Supply chain process.jpg

Staff Sgt. Alexis Alvelo with Supply Support Activity Platoon, Atlas Distribution Company, 101st Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, and Staff Sgt. Kelly, an augmentee, process items by shipping labels. Receiving is one of five sections at the SSA logistics yard; the others are: stock control, storage, issue and turn-in.

Army Materiel Command and its Life Cycle Management Commands are posturing, synchronizing and optimizing supply chain management to build resiliency.

Each LCMC – Aviation and Missile Command, Communications-Electronics Command, Joint Munitions Command, and Tank-automotive and Armaments Command – has its own unique culture and way of doing business, according to Deacon Maddox, AMC’s supply chain management director. Maddox said while all the LCMCs use Enterprise Resource Planning Systems like the Logistics Modernization Program, which houses supply chain data, AMC wants to further unify the commands.

“We want standardized processes using best practices shared across AMC that make us more efficient,” Maddox said. “A huge part of this will be about putting our data at the center of the effort and designing roles and responsibilities that can maximize LMP and the data it produces.”

Optimizing the supply chain allows AMC to adapt long-range plans to changes in the environment. However, supply chain optimization will require changing or revising some rules and policies that have been in place for some time.

“If there is one thing that is constant in our lives, it is change,” Lisha Adams, AMC’s executive deputy to the commanding general, said. “We have to be able to see ourselves.”

To best optimize the supply chain, AMC and its LCMCs are focusing on six lines of effort:

• Supply chain segmentation

• Workforce productivity

• Demand and supply planning

• Procurement

• Inventory deployment

• Order management

Working groups made up of experts from the LCMCs, major subordinate commands and AMC headquarters staff are methodically examining each line of effort. The groups conducted a workshop Dec. 13-16 to identify critical roles within the LCMCs needed to work through these lines of effort, opportunities to collaborate, cultural tenants and next steps.

Maddox said getting the roles and responsibilities of those engaged in supply chain management right is critical as they move forward.

“We are building a consensus governance structure that will review, approve and publish standards for how we manage the supply chain,” he said. “This is something we are constructing to endure – it is for the long-term.”

While the workshop was a critical first step in tackling supply chain optimization, the working groups will need to continue to assess the environment and adapt as needed. Throughout the process, the team will need to challenges rules and policies, Adams said.

AMC’s supply chain optimization effort is all about increasing Army readiness, she said.

“We need to understand our role in supporting the Army and how we need to change to support multi-domain operations,” Adams said. “The things that you’re doing here will move us in that direction.”

AMC expects to implement recommendations from the working groups that will have positive impacts to the Army’s supply chain management as soon as the spring, but the process of applying best practices will continue far into the future, Maddox said.

“Our outlook moving forward is optimistic, and we believe our strategy of understanding supply chain challenges, moving to reduce risk with vendors and investing in organic manufacturing to offset supply chain vulnerabilities puts us in the best position to build combat power and project it globally,” Maddox said.

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