Supply Chain Management and Product Support
I'd like to call your attention to two articles contained in the latest (July-August 2011) edition of Defense AT&L Magazine.
The first, by Lt. Gen. Claude V. “Chris” Christianson, USA (Retired), Former Joint Chiefs Director for Logistics, and current Director of the Center for Joint and Strategic Logistics (CJSL) at the National Defense University, is entitled “Challenge and Change in Supply Chain Management: Pointed Questions and Blunt Answers.” In this feature article, General Christianson provides “a no-holds-barred, 2-hour, one-on-36, question & answer session about critical supply-chain issues in DoD”, sharing insights on a variety of issues and topics of concern to our workforce. Among them is the following response to a question related to Life Cycle Management (LCM): “All systems have to be viewed through the lens of life cycle systems support. If the “normal” process (5-year defense programs [FYDPs], for example) will not support the need to rapidly respond to a changing operational environment, then we will have to find ways to effectively integrate emergent support concepts into the larger whole. I believe we will always have to work “outside the system” at times to meet urgent needs, so we must find a better way to rapidly integrate urgent, rapid acquisition with life cycle sustainment concepts. Once again, this exemplifies why merging acquisition and sustainment becomes so important for long term viability of our systems/capabilities.”
The second, by yours truly, is entitled “Product Support and Human Capital: Essential Ingredients for Optimizing System Readiness, Availability, and Life Cycle Costs.” In this article, I discuss the strategic imperative being addressed by the teams implementing recommendations from the November 2009 DoD Weapon System Acquisition Reform (WSAR) Product Support Assessment (PSA) report issued by Dr Ashton Carter, Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics. In particular I provide insights into the myriad tools, policies, guidebooks, references, resources, and new learning assets being developed to assist the DoD life cycle logistics workforce in general, and the Product Support Manager (PSM) in particular, to more effectively and successfully perform their jobs. In the article, I outline how the Product Support Assessment Human Capital Integrated Product Team, comprised of representatives across the military Services, defense agencies, Defense Acquisition University (DAU), the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) staff, and several participants from the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) Logistics Division, is using a variety of strategies to help acquisition professionals reduce life cycle costs. The bottom line is to help you, the members of the Defense Acquisition Workforce, in the critical objective of achieving optimized, affordable readiness! Our Warfighters, our Departmental leadership, and the taxpayers are depending on us!
Encourage you to take the time to read these, as well as the many other articles from the July-August 2011 issue of Defense AT&L Magazine, and let us know what you think. Are these two articles on target? Do they make sense? Were they helpful? Relevant, comprehensive, timely, and value-added? And perhaps more importantly, what did we miss? What else should we have included?