The DoD Supply chain is based on mass logistics and building up huge stockpiles of inventory at strategic locations throughout the world. For years the DoD supply chain has fell progressively behind the commercial world, by stockpiling repair parts in distant supply depots to fulfill a request, lead times were excessively long sometimes up to several months. At the same time in the commercial world a request could be filled in a matter of days for a similar part being made by the same vendor using the same transportation channels. By investigating the best practices of commercial velocity management programs and applying them to the DoD supply chain, it will become more flexible and responsive in managing the unpredictability of its environment when it come to its supply chain.
Military Logistics and inventory planners lack a centralized view, resulting in costly redundancy. DoD supply chains require a single source of real-time information to make quick adjustments to the plan. The DoD logistics operations are no different and without a single source of the truth, decisions are made in silos and without insight into the up and down stream ripple effects of each motion. Without real-time and reliable visibility to in-transit repair parts and field asset information, the ability to make educated decisions is compromised and the supply chain becomes sluggish, unable to react quickly to exceptions.
Thousands of repair parts flow the military pipeline and although it is important to track these items in peacetime, wartime makes the need for tracking these items critical. DoD needs to have the ability to be able to track where these items are in their supply chain. DoD also needs to know the transportation mode and the expected delivery dates of the shipment. This visibility can be achieved by capturing and displaying data to include the location and current date of each repair part in the pipeline from the time it originates at the source of the supply through the military or commercial transportation segment to its final receipt of by the customer. To be able to do this Radio Frequency Identification Tag (RFID) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) must be employed.
RFID provides and enhancement to total asset visibility. Although RFID only reports the last position of an asset meaning it isn’t a real-time reporting system but it does establish that the unit is on its way. RFID will replace barcodes and when fully operational the RFID tag will not need people to capture and record inventory data that are associated with repair parts that move through the DoD supply chain. RFID will reduce labor requirements to free up military personnel to concentrate on other critical task but it will also improve accuracy and make it possible to find a part in the DoD supply chain at any given time.
The Logistics Innovation Agency is trying to identify any appropriate methodology/systems that would allow for the diversion and or redirection of items...