Maybe if we just change a little bit of how we train and organise, we can dramatically impact the way we execute. We may have to spread out to greater distances with smaller units. Then you have to move supplies to the point of field requirement in a contested scenario with contested networks. Now you are facing a whole new set of problems.
Taskers are directives or action items at the executive level that require responses. Logistics Simulation gives users a common place to store and execute taskers so that at any given time, anybody involved in the task knows what’s going on with it.
Our Tool has led to an increase in Troop productivity and streamlined business process showing decreases in the average number of days that a tasker is late, average time it takes to complete a tasker and decrease in missed due dates.
This process provides a framework that MEU commanders can use to develop mission plans and understand where equipment shortfalls are likely. The process consists of simple steps that translate mission requirements into tasks, subtasks, and military activities, each of which is linked directly to the types of equipment needed for completion. It also highlights key parameters that may affect the types of equipment needed or the execution of key tasks.
Those numbers exceed expectations. Presently, we’re above the average metrics that we were looking for, so it’s a positive outcome so far. Another benefit from the tool has been better accountability since it can assign tasks to individuals or teams and allows review and approval before the work is released.
The tool holds ownership from leadership all the way down to accountability of taskers, making sure that taskers are completed in the right time frame. A lot of times, taskers get pushed down. They get lost in the shuffle as we do business, but with the Tool the tasker can’t get lost. We have accountability of where the tasker goes, and we know when it should be accomplished. That helps use engage in how to do business the right way.
For this report, the equipment list was provided by one of the MEUs we visited. This has the advantage of providing a realistic equipment set. However, as we explain later, the application we have developed can accommodate equipment lists that are significantly different, larger, and smaller than what we use as a baseline.
The approach used in this report is for the user to utilise the Tool to facilitate the development of planning factors and get better at assigning equipment to tasks.
The equipment available to perform the tasks associated with the missions consists of the equipment onboard with the unit and possibly additional, remotely located equipment.
We don’t really anticipate any major adjustments to the Tool because right now it’s currently doing what it’s designed to do: make sure taskers get accomplished in the timely fashion and pushing Marines away from the dinosaur age to … this new age of how we do business.
What equipment is available to Marines to accomplish mission tasks and subtasks? A diverse set of factors affect the types of equipment carried into theatre, including not only space available but also risk trade-offs made by commanders and expectations about the deployment risks.
Inputs to the system consist of an equipment list assigned to unit, the tasks identified through the mission deconstruction process, the measures and metrics used to define equipment capabilities, and the set of linkages between tasks and equipment.
What measures and metrics should be used to assess the capability of selected equipment? The loading list provided the set of available equipment. We then used equipment updates and sponsor input to define the capabilities of each piece of equipment in performing designated tasks. This information is displayed to the user when a piece of equipment is selected.
We identified the measures and metrics, or “planning factors,” needed to assess the capability of each piece of equipment in the loading list. In our initial construction of the Tool, we identified equipment substitution efforts might accomplish a task.
Equipment list was provided by one of the installations we visited. This has the advantage of providing a realistic equipment set. But the application can accommodate equipment lists that are significantly different, larger, and smaller than what we use as a baseline.
Centralised control and decentralised execution of tasks are ideals sought in logistics support operations. If achieved, support will be responsive, economical, and flexible. Site Visit Executive has determined good balance between centralisation and decentralisation of logistics operation functions is usually difficult to achieve.
Control may suffer because it is fragmented, or support may fall short because services and equipment are too concentrated. Consequently, Visiting Executive must use judgment and experience to achieve optimal mix of centralised control and decentralised execution based on specific circumstances popping up in fluid mission tasks.
Centralised control is most effective at the strategic levels, drawing on existing support infrastructure, established procedures established by Site Visit Executive & stability of missions in theatre.
The degree of centralisation varies at the operational level since forces can be fragmented, sometimes over great distances, and operations often take place under problematic expeditionary conditions. At the tactical level, the degree of centralisation is determined by mission/concept of operations-- factors that often override purely logistical considerations.
Site Visit Executive has submitted lots of written Principles of Supply Line Logistics to include detailed universal constants applicable to all aspects of logistics including responsiveness, simplicity, flexibility, economy, attainability, sustainability & survivability.
In addition to these principles, many other logistics considerations exist to keep Site Visit Executive in Business so installations of any size can use supply line routing application to apply smart techniques to deal with disparate situational connections realised when addressing supplier group contacts.
These considerations will not always dictate a specific course of action, but will assist Site Visit Executive in maximising effectiveness & efficiency of logistics operations if used smartly.
Site Visit Executive can first look at broad readiness, but can also look at readiness levels of subordinate units to provide the ability to control, distribute, and replenish equipment and supplies in assigned areas of operation, to receive supply support from and provide supply support to other services.
Readiness Terms are used in different contexts/processes. Operational gaps in systems used by Marine Units must be closed so exchange is seamless.
Capability to link information as it is processed by Units must be built.
Aggregated information provided to Commanders must be traced/linked to operational systems used to rollup information. But no Marine Site Executive has yet stood up to identify functions spanning across process and write terms required to support processes
If Site Visit Executive has better overview of equipment status, resources will be allocated/pooled more efficiently so greatest potential for operational readiness is realised.
Information from readiness systems is required to determine number of pieces of equipment available for deployment. No Site Executive has created an easy way to link equipment information available from readiness and Services systems.
Current readiness systems only include commander’s best estimate for equipment status. Estimates have traditionally been utilised usually for overall equipment assigned to the unit and not individual pieces of equipment.
Military Services use systems to maintain records of equipment under service, but records do not include any information about what units it is assigned to.
Marine Corps leadership utilise unreliable information when making decisions about major equipment end items and spare parts b/c Information contained in the Marine Corps legacy logistics and supply information systems is significantly inconsistent & inaccurate.
We believe this occurs because Marine Corps guidance does not sufficiently define the respective roles and responsibilities for Marine Corps logistics information directorates.
So this results in confusion among personnel in various Marine Corps commands about who is responsible for the accuracy of different elements contained in the systems.
Inconsistencies and inaccuracies also occurred, in part, because Marine Corps guidance lacks adequate operating procedures about logistics information systems. So field-level Troops are not aware of, or are not in compliance with, current operation procedures and logistics rules employed by the directorate.
We found the Marine Corps has insufficient assurance that most important information is transitioning to Global Combat Support Systems
When first standing up Logistics Directorate, Site Visit Executive usually creates a centralised organisational structure. The authority in such a structure is top-down, which makes it easy for operational headquarters to make important decisions and keep tight control over all aspects of the organisation.
As operations grow, it’s not uncommon for Site Visit Executive to gradually transition into a more decentralised structure. Here, decision-making authority trickles down to Troops who are no longer dependent on “the boss” to make all the decisions and dictate direction for every area of the organisation.
In decentralised system, more layers of teams are added to hierarchy, which gets more Troops involved in helping set strategic direction— but also can add to the complexity of decision making.
So what is the stage of mission development is a big factor in determining which type of organisational structure is best. Factors include the makeup of your Troop base, the strengths and weaknesses of your administrative team, and the best practices followed by other Units In each of the Services, among other factors
The type of organisational structure utilised — whether centralised or decentralised — is important because it forms the basic framework to achieve mission success and how decisions will be made. Following are a few common characteristics of centralised and decentralised organisations, as well as some of the advantages and drawbacks of each:
1. Top-down authority in centralised structure establishes a specific chain of command, with Site Visit Executive making all the key decisions with little or no input from rank-and-file Troops
2. Centralisation consolidates decision-making authority, goals and objectives with uniform across the organiation and standard sets of policies and procedures followed by all Troops can reduce costs and ensure Service-wide consistency
3. Multiple individuals, including rank-and-file can make important decisions and set policies and procedures that guide how the mission s run in decentralised operations
4. Team structure is created throughout the organisation in decentralised system results in a broader range of input that can generate more solutions and ideas.
5. Troops at all levels of the organisation are empowered to make decisions, often with little or no input from higher-ups in decentralised system
6. Decision-making may be slow in centralised operations and disrupt the flow of work order tasks momentum
7. Troops may feel less motivated to do their best work in centralised system if they feel they don’t have a voice for sharing their ideas on how improve outcomes
8. Executives in decentralisation system will have less control and need to rely more on personell beneath them to carry out the mission and goals of the organisation. This process of “letting go” may be difficult for Site Visit Executive.
9. Decentralistation may promote unnecessary competition among those who have previously worked together under a centralised structure, but are now working in different departments or divisions.
10. Decentralised structure sometimes doesn’t work well in during early stages of missions development that have not yet built a solid infrastructure