A digital solution enhancing the operational efficiency of NATO logistics battalions.

Preparation time reduced
position at the NATO innovation challenge 2023
tons of material managed per day
Henkel mobile app UI screen
The ask
Develop an MVP for a specialized logistics solution aimed at optimizing the mobility of NATO troops, create the prototype, and coach the team behind the idea.
The Solution
Yarded: A NATO-recognized digital military solution designed through user-centric innovation, allowing for effective logistics management and data-driven decision-making.

163 RSOM (Reception, Staging, Onward Movement) troop of the German military is one of the first RSOM battalions established in NATO command. It is responsible for coordinating the deployment of NATO troops and breaking down the large quantity of material in the marshaling area into convoys. 

The Battalion struggles to meet NATO requirements in terms of efficiency due to a slow and intransparent pen-and-paper and Excel management system.

The logistics battalion 163 RSOM developed the idea through an innovation challenge by the Cyber Innovation Hub of the German Armed Forces (CIHBw) and MVP Factory to foster disruptive bottom-up solution-building. 

The Bundeswehr Cyber Innovation Hub (CIHBw) commissioned MVP Factory and VisiTrans, a logistic software provider, to transform the idea into a specialized logistics solution. 

Man looking at dashboard UI
The Challenge

The management system used by LogBtl 163 RSOM (Reception, Staging, Onward Movement) to organize the marshaling area - a large area where large objects are stored at harbors and railroad stations before being shipped to different destinations - is a decades-old analog pen and paper system with inflexibility to adapt to unexpected changes. 

The user needs to integrate data from NATO’s leading logistics tool, “LOGFAS” using self-made Excel sheets and workarounds.

Yarded seeks to provide a more intuitive data management system to facilitate speedy and transparent processing.

Our team began by updating an existing fairgrounds management software from VisiTrans to meet the users’ needs - this involved identifying what features of the current software added value, removing what didn’t, and developing additional novel features.

Three Mobile App UI screens

What we did

Switching from an analog system to a digitally automated solution 

In a nutshell, Yarded took the existing solution and eliminated the manual analog processes - this entails that soldiers will now be able to holistically keep track of various assignments, including automated conversion of incoming mission data into an actionable format, providing a digital overview of objects within the marshaling area, and adapting and communicating changes.

MVPF, along with our partners - CIH and VisiTrans - ideated the MVP in a way that reduces the margin for human error and enhances efficiency through battle-tested functionalities and simplified planning. 

Building an iterative and user-centric system

Keeping up with their core values of user-centric approaches, MVP Factory, CIH, and VisiTrans co-created Yarded WITH the soldiers who are the end users. We spent time talking to and understanding them and their problem to weigh the severity and gain as much context around the problem as possible.

Once we achieved absolute confidence in the problem, the project moved into programming and testing, ultimately resulting in the product now known as Yarded. Today, the software is compatible with desktop and mobile devices, enabling successful distribution of information digitally, in turn lowering the radio traffic significantly.

Translating input into an actionable outcome

Yarded takes the solution one step further to meet the requirements of NATO - it is designed with a robust foundation that incorporates NATO LOGFAS data and fits perfectly into this system landscape.

The software utilizes the input provided by NATO, integrates it into the software, and effortlessly translates this data into actionable outputs, further avoiding delays in the RSOM process for the full deployment of NATO forces. Yarded also enables troops to generate reports with data-backed information to make informed decision-making. 

Man clicking on Mobile phone App
Group of people in a conference room

Value delivered

An award-winning digital solution offering streamlined operations for the Logistics Battalion of Bundeswehr.

Yarded solves the problem of lowered efficiency in NATO RSOM logistics tracking - it provides a planning, operation, and post-operation tool for moving large amounts of troops and material through defined marshaling areas. By digitizing the existing analog system, it automates the process to meet the users’ needs and makes it possible for all the necessary information to be in one place with the data ready to use. Yarded is a culmination of months of effort by the MVP Factory, CIH, and the VisiTrans team that resulted in clear insight into which features to eliminate, adapt, and add from the current VisiTrans tool.

As of today - the development is underway, and a significant part of the main features have already been integrated. The team is now preparing for simulation testing of the solution to deliver a fully functional product by Q1 2024. 

Yarded won the 2023 NATO Innovation Challenge for “Military Logistics and Transport,”  further proving the real-life applicability and scalability of the mobility solution. 

Right now, there is a high need for innovation as the past has shown that delays in the process quickly. The collaboration with MVP Factory and VisiTrans for Yarded shows how digital innovations can be successfully implemented in a short space of time.

Christoph Ritschel
Innovation Manager and Captain
Core Team

The humans behind this project

Christoph Ritschel
Captain Cyber Innovation Hub
Isabell Grube
Innovation Manager Cyber Innovation Hub
Leon Funke
Project Manager VisiTrans
Anna Thumer
Captain German Armed Forces
Alexander Kleinschmidt
MVP Factory