures, modernizing the Army’s ground combat fleet – over a planning horizon of 25-35 years, with thousands of vehicles assigned to dozens of unique mission roles – poses a significant challenge on its own.  To compound the problem, traditional Army acquisition processes lacked holistic, analytics-driven methodologies for optimally prioritizing investments.  To address these challenges, the Army and supporting team developed and applied the Capability Portfolio Analysis Tool (CPAT) to guide critical multi-billion dollar Army acquisition decisions through unusually challenging fiscal environments, providing maximal future capability and protection to U.S. troops.

The US Army and its partners developed an analytically rigorous process that best informs critical fleet modernization decisions using cutting edge operations research methodologies. CPAT employs a novel multi-stage mixed integer linear program to optimize highly complex fleet modernization problems, and enables interactive analytics and immediate responsiveness to evolving fiscal environments. 

CPAT has been used in over 40 analysis studies, informing stakeholders up to the senior-most acquisition decision makers in the Army and the Office of the Secretary of Defense. 

Most importantly, it was used to inform critical funding decisions for major at-risk programs, such as the Army's new-start Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) – projected to cost $28 billion over the 2014-2030 timeframe (and approximately $1 billion in 2014 alone, nearly one third of the $2.9 billion PEO GCS 2014 pre-sequestration budget). A decision to discontinue this program was informed by CPAT results showing that, under hefty budget cuts, continued investment in GCV caused significant detriment to other critical Army missions and programs. The strategic decision to end the GCV program freed tens of billions of dollars that the Army could redirect to maintain and modernize other critical programs in the ground vehicle portfolio.

Another key decision involved modernization of the Stryker family of vehicles, which was originally targeted for cancellation until CPAT results demonstrated that modernized Strykers had a very desirable performance-to-cost ratio and were consistently part of optimal portfolio plans, even under significantly reduced budget scenarios. As a result of CPAT analysis, the program has since become a high priority Army investment. 

By cancelling GCV, prioritizing Stryker, and modifying other programs, CPAT modernization plans demonstrated cost savings of up to $5 billion and up to 30% greater final performance improvement per dollar than previous Army plans.

The partner organizations are The Office of the United States Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology; US Army Program Executive Office Ground Combat Systems; Sandia National Laboratories; Booz Allen Hamilton; and Teledyne Brown Engineering.

This year’s finalists are:

  1. IBM for “Predictive Cloud Computing with Big Data: Professional Golf and Tennis Forecasting”
  2. Ingram Micro for “End-to-End Business Analytics and Optimization in Ingram Micro’s Two-Tier Distribution Business”
  3. LMI/Defense Logistics Agency for “Peak and Next Gen: Effective Inventory Control for Items with Infrequent or Frequent, Highly Variable Demand”
  4. Saudi Arabia Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs for “A Decision Support System for Hajj Crowd Management”
  5. Syngenta for “Good Growth through Advanced Analytics “
  6. U.S. Army and Sandia National Laboratories for “Maximizing the Army’s Future Contribution to Global Security Using the Capability Portfolio Analysis Tool (CPAT)

Additional information about the INFORMS Franz Edelman Award and Competition can be found online at https://www.informs.org/About-INFORMS/News-Room/Press-Releases/2015-Edelman-Finalists.

About INFORMS

INFORMS is the leading international association for professionals in analytics and operations research (O.R.). INFORMS advances research, and develops and promotes best practices in analytics and O.R. through collaboration, knowledge sharing, and professional development. INFORMS helps business, government, and other organization professionals make better decisions to drive value to their organizations and society. Our certification program (CAP®), highly cited publications, educational meetings and conferences, continuing education, industry and process-focused networking communities, competitions, and recognition provide professionals with the knowledge and connections they need to achieve ever greater value for their organizations. Further information about INFORMS, analytics, and operations research is at www.informs.org or @informs.

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