It was 44 years in the making. The recent signing of DoD Instruction 4245.15 Diminishing Manufacturing Sources and Material Shortages Management is the first issuance of a DoD Diminishing Manufacturing Sources and Material Shortages (DMSMS) instruction since 1976.
Robin Brown, the DoD lead for DMSMS said, “I am ecstatic that the management policy is now in effect.[because of its larger impact in] promulgating comprehensive DMSMS management regulations.”
The long-awaited instruction released by the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment effectively gave credence to decades of self-governance within the multi-functional discipline of DMSMS and the importance of continued effective and consistent management is clear.
“Detecting issues early is what proactive DMSMS management is all about,” Brown said. “On average, approximately 7 percent of obsolescence issues involve some form of redesign. These potentialities vary in cost from $725,000 if only the component requires redesign, to $1.2 million if the next higher assembly requires redesign, to $11.4 million if the system/subsystem requires re-design.”
Brown gave a specific example highlighting the value good DMSMS practices.
“At Keyport Naval Base in Washington State, with some 3,500 [fiscal year 2020] cases involving about 60 DoD program offices, the average resolution cost was $125,864.10,” Brown said. “This average resolution cost is far less than a redesign. In total, Keyport reported that $130M in costs were avoided by being proactive.”
While the fiscal savings clearly is important, the impact to our Warfighters is a strong driving factor for the team working to ensure DMSMS management is a consideration across DoD.
“The long-standing, multi-disciplinary collaborative effort has proven an enduring win-win-win-win-win," DAU Center Director for Logistics Bill Kobren said. “DAU wins because the quality of our learning assets on a range of key topics are enhanced. Our faculty win because our collective knowledge base grows as we team with the DoD DMSMS community on learning asset-development projects. The DSPO (Defense Standardization Program Office) wins because they are able to better reach — and support — the workforce. The Defense Acquisition Workforce and acquisition program office win because the breadth and depth of available professional development resources is enhanced. And ultimately, the warfighter wins because proactive DMSMS and Parts Management are such an integral aspect of obsolescence mitigation, supply chain risk management and ultimately weapon system availability.”
The DoD DMSMS Working Group team members continuously identify and document parts acquisition, life cycle product support and systems engineering efforts and work with DAU to ensure training is available in a variety of focus areas.
“Led by Kevin Wedmark, the DAU logistics team has collaboratively worked with the Defense Standardization Program Office and the DoD DMSMS/Parts Management Working Group for many years on a wide range of learning assets,” Kobren said.
DAU currently offers five DMSMS and parts management learning assets, as well as two standardization courses managed by the Engineering & Technology community:
Both Brown and Kobren participated in a community Town Hall hosted by George Mason University earlier this month specifically about DMSMS. Nearly 475 people attended the event and shared success stories and challenges ahead.
During the town hall, Brown said, “It’s pay now, or pay more, later.”
No one wants the repercussions nor onerous weight of the latter occurring under their watch.
“It gives clear direction and requires that DoD component heads establish, develop and implement integrated risk-based, proactive policy, procedures, regulations, guidance and training, across the Services," Brown added. "There has not been a clear requirement for DMSMS management for many decades. This should enable collaboration at a level we have not yet experienced in all organizations that have military equipment. Last but not least, we should be saving the government money and increasing readiness.”
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