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Defense Logistics: DOD Has a Strategy and Has Taken Steps to Improve Its Asset Visibility, but Further Actions Are Needed
GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE WASHINGTON DC
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One of the Department of Defense s DOD goals in supporting the warfighter is to deliver the right items in the right quantities to the right place at the right titimed at the right cost. One of the most complex and vital tasks facing DOD is managing its supply chain to effectively and efficiently provide spare parts, food, fuel, and other critical supplies in support of U.S. military forces. Supply chain management encompasses the processes and systems for accomplishing this goal. Because of longstanding weaknesses in DOD s supply chain management, we have designated it as a high-risk area.1 We have found that limitations in asset visibility including the visibility of assets in transit make it difficult to obtain timely and accurate information about the assets that are present in the theater of operations. DOD defines asset visibility as the ability to provide timely and accurate information on the location, quantity, condition, movement, and status of items in its inventory including assets in transit.2 To achieve a seamless and effective supply chain, it is important for DOD to have end-to-end visibility of its assets from acquisition to disposal and all points in between. Further, it is critical to maintain visibility of these assets in order to ensure that DOD meets its stated goals and provides needed support to the warfighter. In our February 2013 high-risk update, we found that DOD had made moderate progress in addressing weaknesses in its supply chain management, but that several long-standing problems had not yet been resolved.3 We found that DOD had met two of our five criteria for removal from the High-Risk List in the supply chain management area. Specifically, we found that DOD demonstrated top leadership support for improving supply chain management, and the department had the capacity i.e., people and resources to resolve risks in this area.
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