If not handled properly, Foreign Military Sales demands and release of assets to fulfill FMS requirements from the Army Working Capital Fund could contribute to a negative supply posture and negatively impact Army readiness.
Army regulation defines how Army demand planners and item managers should manage procurement and release of FMS recurring and non-recurring demands.
If the regulation is followed, FMS demands should have no impact on stock availability and Army readiness for any particular National Stock Number item. However, due to a combination of factors (demand planning accuracy, change in Army operations tempo, production issues, procurement lead times, etc.), the Army can find itself in poor stock positions for certain NSN items.
The Army Material Command’s life cycle management commands have developed a list of readiness driver NSNs and supply availability NSNs so Security Assistance Command can help mitigate the potential impact FMS demands may have on these particular NSNs.
Readiness driver NSNs are those NSNs that have the highest potential to impact the readiness of the system they support. Supply availability NSNs are already in a poor stock condition and require intensive management until their “get well date.”
USASAC has developed several initiatives to ensure these readiness driver and supply availability NSNs are not further impacted by foreign military sales.
For example, one initiative automatically adds a required “deliver date” that is one administrative and one production lead time in the future. This allows item managers to hold these FMS requirements until the get well date, without impacting their “first pass fill” metric in a negative way. This is further insurance against the early release of these key NSNs to FMS customers.
USASAC uses quarterly updates to AMC Commander Gen. Gus Perna to keep him informed of these initiatives.
Perna challenged USASAC to understand the entire supply chain and how delivery of FMS major end items and even Direct Commercial Sales could also be impacting Army readiness.
He wanted to be able to see the entire supply chain, not just the AWCF requirements, which the security assistance enterprise now has a fairly good handle on when it comes to FMS. Perna also wanted something he could use to engage industry and ask detailed supply chain questions and ask how they’re managing their supply chains.
USASAC took on this challenge and developed a “Readiness Crosswalk” by systems and by Original Equipment Manufacturers. This crosswalk takes known scheduled deliveries of FMS and DCS major end items and systems, and crosswalks them to the known readiness driver and supply availability NSNs. When this is paired with the known get well date for the readiness driver and supply availability NSNs, it becomes clear what questions should be asked to industry about their supply chain.
For example, “How can you deliver a major FMS system made up of these readiness driver and supply availability NSNs, with get well dates past the estimated delivery date, without impacting Army readiness?”
It is envisioned that the Readiness Crosswalk Dashboard can be used to support industry visits and engagements. The user can sort by an OEM and see all of the readiness driver and supply availability NSNs, get well dates and what end items are being delivered with their parts on. It is anticipated that the information from the dashboard will prompt discussions about the entire supply chain, and not just the AWCF.
Although still in the beta phase, USASAC rolled out the first iteration of the dashboard prior to the Association of the U.S. Army annual meeting. The value of the dashboard lies in it providing context for industry engagements and will be of value to senior AMC and LCMC leaders as they engage industry on Army readiness.
Editor’s note: John Neil is the Security Assistance Command’s performance and process management director.