Essay title: Military Supply Chain
With the attacks of 9-11, many of the military logisticians realized that we were not finished with what we had begun in 1991.They also realized that there had to be a better way to support the force.I deployed with the Army in Desert Storm and was witness to hundreds of containers arriving at the pier overseas with no idea of what was inside.The only option was to open the containers, inventory the contents and figure out who needed it most. In the ammunition field the thought is that you can never have too much.Unfortunately this was not the case as when we prepared to leave we were forced to destroy and bury thousands of short tons of ammunition that was not used and could not be shipped back to the states.This could have been avoided if the military had a more modern means of controlling its inventories. The changes that the Marines are implementing have allowed them to achieve massive benefits: (Sapient n.
d.)• A leaner support structure that will free up 1800 marines from logistics duties and make them available for other purposes• Faster deployment capability resulting from a 20 percent to 70 percent reduction in the tonnage it needs to ship• A one-time reduction in inventory of 45 percent to61 percent Inventory cost saving of $125 million to $180 million every year• A 35 percent to 50 percent reduction in order-cycle time for products and services I believe that these changes are long overdue and will continue to allow the U. S. military to be the most feared military force in the history of man.In the past the military was expected to “dig in” and prepare to fight the long fight.
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This was alright at the time because the military was focused on only one enemy and continued to fight that enemy until the battle was over. In today’s military, we are fighting numerous battles in a variety of environments.With these changes in environments comes a change in the amount and type of equipment that is needed to support the soldier doing the fighting.When this was realized, the logisticians for the military went to the private sector and asked for help. One of the first things that the military had to change was its attitude that logistics is the same thing as supply management.Logistics plays a very important role in the supply chain but supply chain management involves much more than simply logistics.
(Hyland 2002)A team at Ohio State University developed a framework for supply chain management that consists of three supply chain elements:network structure, business processes; and management components. These same elements were applied to the military by Sapient and Penn State University.These entities identified that the Marines had over 200 separate information systems, and to make matters worse, many of these systems could not share data.For example, the system for ammunition accountability, SAAS-Mod, is a stand-alone system that is not able to “talk” with any other supply information system.This is not only a waste of resources but also became too complex and costly to maintain.With the introduction of Oracle 11i, the marines are able to streamline a number of processes, such as procurement, fulfillment, distribution, and inventory management. One of the main concerns for the military is to be able to manage their stocks in a real-time environment.The military does not want to have another incident of soldiers burying “excess” ammunition in the desert.
The challenge with that is that the military is not able to utilize a just-in-time type system.This is the type of inventory management system that Wal-mart and other successful chain stores use. If a shopper at Wal-Mart asks an associate about a certain product, the associate, through the use of a wireless handheld computer known as a Talzon, is able to tell the individual if the item is out of stock, where it can be located and when it will be available. In contrast if a military office worker requires a printer cartridge, the best that they can do is submit a request through the chain.They may see the part in 2-3 weeks even though the cartridge maybe located in the same building.Now imagine applying that same logic to the soldier.