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DOD's 2010 Comprehensive Inventory Management Improvement Plan Addressed Statutory Requirements, But Faces Implementation Challenges

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The Department of Defense DOD spends billions of dollars to purchase, manage, store, track, and deliver spare parts and other supplies needed to keep military equipment ready and operating. Given the need to support ongoing U.S. military operations, DOD reported that it currently manages more than 4 million secondary inventory items valued at more than 91 billion as of September 2009. However, DOD reported that 10.3 billion 11 percent of its secondary inventory has been designated as excess and categorized for potential reuse or disposal. According to DOD, another 15.2 billion 17 percent of its secondary inventory exceeds the approved acquisition objective and is being retained because it was determined to be more economical to retain than to dispose of it or it might be needed in the future. Since 1990, we have identified DOD supply chain management as a high-risk area due in part to ineffective and inefficient inventory management practices and procedures, weaknesses in accurately forecasting demand for spare parts, and challenges in achieving widespread implementation of key technologies aimed at improving asset visibility. These factors have contributed to the accumulation of billions of dollars in spare parts that are excess to current requirements. Moreover, we have recently reported on the inventory management practices of the military departments and the Defense Logistics Agency DLA and recommended DOD take steps to improve demand forecasting, modify policies to provide incentives to reduce on-order inventory that is not needed to support requirements i.e., on-order excess, ensure proper, documented reviews are conducted to validate methodologies for making retention decisions, and establish metrics and goals for tracking and assessing the cost efficiency of inventory management.

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  • Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies

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