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Maritime Logistics Community News : November 2009
24 NAVY SUPPLY NEWSLETTER SPRING 2009 This combination gives PDL Toll a skill-set that is in demand and sees us working as logistics specialists in remote and challenging locations all over the world. These roles range from overseeing air and sea-lift operations and the management and provision of fuel for international peacekeeping organisations to providing the full range of camp support services to mining companies operating in remote locations. Stability Through Scale PDL Toll also brings other benefits to the RAN and the ADF in the significant scale of the worldwide Toll network. This network includes 30,000 personnel employed in over 700 sites in more than 50 countries around the world. The business units within the Toll Group include specialists in freight forwarding, warehousing, airfreight and container and break-bulk transport. The scale of this network strengthens PDL Toll’s ability to support the RAN and the ADF by drawing on Toll’s significant transport and logistic resources while minimising the need to engage external subcontractors. This scale also provides PDL Toll the financial depth and fiscal resources to quickly activate people and equipment to support large scale operations within a compressed time frame. By maintaining a strong relationship with a small and selective group of commercial suppliers, the Commonwealth reduces the potential ability for some smaller operators to ‘pass the buck’. A long term commercial supplier is not going to take a short term view of a business deal and is less likely to deliver service that could jeopardise the long term relationship. This is where the ‘Prime Contractor’ model is beneficial. The Prime Contractor takes overall responsibility for adherence to the contract and manages other subcontractors to provide a single point of contact and accountability for the client. In the case of military clients this is particularly important so that they do not need to engage a range of interrelated subcontractors to ensure the job is performed to the correct standard. It is wrong to assume that the prime contractor model adds additional cost to an activity. In fact, I would go so far as to suggest that to not pursue a prime contractor model increases the risk to the client and reduces the ability of the Commonwealth to manage the program effectively which can create challenges in identifying contractor accountability for a particular project. Capacity-Building One major benefit that the use of civilian contractors creates is to support ADF’s capacity-building initiatives. When Australian Forces eventually pull out of Timor Leste and the Solomon Islands they will leave in place a commercial organisation with the infrastructure and motivation to create new local opportunities that will help support the ongoing rehabilitation of these nations. By using contractors to deliver ‘non-core’ services, the ADF’s footprint is greatly reduced, but its ongoing capacity-building is greatly increased. The result is increased local employment, investment and political stability that all contribute to the ongoing success of the original mission. As an example of this capacity-building, PDL Toll has successfully trained and ‘up-skilled’ a large number of nationals in both the Solomon Islands and Timor Leste. These individuals have been trained in skills such as fuel management, warehouse operations, simple procurement, catering, hospitality services, transport, mechanical and electrical work as well as a significant number utilised in unskilled areas such as cleaning and laundry services, grounds maintenance, and general administration. In many cases PDL Toll has provided certified training programs to these individuals so that they hold recognised Australian qualifications such as our catering staff in Timor Leste who are currently undertaking their Certificate III in Hospitality through the International College of Advanced Education based in Darwin. The Course Forward Contractors are not a ‘fire and forget’ solution. To enable them to do their job they require effective communication and to be seen as a strategic partner rather than just a subcontractor. Effective communication between the client and contractor requires the same level of attention and RAPID RESPONSE LOGISTICS – RESPONDING TO EMERGING REQUIRMENTS AND CHANGING NEEDS INTEGRATRED LOGISTICS – MANAGING EVERY LINK OF THE SUPPLY CHAIN PRIME CONTRACTOR MODEL – THE BUCK STOPS HERE