Mariner Licensing and Documentation (MLD) Performance Report

In an effort to reduce the time it takes to issue a mariner’s credential, the National Maritime Center is closely monitoring the credential production processes to identify areas for improvement. Two process measures, “throughput rate” and “work in process inventory”, are analyzed each month. Analysis of October data identified two key issues that are impacting credential processing time. This report discusses those findings and summarized corrective actions being taken.

Figure 1 shows that there are over 25,000 credentials being worked on nationwide. Approximately 45% of these credentials are either awaiting additional information from the mariner or waiting for the mariner to complete their examination at an REC. The remaining credentials reside in various states of production including having just been received from the mariner, being evaluated, or approved to print. In an effort to reduce our inventory of these credential applications, the NMC has launched an aggressive campaign to complete all credentials that are over 120 days old by January 31, 2008. Mariners will be contacted by the Coast Guard to help them submit the requested additional information or to assist them with scheduling an exam. All expired applications will be withdrawn from the inventory.

Figure 2 shows the throughput rate for credentials being produced by the NMC in West Virginia. This chart depicts the number of credentials applied for each week, the number of credentials finished during that same period, and the ratio between the two. Process changes implemented in July 2007 significantly improved throughput, which continued through September. Since then, however, throughput levels have dropped signaling a need to review internal processes. Senior managers at NMC have identified the causes of this drop in production and have adjusted the evaluation process to bring throughput rates back to the September levels.

The actions being taken to adjust our production processes will result in an overall reduction in the time it takes to issue a credential. As we continue our transition to centralized operations and improved customer service, we ask for your patience and we welcome your suggestions. Please email your comments and suggestions for improvements to iasknmc@uscg.mil.

David C. Stalfort
Captain, U. S. Coast Guard