Steve Brennan, Director of Business Development
Premier Solutions HI, LLC is a woman-owned small business bringing innovation—and the Aloha Spirit—to Navy customers around the globe.
Based in Honolulu, Hawaii, Premier focuses on providing innovative information technology solutions and services to government customers. The company is the creator and prime contractor of the Navy’s Financial Audit Compliance Enhancement Tool (FACET) system, used across the Navy’s global fleet to digitize and retain audit compliant transactional data, leveraging embedded barcodes to streamline receiving and inventory. “The secret to our success is really showing Aloha to the customer. Being based in Honolulu, we are very close to Pearl Harbor, and we have teams providing IT services on Navy bases in Norfolk and Japan,” says Rob Hardisty, Premier’s senior vice president. “Wherever we are, our employees wear Hawaiian shirts, and we try to carry that Aloha spirit—positivity, listening, empathy—everywhere.”
The FACET system was developed as a pilot project with Commander U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMPACFLT) and the Naval Supply Systems Command Business System Center. Using a “design-thinking” process and leveraging R&D funding from the Navy’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, Premier has enhanced the FACET system with 5G mobile phone-based apps and artificial intelligence (AI) technology.
FACET is the Navy’s premier tool for transforming paper records into actionable digital data. FACET uses document scanners and mobile handheld devices to capture text and barcode data from hundreds of Navy standard forms, such as DD1348-1(a), DLA shipping labels, and postal forms.
According to a Navy-wide memo from the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Financial Operations, “Navy customers can use FACET to comply with the Department of the Navy Document Retention Guidance for Inventory and Related Property,” which “requires the electronic retention and storage of Key Supporting Documents (KSDs) to support financial statement transactions and disclosures (i.e., receipt and acceptance, intra-Navy plant transfers, issuances, condition code changes, physical inventory certification and count sheets, and disposals documentation.)” “The Navy is our largest customer, and we have been lucky to work with some very smart Sailors and Marines. They deserve the best technology—and they know what they need. A lot of features we have built into FACET came from ideas and interactions with the warfighters that actually use the system every day,” says Dave Tribble, Premier’s senior solutions architect.
Premier’s newest Navy SBIR project involves leveraging AI and machine learning (ML) technology within FACET, helping COMPACFLT sailors and logistics analysts predict logistics delays and potential shortages before they occur.“AI and data analytics are bringing sea change in the commercial logistics industry, and the Navy wants to harness that power,” says Tribble, who also serves as the SBIR project’s principal investigator. “The FACET system already has lots of data, and AI can use that data to help generate new insights that can save money, or even save lives.”
Premier and FACET were recognized by the Navy’s Office of Small Business Programs as a “Small Business Good News Story,” and the company received a 2020 Defense Innovation Award for its SBIR technology.
Premier’s worldwide team also brings the combination of Aloha and innovation to services engagements, such as its work with Commander Navy Region Japan/Commander Naval Forces Japan, where it provides information technology and information assurance support at five installations across Japan. “Greeting questions and problems with a smile is all part of Aloha,” mentions Calvin Beale, Premier’s senior program manager for its team in Japan. “How you solve a problem—that’s where the innovation comes in.”
Premier also employs an “Aloha-powered” approach in its business relationships. “As a small business, it helps to have great partners,” says Hardisty. “Canon USA has gone above and beyond to help us bring the latest document scanning technology to the Fleet, and we have been able to work with companies like Kofax and ONE to deliver some bleeding edge software capabilities to our Navy customers.”
“We started as a little company in Hawaii. Aloha is just part of our DNA,” informs Amanda Crabtree-Loo, Premier’s president, who founded the company in 2007. “If people like to work with you, you can do great things together.”