NOVACES has its roots in nearly two decades of maritime research experience for naval ship system design and construction for the Gulf Coast Region Maritime Technology Center at the University of New Orleans. The founders worked on projects such as the development of the first ever ship machinery and equipment reliability management system, which was later sold as WAVE Software, and technology to weld thin steel and thin-walled titanium pipe used in newer classes of ships such as the LPD-class amphibious attack vessel.
Beginning in 2001, with funding from the Office of Naval Research, the founders of NOVACES assisted Northrop Grumman Ship Systems to become the first U.S. shipyard to implement Lean Six Sigma (LSS) as part of the organization's strategy to transform construction to a process-focused architecture. This project helped facilitate the spread of LSS throughout Northrop Grumman's three Gulf coast shipyards (Avondale, Ingalls, and Gulfport), saving the organization $34 million in the first year alone.
As a result of the success of the Northrop Grumman project and the opportunity to bring the unique process improvement strategy that the founders developed to other industries, NOVACES was launched in 2004. The firm immediately earned a place on the team selected to transform the Naval Aviation maintenance and logistics supply chain into an integrated, demand-pull replenishment system to meet the mandate for cost-wise readiness via an enterprise continuous process improvement strategy.
This program, called Enterprise AIRSpeed, was taking NOVACES from the sea to the air. This strategy being implemented was the first time that Theory of Constraints, Lean, and Six Sigma were applied together and included pioneering research to develop the framework for making it work in this very complex organization. This program impacted a majority of the Navy and Marine aircraft being operated and maintained at Naval Air Stations, Fleet Readiness Centers, Marine Aviation Logistics Squadrons, and on aircraft carriers. The company received many accolades along the way, including being recognized as a key industry partner for the NAVAIR Commander's Logistics and Industrial Award.
Since the start of this project with NAVAIR, NOVACES continued it rapid growth as a government contractor in defense logistics, missile defense, military housing and facilities, and aviation MROs.
On September 1, 2005 Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast shipyards with approximately $2B in damage. The shipyards were at a standstill and most of the workforce was displaced indefinitely. While there was little that NOVACES could do initially, NOVACES partners knew that they needed to help get the shipyard running when the time was right.
With major organizations being built literally overnight to meet the demands of the disaster recovery effort, it was clear that organizational development and process optimization would be necessary to help the Gulf Coast communities recover. So, while the shipyards were idle, much work was needed to return the local population to their homes.
At this point, NOVACES began helping Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) with leadership and management development for the new organizations that FEMA put together to respond to the disaster along the Louisiana Gulf Coast communities. Although unplanned, this was a call to action that was the beginning of the firm's Disaster & Emergency Management practice.
'WRITING THE BOOK' ON HEALTHCARE PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT
NOVACES recognized the transformation in the healthcare industry that was occurring, and began building a healthcare practice in 2006. The demand for radical redesign of healthcare's clinical and business processes sparked the idea to write a book on how the framework developed to modernize NAVAIR's maintenance and logistics system could be applied in a healthcare environment.
Due to the success of the firm's military and government agency projects and its growing private sector healthcare consulting practice, Navy Medicine asked NOVACES to help to implement Lean Six Sigma as part of a culture change initiative across the enterprise.
NOVACES gained deep experience applying these methodologies in private sector and military healthcare environments and it was clear that the time had come to publish the firm's first book. By this time, NOVACES worked with Navy Medicine's 19 medical centers, 131 medical care clinics, and 2 hospital ships as, as well as a host of private sector healthcare clients.
In September 2011, years of research and client successes came together in Performance Improvement for Healthcare: Leading Change With Lean, Six Sigma, and Constraints Management, published by McGraw-Hill Professional and distributed at all major book retailers.
NOVACES continues to work to improve quality of patient care delivered in private sector and military healthcare faciliites. The firm has grown its practice to also include veteran healthcare, where significant demands are being placed on the system due to military operations in the Middle East and the high number of injuries requiring long term care.
THE WORLD'S LARGEST OIL SPILL DISASTER
As a consequence of the Deepwater Horizon explosion on April 20, 2010, the nation faced an immeasurable task of containing millions of gallons of crude oil that spilled into the Gulf of Mexico for 87 days. At its peak, over 45,000 personnel were involved in the response to protect and clean up over 500 miles of coastline. It was one of the largest, most prolonged oil spill disasters to ever occur.
As it became obvious that the response would last months and not weeks, the need for a planning tool that could forecast the long range work became equally clear. NOVACES, with its headquarters in New Orleans and it's ability to apply best practices in process improvement and project management, was asked by BP and the U.S. Coast Guard to develop the solution.
During the weeks that followed, NOVACES transformed the Incident Command System's short term (typically weekly) planning cycle format to a long term (eight quarter) outlook on planned response activities. Importantly, the planning cycle provided the Command Center with a 'big picture' dashboard to evaluate progress and guide decision-making in a tremendously chaotic operating environment.
The framework that NOVACES developed, called Agile Emergency Management, is now patent-pending. The firm's Disaster & Emergency Management practice now delivers a broad range of disaster-related services. Today, the firm is assisting with the recovery from Superstorm Sandy in New Jersey and New York.
The firm's proud history has brought many exciting new projects in both the public and private sectors. To discover more about NOVACES and the impact our team is making on businesses, governments, militaries and communities, we invite you to explore What We Do.