Client: Department of Homeland Security: FEMA
Efforts: ViewPointe is the Prime Contractor on several course re-design re-creation contracts for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Fire Academy and Emergency Management Institute.
Background: With increasing information and expertise available in the fields of Fire and Arson, Incident Command , Safety & Operations, and Emergency Response, FEMA undertook several multi-year programs to bring their curricula current.
FIRE AND ARSON
INCIDENT COMMAND SYSTEMS FOR STRUCTURAL COLLAPSE
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AND LEADERSHIP
ViewPointe’s T&ET Division using a consolidation methodology enabled the Emergency Management Institute to re-deploy two existing Emergency Management Leadership courses to better-defined target audiences. The methodology instituted also allowed for pieces of existing course material to be siphoned then combined with additional current expert material to produce a new blended-learning effort tailored to a target audience not previously served. Upon the re-development of the two existing courses and creation of the third, ViewPointe instructors will re-deploy all three courses to EMS Leadership audiences at three distinct levels in an Emergency Management System. Overall structure of the course will change. ViewPointe will redeploy this course through classroom pilots and live instruction.
ADVANCED SAFETY AND OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT
Client: Department of Health and Human Services: NIH
Efforts: ViewPointe is the Prime Contractor on several bio-medical engineering, program managment, bio-medical and pharmaceutical research contracts for the National Institutes of Health.
Background: Each of these projects involved the strategic consulting arm of ViewPointe by employing our resources to participate in logistics planning, business process re-engineering, capital and equipment acquisition, as well as vendor relationship management. Each of these projects sought to remove both the administrative and logistical burdens encumbering the National Institute of Health and several of their top-flight research divisions.
REAGENT ACQUISITION BUSINESS PROCESS IMPROVEMENT
ViewPointe's Logistics Division provided Capital Planning and Investment Control Support,
Program Management, and Business Process Reengineering services for the NIH Chemical Genome Center (NCGC). The goal was to maintain the integrity of equipment being acquired so that research for an NIH reagent program could continue uninterrupted with little or no delay. Prior to ViewPointe's involvement NIH was forced to continue research with outdated items thus prohibiting reagent research from operating at its fullest capacity. Also, because of the sheer magnitude of equipment being acquired, NIH was forced to purchase in smaller quantities throughout the fiscal year. For NIH and its supplier, Illumina, this resulted in higher shipping costs, increased administrative efforts, increased difficulty in managing orders and inventory, and increased administration with vendor invoicing and accounts receivable. The situation for both NIH and Illumina was less than optimal.
The acquisition of these complex hi-tech pieces of equipment was complicated by changing part numbers and the requirement to reproduce new purchase orders whenever part numbers changed. Because of ViewPointe Solutions familiarity with the NIH acquisition process, our analysts were able to recognize an opportunity for business process re-engineering that met the client's requirements. By studying the ordering trends, costs associated with those trends, and the cost of vendor involvement, ViewPointe conceived a solution for the continuing research without administrative delay. The major solution was the establishment and installation of a cross-reference system that allowed a consistent ViewPointe part number to be used. The system allowed NIH purchase orders to remain valid and open without the need for modification or closure.
By re-establishing how equipment was acquired ViewPointe and its subcontractors were able to establish an order management process, maintain the previously negotiated purchase orders, and reduce both NIH's overall administration and shipping costs. In all, shipping costs were reduced seventy-five percent. Communication and administration needs were reduced. Invoicing requirements were able to be satisfied on a monthly instead of weekly basis. In all, these improvements allowed NIH to continue operating its reagent program with the latest industry-leading equipment available.
LOGISTICAL SERVICES FOR NIAID-CAMBODIA RESEARCH INITIATIVE
ViewPointes Logistic Division took on complex Program and Logistics Management for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Division of Intramural Research (DIR) in order to procure accounting and financial management support (facilities, equipment, personnel, travel, etc.) for studies on malaria in Cambodia for two current NIAID sponsored clinical studies. The first study was a multidisciplinary study of severe malaria and antimalarial drug resistance in Cambodia. This study investigated whether HbE protected Khmer individuals from severe P. falciparum malaria. Further to investigate whether HbE, G6PD deficiency, and alpha-thalassemia impair the adherence of P. falciparum-infected erythrocytes to human microvascular endothelial cells and to identify genetic determinants associated with in vitro parasite resistance to antimalarial drugs. The second study involved studies of P. vivax and P. falciparum malaria in Cambodia to investigate whether HbE, alpha-thalassemia, G6PD-deficiency, or ABO/Rh blood groups protect individuals against mild P. falciparum and/or P. vivax malaria, and associated anemia and determine if any of these hemoglobinopathies influence the cytoadherence properties and surface modifications of P. vivax-infected RBCs. In both studies laboratories were established in Phnom Penh and Pursat.
Contract requirements included administrative oversight, allocating and tracking the use of resources as well as initiating Standard Operating Procedures for problem resolution among project personnel. This was accomplished by following approved operating procedures and reporting the initiation of such procedures to the Laboratory of Malaria and Vector Research (LMVR) program staff.
Additional Requirements included: the Infrastructure and Establishment of Laboratories: i.e. facilities that provided for: culture room including two bio-safety cabinets, CO2 incubators and refrigerators for parasite colonization, a PCR room equipped with PCR chambers, 4 PCR machines (thermocyclers), a D-10 instrument and other support equipment, and a large general laboratory space with centrifuges, microscopes, computers, freezers, refrigerators, and general laboratory equipment. Also provided were three offices for research staff and a store room for supplies and equipment. Computers, printers, high-speed internet and telephone service for program staff were also made available. Finally an insectary for the rearing of mosquito vectors of malaria was established.
The staffing to meet client requirements included a program coordinator, part-time study physicians (4), study nurses (3 part-time, 2 full-time), senior entomologists (2), technical entomologists (3), senior laboratory manager (1), laboratory technicians (6), cleaning services (3). All staff were located in Cambodia. Additional consultants and subcontractors were brought in where necessary. Additional resources involved included: four 4-wheel drive vehicles and 4 experienced drivers who provided local transport in Phnom Penh as well as transport to and from field sites (Pursat and Thmar Da) and for patient recruitment.
TOX SYSTEM ROBOT
ViewPointe Logistics embraced this requirement for the NIH Chemical Genomic Center to design, build, install and integrate a robot for the NIH TOX robotic screening system. This effort was to provide an additional robotic DNA screening system in the NCGC to satisfy NIH's need for increased DNA testing for gene discovery. Prior to ViewPointe's involvement, NIH was burdened with buying a multitude of items from several vendors. This immediately created several issues related to large-scale project management, coordination and administrative efforts, complex inventory and order management, efficient invoicing, and account receivables communication with these vendors.
The TOX Robotic screening system was to be configured as a one-cell screening system utilizing an RX-160L Staubli robot to manipulate plates to various devices on the system. The initial system involved: a Staubli robot, control station, pintool integration, multi-drop dispenser integration, incubator carousels, viewlux and dockable envision readers, a deck mounted centrifuge, delidders, and system guarding. Some of these parts were provided by NCGC. All of the parts were built, assembled, tested and trained, for integration into the NIH NCCC system infrastructure.
With a complex design, build, test, and integration process to be satisfied, ViewPointe took to task securing a primary subcontractor, Aspect Automation, capable of creating a robot that could satisfy the NCGC product need. ViewPointe then used its Alaskan Native Corporation status to facilitate streamlined acquisition of materials and resources to meet product order deadlines. ViewPointe also took on the vendor invoicing thus streamlining project administration as well as vendor communications. By removing these burdens from both NIH and its suppliers, NIH personnel were freed to focus more on the quality of the product being created and its satisfaction of NIH requirements.
The robot was created in Aspect's lab. On-site testing was then performed. Upon demonstration and acceptance from the NCGC the robot was disassembled, transported, reassembled, and then re-tested at NCGC headquarters. During this process, ViewPointe managed these efforts including: the administrative oversight, logistical coordination of all resources for testing, installation and transportation of the robot, and relocation of key personnel from Aspect's facilities in St. Paul, Minnesota, to NIH headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland.
AUTOMATED LABORATORY WORKSTATION ROBOT
ViewPointe's Logistics Division took on this requirement for the NIH National Heart Blood and Lung Institute (NHBLI) to provide an automated and integrated robot capable of performing 'pick and place' operations within the NHBLI lab. The NHBLI provides global leadership for research, training, and education. Their programs promote the prevention and treatment of heart, lung, and blood diseases thus enhancing the health of all individuals. The robot's critical functionality included capabilities to read barcodes for 1 dram vials and mini test tubes and provide safe slurry transport as well as gravimetric confirmation.
As with our previous experience sourcing complex robotic equipment for the National Chemical Genome Center, ViewPointe sought to mitigate the issues NIH faced buying a multitude of items from several vendors. To mitigate the issues related to large-scale project management, coordination and administrative efforts, as well as complex inventory and order management, efficient invoicing, and account receivables communication with multiple vendors, ViewPointe quickly stepped in to source a viable solution.
With a complex design, build, test, and integration process to be satisfied, ViewPointe took to task securing a primary subcontractor, Sirius Automation, capable of delivering a robot that could satisfy the NHBLIs' product need. The final product secured was the BeSpoke® Series Automated Workstation, a product that included features such as an XYZ robotic chassis with both digital I/O and serial interfaces, a transport arm with retractable liquid handling cannula and a gripping mechanism with interchangeable fingers.
Once again, ViewPointe used its Alaskan Native Corporation status to facilitate streamlined acquisition of materials and resources to meet product order deadlines. ViewPointe also took on the vendor invoicing thus streamlining project administration as well as vendor communications. By removing these burdens from both NIH and its suppliers, NIH personnel were freed to focus more on the quality of the product being created and its satisfaction of NIH requirements.
The robot was sourced directly from Sirius. On-site testing was then performed. Upon demonstration and acceptance from the NHBLI, the robot was transported and then re-tested at NIH headquarters. During this process, ViewPointe managed these efforts including: the administrative oversight, logistical coordination of all resources for testing, installation and transportation of the robot, and relocation of key personnel from Sirius' facilities in Buffalo Grove, IL to NIH headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland.