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An optimised defence supply system: Defining the principles
Swedish Defence Research Agency, Kista, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7838-7044
Swedish Defence University, Department of Military Studies, Joint Warfare Division, Operational Functions Section.
Swedish Defence Materiel Administration, Stockholm, Sweden.
2017 (English)In: NOFOMA 2017 - The 29th NOFOMA Conference: ”Taking on grand challenges” / [ed] Hellström, Daniel; Kembro, Joakim; Bodnar, Hajnalka, Lund: Lund University , 2017, p. 761-763Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Purpose

The purpose of   this paper is to describe the first step in the process of optimising the   Swedish defence supply system. The first step entails defining principles for   distribution and storage.

Design/methodology/approach

The research   builds on literature reviews, archival records, Swedish military documents,   participatory observation at FMV and in the Swedish Armed Forces Head   Quarters, study visits to military units, presentations by Subject Matter   Experts (SMEs), and war gaming.

Principles from   business logistics and Supply Chain Management (SCM) were identified and   analysed in order to assess their applicability in the Swedish military   context. Similarly, military logistics principles from other nations (US and   UK), as well as from multinational organisations (UN, NATO, and EU), were   identified and analysed. Finally, current and past Swedish logistics   principles from guiding documents and military practise were also identified.  

Findings

The newly dawned   political attention to operational effect, operational capabilities,   availability and preparedness must lead to a shift of paradigm in defence   logistics. Military logistics must move from the prevailing focus on   effectiveness and efficiency in production logistics to an effect based   operational logistics, supported by an effective and efficient production   logistics. This means that new military logistics principles must be applied.   The conducted research has suggested a set of new principles for distribution   and storage.

The working group has identified and analysed principles in business logistics and SCM, as well as domestic and international principles in military logistics. The working group has found that there is no established set of principles that in and by itself meets the requirements for designing an optimised system for storage and distribution which satisfies the goal and the constraints. The working group has therefore selected principles from different sources and augmented these with a couple of principles constructed by the working group.

The working group   proposes that the following principles should be established for distribution   and storage in the Swedish defence supply chain:

  •   Primacy   of operational requirements – It is the requirements of the operational   commander that must be satisfied.
  •   Adapted   protection – The requirements for protection must be considered in the   selection of system for distribution and storage.
  •   Categorisation,   segmentation and differentiation – Supplies should be categorised and   segmented, and the treatment of segments should be differentiated.
    •   Strategic   supplies should always be stored in sufficient quantities and volumes in   order to ensure initial availability and sustainability until external   delivery can be guaranteed.
    •   Risk   supplies should always be stored in sufficient quantities and volumes in   order to ensure initial availability and initial sustainability.
    •   Certain   leverage supplies may require storage to a certain degree in order not to   jeopardise initial availability and initial sustainability.
    •   Generally,   it is not necessary to store routine supplies.
    •   Storage   close to military units – Limiting supplies should be stored close to the   military units in order to ensure initial availability and initial   sustainability for activated and mobilised military units.
    •   Storage   close to the area of operations – Reserve supplies should be stored close to   the envisioned areas of operations in order to ensure operational   sustainability.
    •   The   requirement for redistribution and dispersion in higher levels of   preparedness should be minimised.
    •   Efficient   distribution solutions, which do not restrict operational effect, should be   used up until the area of operations.
    •   Military   units close to the area of operations should have organic distribution   capability to be able to handle all requirements for transportation.
    •   Postponement   – Products should be kept generic as long as possible, and value adding,   customising, activities should be postponed as long as possible.
    •   Modularisation   and bundling of goods and services – Components (goods, services, or   combinations of goods and services) should be grouped (bundled) together into   larger modules or systems, which at a later stage can be combined in order to   create customised end products.
    •   Efficient and lean in peace.
    •   Effective, agile and responsive in higher levels of preparedness.
    • ·           Flexibility to adapt the configuration of the supply chain to   different levels of threat, preparedness and conflict.

Contrary   to most supply chains in business logistics, but akin to the reality of   supply chains in humanitarian logistics, supply chains in defence logistics   must have two distinct different modes: dormant and action. This means moving from applying the principles of efficiency and   lean in peace, to the application of the principles of effectiveness, agility   and responsiveness in higher levels of preparedness. To have the ability to   move between these two modes is an application of the principle of   flexibility.

The working group   has found that several of the principles applied in business logistics are   better suited to be components in everyday improvement management within   defence logistics, rather than as principles suited for supply chain design   and supply chain configuration. Consequently, the working group proposes that   improvement management within defence logistics command and control should   always address the following issues:

  •   Eliminate,   reduce and/or redistribute lead-times – Non value adding activities should be   eliminated. Time should be allocated so that activities are executed in   parallel. It must be ensured that activities are not duplicated between   different organisations.
  •   Eliminate,   reduce and/or adapt to variations and uncertainties – Variations and   uncertainties must be identified and analysed, in order to enable elimination   or reduction, alternatively allow for required adaptations.
  •   Simplify   and compress structures and processes – The number of decision elements or   nodes in logistics systems, e.g. the number of different variations of   products, customers, suppliers, storage nodes, number of steps in   distribution channels, levels in product structures, etc. should be reduced.   Components, processes, and interfaces should be standardised.
  •   Simplify   administration and minimise transaction times – Administration should be   simplified and the extra lead time due to administrative processer should be   minimised.

Several of the   proposed principles have been validated by SMEs within the Swedish Armed   Forces and FMV through war games which have been conducted at the tactical   and operational levels for this purpose. However, the working group   recommends that further validation activities be conducted, prior to any final   implementation and institutionalisation of the proposed principles.

Original/value

The presented work   is relevant for any defence organisation contemplating transformation of its   logistics system in the light of recent developments with implications for   the areas of defence and security policy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Lund: Lund University , 2017. p. 761-763
Keywords [en]
capability, effect, availability, preparedness, principles
National Category
Transport Systems and Logistics
Research subject
Krigsvetenskap
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-9062ISBN: 9789177533375 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:fhs-9062DiVA, id: diva2:1394224
Conference
NOFOMA 2017 - The 29th NOFOMA Conference, 8-9 June 2017, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
Funder
Swedish Armed ForcesAvailable from: 2020-02-18 Created: 2020-02-18 Last updated: 2020-04-16Bibliographically approved

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