New Report on Supply Distribution Performance
According to this study, “Army units worldwide depend on a complex network of distribution centers, managed primarily by the Defense Logistics Agency, to support equipment readiness and sustainability. Rapid and reliable logistics distribution support is especially important for U.S. Army forces deployed into theaters of operations. There are many factors that can cause performance changes affecting the distribution timeliness to the Army. Currently, distribution problems are detected manually and reactively by Army units once these problems start to affect equipment readiness. This report describes (1) algorithms developed by the authors that monitor the logistics distribution system and automatically detect distribution problems (or potential distribution problems) that might affect equipment readiness, and (2) data visualizations developed by the authors that assist Army managers and analysts to determine the root causes and potential corrective actions related to the detections. The report also provides several case studies illustrating the algorithms' effectiveness.”
- “Current Army distribution metrics are lagging indicators of problems because they focus on requisition wait time, which requires the receipt of the shipment, and require manual monitoring to detect problems.
- In several historical case studies of distribution performance degradation, the detection algorithms and metrics could have automatically detected actual or potential distribution problems several months prior to when they were realized by the Army units.”
- “Implement the detection algorithms and visualizations in an Army analytics platform for continued use and to inform corrective actions.
- Expand the metrics beyond requisition wait time and provide open shipment data in the analytics platform so that the algorithms can identify potential distribution problems earlier.”
For those who may not be familiar with the issuers of this report, the RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decision making through research and analysis. Inclusion of a link to and information about this report here is for defense acquisition workforce informational and professional development purposes; it does not in any way imply DAU or DoD endorsement of any particular organization, document, findings or recommendations.
Finally, although not directly associated with this report, additional information on product support metrics can be found in two recent DAU LOG Blog posts entitled “DoD Product Support and Sustainment Metrics” and “Product Support and Sustainment Health Metrics”.