Armor & Mobility

MAR/APR 2017

Military magazines in the United States and Canada, covering Armor and Mobility, focuses on tactical vehicles, C4ISR, Special Operations Forces, latest soldier equipment, shelters, and key DoD programs

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Leading supply c h a i n s p o s s e s s c a p a b i l i t i e s a n d exhibit characteristics that enable superior pe r f or ma nce . A ll organizations can enhance their own performance through thoughtful assessment a n d a p p ro p r i a t e application of practices that are successful for others. Knowledge of proven practices will introduce innovation, accelerate improvements, and drive desired outcomes. There are many capabilities required to run a world class supply chain. Objective research across multiple industries, each with their own unique environment, challenges, and objectives provides insights into characteristics of leaders. Concepts that work for one, or some, likely won't work for all, however capabilities and characteristics of excellence can provide 'food for thought'. Such insights and perspectives can challenge the conventional and contribute to meeting new requirements. Today's supply chain leaders exhibit capabilities that include: • Tackling today while preparing for tomorrow • Responding to the implications of the intelligent digital supply chain • Developing talent TACKLING TODAY, WHILE PREPARING FOR TOMORROW In response to the constant upheavals that organizations face, supply chain leaders are embracing bimodal capabilities, outlined in Figure 2 on page 9, or the marriage of two distinct, but coherent approaches to creating and delivering change. Gartner calls this bimodal supply chain governance. Mode 1 is a linear approach to change, emphasizing predictability, accuracy, reliability and stability. Mode 2 is a nonlinear approach that involves failing fast and learning through iteration. It emphasizes agility and speed, but most importantly, the ability to manage uncertainty. Driving performance in existing supply chain operations requires using traditional approaches (Mode 1) to implement initiatives. Established operations and, in turn, the improvement initiatives implemented in operations must be predictable, reliable and stable. Mode 1 uses proven methods and technologies to deliver the most reliable, standardized logistics services at the lowest possible cost to the organization and its customers using the existing logistics operation. Although innovation can exist in a traditional continuous improvement operation (Mode 1), today's environment requires much more. A Mode 2 approach is required to provide the speed, creative thinking and agility to discover breakthrough innovations. Mode 2 uses new technologies and game changing solutions to enhance the existing logistics operation to drive organizational growth, provide competitive advantages enabling the organization to meet new requirements. Amazon provides a helpful illustration of these two modes. Fulfillment centers will use Mode 1 approaches. Drone delivery capability is Mode 2. Robotics, Internet of Things, and 3D Printing are other examples that call for Mode 2 thinking. Both of these approaches have unique benefits in improving supply chain performance. One way to think of these approaches is to use a samurai versus ninja metaphor, wherein Mode 1 represents the samurai and Mode 2 represents the ninja. Characteristics of each are outlined in Figure 1. A bimodal approach requires rethinking how you use information and advanced automation. Mode 2 initiatives can only bloom and grow if foundational elements are in place: room in the budget for R&D; a mechanism to collect, harvest and govern innovation programs; and, of course, the right talent. IMPLICATIONS OF AN INTELLIGENT DIGITAL SUPPLY CHAIN Gartner defines digital business as the creation of new business designs brought about by blurring the digital and physical worlds. It promises to usher in an unprecedented convergence of people, business and things that disrupts existing business models — even those born of the Internet, e-business and digital marketing eras. By 2020, at least 25 billion devices will be connected to the Internet. DoD is well acquainted with this environment with embedded sensors in weapons systems and Conditioned Based Maintenance Plus capability. Now is an excellent time for DoD leaders to engage with private sector leaders as all are developing tools, techniques, and practices to capture the opportunity the Internet of Things and digital business offer. DoD will accelerate time to benefit, shape solutions, and achieve desired outcomes through such engagement. Digital business will impact virtually all aspects of the supply chain: • Digital business offerings that leverage real-time connectivity with assets or products deployed in supply networks or installed within end user's operations will require dramatic changes when it comes to maintenance and support planning processes. • Maintenance, repair and support may shift from physical to digital, with services such as software upgrades replacing the need to dispatch repair personnel to a specific location. • Predictive maintenance practices in manufacturing and distribution operations will be commonplace, ultimately reducing downtime for everything. ACHIEVING GAIN IN THE SUPPLY CHAIN By Jim Hall, Gartner, Inc. Figure 1. Mode 1 Samurais Versus Mode 2 Ninjas. (Gartner Group) SUPPLY CHAIN LEADERSHIP www.tacticaldefensemedia.com 8 | Armor & Mobility | March/April 2017

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