Integrating the Department of Defense Supply Chain
RAND NATIONAL DEFENSE RESEARCH INST SANTA MONICA CA
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In the mid-1990s, spurred by major shortfalls in logistics processes in Desert Shield and Desert Storm and in the private-sector lean revolution, the Department of Defense DoD began a sustained supply chain operations process improvement journey with a substantial emphasis on lean thinking and Six Sigma oriented programs through initiatives such as the Air Force s Lean Logistics, the Army s Velocity Management, the Defense Logistics Agency s DLA and U.S. Transportation Command s USTRANSCOM Strategic Distribution Management Initiative SDMI, and Lean Six Sigma oriented initiatives in maintenance depot operations.1 DoD s tackling of new issues that emerged at Operation Iraqi Freedom s OIF start and then demands to reduce wartime support costs further fueled these efforts. Rigorous process management, particularly the use of metrics for monitoring and control, became much more prevalent and ingrained in the culture and led to new initiatives, such as the Distribution Process Owner Strategic Opportunities.2 Much of this was made possible by improved databases and metrics development from earlier efforts particularly SDMI, along with increasing supply chain visibility with the growing use and effectiveness of radio frequency identification data on shipments. With this sustained business-oriented perspective, the DoD supply chain community has increased performance and harvested significant efficiencies, most notably in the realms of stock positioning to better utilize the distribution network, transportation management, and depot maintenance.
- Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies