Most installations have logistics readiness centers, which provide essential logistical support to local commands to prepare, enable and support to the warfighter.
"We are making changes include assimilating capabilities and utilising everything available to achieve the mission.
Brigade commanders remain the primary leaders for integrating unique capabilities offered through the life cycle management commands. This action has reengaged directors to identify and update their equipment and infrastructure requirements, enabling plans for future allocations
"It is about prioritising what we are going to do, it's about focusing on the long game.”
Updates focused on Strategic Readiness, and specifically, munitions readiness. This focus endeavors to operationalise strategic support focus areas in multi-domain operations in order to deliver ready, reliable and lethal munitions readiness at all levels of war.
The campaign plan topics included munitions readiness; review of policies; non-destructive testing initiatives and requirements; and critical munitions; artificial intelligence integration; Logistics Management Program manufacturing integration and intelligence; transition to sustainment; and, supporting the force of the future.
"We have a tough mission and optempo is not getting lower, it's getting higher. We need to use resources smartly. We are using scorecards to measure various performance metrics and reviewing all contracts to make them output based.
"The question we ask is, 'What did you say you were going to do, and did you do it?'
We are instituting strategies to improve its supply performance of critical parts, in areas like reducing backorders and lowering procurement lead times.
"When this thing breaks down on the battlefield, is there going to be a part or not?" "If not, we're failing. At the end of the day, our real grade is going to be on the battlefield."
We are expanding its depot-forward operations to bring key support services closer to Soldiers to ensure troops working in remote locations understood they are part of its mission.
One of several topics we have covered is updating contract management procedures aimed at increasing contractor accountability. It’s important for the services to better understand the performance outputs of contracts as they relate to costs.
We must look deeper into the metrics associated with each contracted requirement. Are we achieving what we actually want to see? We’re not interested in buying "readiness for increased costs."
Our team has reduced the number of contracts managed through the command dramatically within the past year. Other improvements include new procedures designed to better understand the command's initial and ongoing needs for contracting agreements.
Other topics included a briefing on Reprogramming Teams to protect aircraft from up-to-the-minute threats by stabilizing and improving the fleet of critical communications systems.
It takes special tools to track all those aircraft and the related supply chains, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is now reaching out to industry for ideas on upgrading the military’s existing technology, which is managed through the Joint Logistics Enterprise. DARPA posted a solicitation for proposals for a program it’s calling LogX.
The logistics enterprise still uses legacy technology, according to the request. LogX is looking for research approaches “that enable revolutionary advances in science, devices, or systems,” the request states. Specifically, the program wants tools that can provide real-time logistics and supply chain situational awareness “at unprecedented scale and speed.”
The request goes on to describe the logistics enterprise as a triple-decker layer of networks. There is the physical supply chain, information networks that inform the physical mobilization of supplies and financial l networks. LogX will focus on improving the information network, according to the request.
Under the Multi-Domain Operations concept, Materiel Command has reorganized and reshaped to ensure readiness of the Strategic Support Area, where military might is generated, projected, and sustained during the fight. Joint Munitions Command and Material Command are preparing the joint force for large-scale combat across all war fighting domains.
Joint Munition Command's strategic support mission focuses on munitions readiness, but also supports several focus areas, which include: supply availability and equipment readiness; industrial base readiness; installation readiness; strategic power projection; and logistics information readiness.
Joint Munitions Command's mission is to provide the Joint Force with ready, reliable, and lethal munitions at the speed of war, sustaining global readiness. Munitions readiness is why JMC exists.
"JMC's strategic support begins with demand signals or ammunition requirements, which the enterprise uses to calibrate the logistics footprint needed to rapidly project power and sustain the fight .
The Total Munitions Requirement includes all munitions required to support current operations for training, testing, and combat. Realistic and accurate requirements are imperative to ensure supply availability, funding levels, sufficient manning, installation throughput capabilities, and industrial base preparedness.
"In preparation for the next worldwide contingency, the ammunition enterprise is focused closely on Combatant Command Operations Plan requirements and the ability of the logistics network to meet those requirements. Requirements, just like the stockpile, are a moving target. A deliberate and constant refresh of data, analysis, and collaboration is required. The newly established War Planning Division is synchronizing this effort for JMC to meet this goal.
"Efforts in Strategic Power Projection ensures our ability to rapidly deploy Joint forces forward," "JMC ensures munitions readiness by providing the ammo needed at the right place and right time during contingency operations."
The services have identified support gaps and friction points in strategic support. To prepare the operational environment, JMC is enhancing world wide munitions prepositioning along with update support plans, and decision support tools. The end goal is a distribution network prepared to execute precision logistics, with an agile production base postured to sustain the Joint Force and deliver lethality that wins
Marines work to claw back readiness and increase pilot flight hours, it's the spare parts issue that has the service's top aviator most concerned. Aircraft maintainers are still sometimes resorting to cannibalization, or borrowing parts from working aircraft to make other planes operational.
The one thing that is holding the man down on every platform is not-mission-capable supply," By every type/model/series, it's a contributor to why that airplane might not be available for flying. "We couldn't sustain them. The requirement was still there, but we couldn't sustain it. If the Marine Corps was a business, they are underwater right now, because we don't have enough power tools to make flight hour goal.
The biggest challenge squadrons of all type/model/series aircraft face is “not mission capable-supply,” where spare parts are not available and therefore the plane cannot be fixed and put back on the flight line. “If you don’t have the parts you need on the shelf, what does a good industrious sailor or Marine do?
They go get it off another airplane. That airplane’s a little more broken than that one over there, so I’m going to take it off that airplane and put it on that one. That’s several maintenance efforts, that’s very negative maintenance because I’m going to have to … go over, take a part off an airplane, install it on that airplane over there, and then eventually go back and put another part on the airplane I just took it off of. It’s crazy, but they’re doing it because they have to do it .
The Navy and Marine Corps have sought to address this problem by asking lawmakers for more money for spare parts and logistics.
Distributed Operations concept supplements traditional sea and land basing options with “mobile forward arming and refueling points” for resupply mid-mission. A separate mobile distribution site would serve as the location for Marines on surface connectors or host nation forces to stage fuel and weapons that will be brought to the mobile forward arming and refueling points. Importantly, all these sites are considered “mobile” and are intended to maintain elements of “deception and decoy” – in keeping with the idea that the aircraft are supposed to be distributed and difficult to find and target.
The biggest challenge is spare parts and maintenance, and paying close attention to that supply logistics chain to avoid the problems plaguing the rest of Marine aviation. As for the maintainers, he said there’s a lot of excitement today about the F-35 transition and “right now we have just an exceptionally well trained F-35 fleet of mechanics.
We are attacking our current unacceptable Not Mission Capable- Supply rate, and the root causes for it. The supply chain that supports Marine aviation is fragmented, antiquated, and not optimized to enable the required state of readiness in our current fleet. This fact is clearly evidenced by the low rate of Ready Basic Aircraft RBA and unsatisfactory high Non Mission Capable Supply NMCS rates across nearly every T/M/S the Marine Corps currently operates.
Each of the Independent Readiness Reviews conducted to date AV-8B, CH-53E, and V-22 identified systematic shortfalls in the sustainment organisations, processes, and resources of the supply chain that supports Marine Aviation. Accordingly, the focus of effort will be on continuing to aggressively attack these daunting challenges. The strategy to reduce the NMCS challenge will be focused on the areas of consumables, repairable, and manpower.”
Marines will work with the Defense Logistics Agency to improve the accuracy of bills of material and to “monitor fleet demand for consumables on long-term contracts and ensure vendors receive accurate demand forecasts,” and work with the Naval Supply Systems Command to improve depot component repair performance. Consumable forecasting is an issue. Lack of consumable material accounts for greater than 80% of non-mission capable supply.
Since the CH-53E is out of production, there can be delays in getting needed parts,. They are sometimes required to make certain parts in-house which can take a while.
The situation became dire when across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration hit.
The readiness center was not able to hire replacements for artisans who retired or took jobs elsewhere, and it could not order badly needed maintenance materials or spend money to fix equipment at the center. This meant no preventive maintenance on plant equipment. That led to many machines being down for extended periods of time," This inhibited our ability to produce parts, further slowing our turnaround time. Both issues continue to impact our throughput and cost.
“And instead of just kind of looking at something in the aggregate, you’re now responsible for that airplane, getting the parts for that airplane.” The service is also looking for inefficiencies in existing contracts that can be ironed out, as well as improvements to the flow of parts – to avoid scenarios where spare parts stack up at loading docks but don’t make it to aircraft maintainers in a timely fashion. Marine maintainers weren’t spending enough time each month actually touching their airplanes since the supply chain logistics system was in such dire shape.
1. Measurement System Allows Scoring Flexibility
“One size fits all” approach is prevalent at even some of the most well-recognised supply chain organisations. Better systems will allow adjustments to the performance categories and their weights to reflect the realities of different supply requirements. The best scorecards align directly with the outcomes sought from doing business with a particular supplier.
For example, an automotive original equipment manufacturer could change the way it evaluates suppliers by involving more employees in the process and giving them the power to adjust the weights used to evaluate suppliers.
Create internal “boards,” one for each of its product segments to determine weights of the various performance categories against which suppliers are evaluated. Each board consists of specialists in cost, technology, quality, and logistics who are responsible for posting supplier data regularly on a supplier portal. Suppliers are able to see the names and performance of their competitors, although the product boards have the authority to withhold names within their product groups if they so choose.
2. Internal Customers Evaluate Supplier Performance
In the information age, internal customers should be able to submit comments and ratings about a supplier's performance directly into a scorecard system. These individuals are usually in the best position to evaluate a supplier's operational performance. For example, when internal participants have looked at a supplier much of the performance score relates to something called “account management”, reflecting how well a supplier works with the company and responds to requests and concerns. Buyers actively solicit input from engineering, product management, marketing, sales, and product support before assigning a score, reflecting an extensive level of cross-functional input across the company.
A worthwhile exercise is to assemble an internal team to compare the current state of supplier measurement against an ideal future state. Any gaps that exist between the current and future states—and there could be many—will require a clear plan to bring an existing system closer to a preferred system.
Procurement teams should consider allowing suppliers to enter a Web-based portal to view any free-form comments or scores submitted by internal customers. This supports the efficient and open exchange of information, something that is widely practiced with other supply chain applications like sharing demand forecasts, for example. Most supply chain experts would agree that information-sharing across the supply chain is a good thing. So why should sharing of supplier performance data be any different?
3. Scorecards are Reviewed and Acknowledged by Suppliers' Top Managers
Key executives at each supplier should receive electronic copies of the scorecards. Most importantly, the party sending the scorecard should track acknowledgements that the scorecards were received and reviewed, along with any responses to specific queries.
Forwarding scorecards directly to executive managers supports at least two purposes. First, these executives will have access to information that their own personnel may not willingly share. More than one executive has been caught off guard because they were unaware of issues that affected customers. Second, Information will likely reach the individuals who can effect meaningful change when it is required. It makes a lot of sense to provide vital “feedback” information to those who are ultimately accountable for performance results.
4. Suppliers with More than One Location Receive Multiple Scorecards
There can be a tendency to count a supplier as a single entity, yet many suppliers provide material from multiple locations. To aggregate different locations into a single scorecard can be misleading. It also makes it harder to assign scores to specific locations.
A possible solution is to evaluate each supplier's shipping locations across a basic set of operational metrics such as cost, quality, and delivery while the supplier as a whole is evaluated by a set of higher-level metrics. Examples of such metrics include assessments of supplier innovation, responsiveness, and willingness to invest in the buyer-seller relationship. This approach keeps the unique locations grouped within the supplier's code, which helps when conducting any analyses.
5. Scorecards include Cost-Based Measures Whenever Possible
Most scorecards include price as a performance category simply because price is easy to measure. Unfortunately, price never reflects the total cost of doing business. To compensate for any disconnect between price and total cost, progressive supply chain organisations calculate metrics that reflect more than unit price.
An example of a total cost metric is the supplier performance index assumes any quality or performance infraction committed by a supplier increases the total cost of doing business with that supplier. If a supply chain manager can track these infractions and assign a cost to them, the calculated index can then be used in a scorecard to supplement a price metric. The performance index or even the adjusted price can be included in the scorecard rather than simply the price paid, although price can still be included as a scorecard metric.
6. Scorecards are Updated in Real Time
Too many scorecards still resemble a batch updating system that features periodic input of data submitted manually each month or each quarter. In a perfect world, anyone who is granted access to a scorecard system should be able to view supplier performance levels in real time. Whenever a transaction occurs, whether it involves the results of a quality audit at a receiving dock or an accounts payable transaction, data records should flow seamlessly into the scorecard database with real-time updating of supplier performance. Of all the attributes of an ideal measured system described in this article, this is the one that is rarely implemented.
For real-time updating to work, the scorecard system must be linked to other supply chain constituencies, including accounts payable, quality control, and transportation. Any system that stresses objective rather than subjective assessment, particularly in a real-time scenario should receive serious consideration. It's safe to conclude that most supply chain systems are moving toward real-time data visibility. Some purchasing organisations are beginning to rely on suppliers to self-report and submit their performance to the scorecard system on a frequent basis. A few leading companies are even beginning to solicit performance data from or about second-tier suppliers.
7. The Measurement System Separates the Critical Few from the Marginal Many
In some situations not all suppliers are being measured using scorecard systems. But should this really be a cause for concern? In an era when fewer suppliers are providing a greater share of total purchases, there has never been more need to separate the critical few from the marginal many. If a supply chain organisation is adamant about measuring most of its suppliers, then the less critical suppliers should receive a basic scorecard—perhaps even one that is categorical. At some point, depending on the level of effort required to obtain scorecard data, the cost to measure a supplier could outweigh the value of measuring that supplier. When this is the case, a logical response is to not measure, measure less frequently, or simplify the type of scorecard used.
8. The Metrics Database Allows User Flexibility in Retrieving and Displaying Data
An effective system will not only generate the scorecard itself; it will enable data to be presented in a variety of reporting formats, along with easy generation of useful reports. On-demand reports can show side-by-side supplier rankings, demonstrate performance changes by category, and highlight the suppliers that improved or deteriorated in performance over a certain period. A database that allows the slicing and dicing of raw data is an essential element of an ideal scorecard system.
9. The Measurement System Provides Early-warning Performance Alerts
Most measurement systems are reactive in that they report what has happened, not what is likely to happen. As with a statistical process control system, an ideal measurement system would be able to “look ahead” to spot troublesome trends and non-random changes in a supplier's performance before it becomes out of control. An ideal system would notify supply chain managers of potential problems before the impact of those problems is even realised. The system would have predictive capabilities.
Consider the possibility of generating early warnings when using advance shipping notices Any time a notice reveals a possible late delivery after comparing expected transit times against a due date, a material planner would receive a warning of the potential delay. Or consider real-time GPS tracking systems that could reveal that supply chain delays are occurring, with a notification sent to the appropriate personnel. It is almost always better to be proactive.
10. Suppliers Can View and Compare their Performance Online
For many years, almost every supply chain organisation refused to identify the scores and names of competing suppliers within a category or commodity group. Later, most organisations became more willing to show relative comparisons against competing suppliers The time has come to accept that scorecards present a good way to create healthy competition among suppliers. That means permitting and enabling them to access their scores online, complete with comparisons to other suppliers in the same or similar commodity groups.
Scorecard transparency is an idea whose time has come. It’s like looking at the standings of any sports league. Doesn't every team know precisely where it stands in relation to competing teams? We have built a good system into an excellent one.