The Business of Supplying the Army
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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The United States Army continues the transformation process to the Future Force. As the transition continues, the Army must balance the sustainment requirements of the soldiers in the field with the desire to reduce the logistics tail of the force and make a smaller, more strategically deployable force. To do this the Army has turned to civilian business practices to adapt ways of increasing efficiency in the distribution system. To understand the ideas that the Army was adapting, this study looked at civilian distribution systems. It reveals that civilian business practices are effective because they integrate many key pieces into in a system that produces results when operated effectively. This is what the Army wants to achieve. A review of the Armys sustainment operations in OIF revealed that the Army failed at its initial attempt at incorporating civilian business principles into its sustainment operations. The Army failed because it did not provide sufficient focus on actually establishing the system at the start of operations. In addition, the Army has not demonstrated the commitment to providing the resources that are necessary to achieve success. The potential exists for the Army to be successful in adapting civilian practices. The answers lie in correcting the command structure of the theater logistics organization, investing in the hardware that soldiers need to accurately track and manage supplies as they do in civilian systems, and in establishing the theater sustainment structure early in the process. The Army should continue to pursue transformation of the sustainment system with the focus on accepting that there are compromises that must be made between efficiency and effectiveness.
- Administration and Management
- Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies