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Art of the Happening (AOTH) - AIMS Entry Log

First in a New Series                                                                                  March 2024


Introduction

For 12 years Asset Information Management Solution (AIMS) has provided a customizable, digitized tool to support the accountability and security of assets that are maintained, issued, and recovered within secure, restricted, or limited access facilities. Troika Solutions’ AIMS product is tailored to ensure compliance with the full array of distinctively regulated and directed standards for such facilities. This capability includes the accountability for these assets down to highly specific and individual levels of custody. 

In 2022, Troika Solutions introduced a series of papers called the “Art of the Possible” (AOTP). The papers introduce and discuss ideas that could greatly improve operational efficiency and effectiveness for AIMS customers. Some of the ideas relate to untapped potential that requires policy changes, or interoperability to be further modernized. Other possibilities only require a new way of looking at things.

This paper introduces a new series called “Art of the Happening”. It discusses possibilities that are not just possible but are now happening.



Overview

AIMS provides a portfolio of Built-For-Purpose (BFP) modules that support different types of controllable assets such as weapons, ordnance, communication security, hazardous material, and tools. While Automated Armory (AIMS-AA) is our flagship module, our approach means we can quickly provide other asset management solutions to meet new and emerging customer needs. The architecture framework of AIMS BFP modules is specifically designed to provide the flexibility and agility to readily deploy solutions tailorable for a customer in as few as 90 days.

Our newest module is integral to supporting the needs to control, record, and audit access to and from restricted assess facilities. This capability is integrated into our AIMS-AA module. Using our BFP module approach, we recently deployed a stand-alone Entry Log module capability to support entry and egress from ammunition supply points (ASP). Our AIMS Entry Log module was installed at ASPs operated at two Marine Corps locations.


Entry Log Functionality/Concept of Operations

ASPs are typically large, sprawling facilities that include numerous storage bunkers. Entry and egress are through highly secure access points that may include multiple checkpoints. Organizations picking up or returning ammunition at the ASP must traverse these access points in cargo trucks. Depending on the size of the ammunition transaction, they may be in the facility for an extended period of time.

For the Marines operating the ASP, they have three principal security concerns during the transaction process:

·       They must verify and record that customers entering the ASP are properly credentialed, to include having authorization to transport ammunition. The entry process also includes assigning and recording an escort.

·       They must know at all times who is currently in the ASP.

·       They must be able to record and verify everyone that has left the ASP.

Without AIMS Entry Log, all of the recording and tracking requirements are paper-based and handwritten. AIMS Entry Log fully digitizes the process, replacing logbooks and other paper products previously used for recording access for the issue and return of ammunition. It uses minimal data entry while providing full compliance with security directives, to include authenticity and auditability of records. It also captures data that can be used for process metrics.


What it Improves

After a period of use by the two ASP Entry Log customers, we conducted a user survey to gain feedback on how the solution has improved access efficiency, security, and accountability. ASP personnel were asked to respond to two sets of metrics. One set relates to efficiencies, the other set to accountability and security benefits.


Efficiency Metrics – respondents were asked to provide time hacks for eight access control actions. Respondents compared the time it took to accomplish these actions before using AIMS and after using AIMS. Two representative actions included:

·       Time it takes to conduct entry log procedures at Arrival (sign in an Ammo Driver and A-Driver, assign escort, conduct paperwork, verify credentials) once arriving at the ASP entry point gate.

·       Time it takes to conduct entry log procedures at Departure (sign out an Ammo Driver and A-Driver, relieve escort, conduct paperwork) once returning to the entry point gate.


Accountability and Security Benefits - respondents were asked to rate the level of improvement for eight accountability and security requirements. Three representative requirements included:

·       Ability to verify/confirm customers currently in the ASP and their escorts.

·       Ability to verify/confirm ASP personnel in the ASP not currently escorting customers.

·       Ability to confirm customers that have left the ASP.

 

Responses related to accountability and security benefits show an across-the-board improvement for all eight requirements. The responses to the survey statements and the accountability and security benefits provide the core improvements attained by using AIMS Entry Log. Specifically, the ability for the ASP to have an instant knowledge of who is in the ASP (and who has left), and how long they have been in the ASP, not only provides greater accountability but also greater security.

All of the associated data points are readily available for audit and measuring operational performance. Accuracy and reliability of the data is no longer reliant on legibility of handwriting or locations and availability of logbooks.

Responses to the efficiency metrics also show time improvements provided by AIMS Entry Log. Some of the improvements are minimal because the performance time of the actions are minimal. But for those actions that are slightly complex, the time improvements are much more significant. Taken as a whole, the procedures with AIMS Entry Log are operationally more efficient, while providing significantly greater accountability and auditability.


Other Potential Organizations/Scenarios

Our Entry Log module that is being used for ASPs is easily adaptable for use by other controlled or restricted access facilities or storage locations. These include locations managing medical logistics storage (particularly for controlled items), classified material, tool rooms, and evidence rooms. Security and accountability can be further enhanced by adaptations for AIMS that include biometrics and RFID technology.


It is also worth noting that the use of AIMS Entry Log by ASPs could also be expanded to track and manage the stow location of ammunition down to the lowest level of stow, Current automated property accounting systems track inventory accounting only down to the facility or account level. AIMS can enhance that by tracking individual items down to the stow location within the facility (i.e., bunker and rack, shelf, container, or pallet). Similarly, this can be done for any other asset managed in the variety of limited or restricted access locations described above.


Summary

AIMS Entry Log is a customizable, digitized tool for the access control of facilities that require restricted access control and auditability down to highly specific and individual levels of accountability. As a BFP module this capability was developed and fielded in a month. AIMS Entry Log is currently supporting the access control of two Marine Corps ASPs. Based on operational feedback:

·       AIMS Entry Log provides greater efficiencies than current paper-based procedures for access to the ASP (efficiencies include improved time and manpower savings, fewer bottlenecks, etc.).

·       AIMS Entry Log significantly improves the ability and accuracy to track and audit the real-time visibility and history of who has accessed the ASP.


AIMS Entry Log captures the metrics to analyze a wide range of performance improvement measurements for both ASP personnel as well as the Marine weapons operators they support. AIMS Entry Log is happening now. It is readily available to support a wide range of secure, access control facilities and the assets managed within those facilities.

 

Troika welcomes feedback and suggestions related to this article. Feedback can be emailed to support@troikasol.com

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