MARKS speeds transportation payments

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Marquita Brown and Capt. Jonathan Rybolt, BES Directorate

MAXWELL AFB-GUNTER ANNEX, ALABAMA (AFLCMC) - Recent upgrades to the Movements Automated Record Keeping System (MARKS) allow faster payouts to  Transportation Service Providers (TSPs) and huge time savings for Air Force Joint Personal Property Shipping Offices (JPPSOs). 

Located at the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Business and Enterprise Systems Directorate at Maxwell AFB-Gunter Annex in Montgomery, Alabama, MARKS is a Cloud One Azure-hosted joint use enterprise document management system.  This system is comprised of a commercial off-the shelf product called MicroFocus Content Manager (MF CM) and a Government off-the-shelf product called Consolidated Personal Property Portal (CPPPo).

In May 2020, MARKS completed its Migration to Cloud One Azure and is used by 1,100 users at 113 sites across the Armed Forces.  The system has the ability to retain data in order to process shipment, storage, and payment documentation for members’ household goods shipments to/from Continental US and Outside the Continental U.S. locations.  This enables the management and tracking of an average of 240,000 annual shipments.  In addition, it features a records organization application with workflow capability, which provides lifecycle storage and tracking of over 14 million documents (average 1.8 million new documents per year).  Furthermore, MARKS greatly improves identification of 3,200 customer excess cost cases per year with the Excess Cost Adjudication Function Information System (ECAFIS) component.  ECAFIS assists with facilitating government recoupment of 2 million dollars in overpayments annually.

Recent improvements to the system enables Transportation Service Providers to be paid more promptly due to the ability to quickly and accurately upload required documentation for records and time savings with the personal property technicians.  The new function will help save about 15 seconds per email when subject lines are applied automatically and correctly.  One section at the JPPSO uploads roughly 5,600 emails a month.  This greatly reduces upload times by 23 hours per month and has the potential of saving nearly 840 hours annually.

Planned releases in calendar year 2023 will include a CPPPo workflow capability to eliminate the need for the MF CM COTS product. The CPPPo workflow will save the program approximately 68,000 dollars annually, decrease security risks, and eliminate end-user workstation MF CM patching requirements. The capability will move the MF CM functionality to the MARKS CPPPo component, thus creating an ideal one-stop shop for authorized users.  Elimination of the COTS product will no longer require installment verification from the system’s JPPSO administrators, which will result in a savings of approximately 30 hours annually.  Additionally, the MARKS team will create an ECAFIS Report and Trend Analysis capability to assist the ECAF technicians by providing a quicker way of reporting monthly metrics to higher echelons. 
 
The ECAFIS Report and Trend Analysis will save ECAF technicians approximately 45 research hours monthly when collecting data that will be used to determine future weight entitlements and allowances for service members.  Moreover, it will provide statistical data to Headquarters Air Force and MAJCOMs, upon request.  The trend analysis capability aids HAF with the ability to use this data in making vital changes to transportation authorizations/entitlements.  This enhancement provides the capability to provide real-time reports in an effort to approve personal property moves for our warfighters USAF/USSF-wide.  Reports can be generated from several filters to include: rank, authorized weight allowance, authorized and requested to and from locations, and total excess costs for each member.  For example, ECAF supervisors will be able to run reports for any service member PCSing from Scott AFB, IL to MacDill AFB, FL during  March 15, 2020 to March 15, 2021.  This report will also enable the identification of cost variations in excess of $1,000 associated with the COVID-19 Pandemic Stop Movement Order. 

The Joint Travel Regulation provides entitlements and allowances for Department of Defense Uniformed Service Members and Civilian Employees.  Personnel are counseled regarding their maximum authorized personal property entitlements and allowances.

The 1.8 billion dollar personal property operation provides services to all active duty members and DoD employees that move personal property under Air Force funded orders, in which the Personal Property Activity Headquarters services.  The capabilities of the MARKS system will also provide JPPSOs (within their AORs), the ability to service Air Force/Space Force, Army, Marines, Navy and Coast Guard service members and civilians that are authorized to have their household goods shipped by the Department of Defense. 

“The MARKS ECAFIS capability has not only increased our functionality, it has provided automation from our previous manual processes. This has allowed us to lean forward in how we accomplish our mission through increased efficiency and effectiveness.  Overall with expanded capabilities, we are able to provide our warfighters and DoD employees with optimal customer service,” said Dr. Romonda P. Griffin, Air Force Excess Cost Adjudication Function Branch Chief.

Continuing to enhance the user experience remains front and center for the team.  

“Whether you’re PCSing for Air War College, Yokota, Japan or Thule, Greenland, MARKS provides the capability to ensure you receive all of your entitlements to prevent surprises like overspending because of excessive weight.  The CDT continues to improve the application by adding approved features and new capabilities from the backlog and Functional Review Board,” said Herbert Hunter, Enterprise Logistics Readiness Portfolio Manager.