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Maritime Logistics Community News : November 2009
39 NAVY SUPPLY NEWSLETTER SPRING 2009 in recent years to become the Logistics Branch, with a strong focus on embracing a ‘Joint’ approach. The categories include: • Supply Chain Logician (SN). • Personnel Logician (WTR). • Catering and Hospitality (CK & STD) – merged as PO/CPO/WO. RN Logistics Officers. There remain very strong similarities, with many of the issues under discussion identical to that back in Australia. The major difference is that the RN Logistics Officers undertake the majority of N1 Personnel positions ashore, with only limited involvement in the more ‘technical logistics field’ in their equivalent Project Teams (ie. Systems Programme Offices). With very few exceptions all RN SPO positions are filled by Engineering Officers. That said, the role done at sea and in direct support of maritime operations is very similar, with considerable potential to build upon the strong relationship between the RAN Supply and RN Logistics Branches through networking and improved sharing of information. Continuous Improvement. Following considerable experience in implementing a Lean approach to produce effectiveness and efficiency benefits over the past decade, the MOD had moved toward a broader continuous improvement framework which includes Lean, supported by a number of approaches including Six Sigma, Systems Thinking, and Project Management. The key lessons being that Lean in isolation can lead to sub-optimal results, and that ‘change’ is very difficult to sustain. The most significant efficiency benefits from continuous improvement have resulted from a full appreciation of the support network ‘End-to End’, through life, and which are driven by the teams involved themselves (with appropriate support). Contracting. Alongside efforts at continuous improvement, has also been a shift toward contracting for availability. The challenge being to manage the potential efficiency benefits of contracting an element of support to industry, with an understanding of any constraints, to ensure that the Operational Commanders ‘freedom of action’ is maintained. The Support Options Matrix which provides a common definition of availability contracting on a sliding scale, Value for Money Benchmarking, Transition Support Network projects, Contractor Capability Assessments, and the Force Support Framework are just a few of the techniques which are being applied to ensure a coherent and value for money outcome. Optimised Support Planning (OSP). Based on Sales and Operational Planning, the implementation of OSP aims to optimise the existing support solution of an equipment or platform by ensuring that the contribution of support activities to availability can be directly measured, costed and optimised End-to-End (E2E) and through-life. The implementation of OSP focuses on improving the planning process needed to encompass the full E2E dimension of the support network for each equipment type in order to balance output demanded against the resources available. Operational availability requirements must also be clearly understood, costed, and able to be adjusted based on priorities using defined levers. A number of pilot OSP projects are currently in progress within the Maritime, Land, and Rotary Wing elements of DE&S. Initial benefits have been accrued through data purification and performance management using a series of integrated toolsets, with the fundamental changes to the planning processes proving more challenging. For the MOD, OSP offers the potential to review underlying processes and information, and adopt an Integrated Business Management (standardised) process across a large part of the delivery element of the DE&S. It is not however a short term fix, with similar projects in civilian industry an ongoing process, spanning several years. Logistics Support Network. The development of a strategy which extends the Support Network Concept through life and end-to-end and takes into account the ‘hybrid’ nature of future conflict as well as Through Life Capability Management and LogC4I developments. The aim being to enhance decision making, improve the coherence with industry, provide an integrated logistics picture, and gain efficiencies on the logistics footprint. Logistics Governance and Evidence Base. The work being done to assess Force Elements @ Suitability, Logistics Risks Register, and an extensive Logistics Lessons Learnt database are providing the foundations of a measurable evidence base. The aim being to better inform decisions effecting joint logistics, within an increasingly resource constrained environment. This is also in conjunction with governance efforts to improve the articulation of Logistics roles, responsibilities, and accountability across the MOD. Multinational Logistics. The exposure to the LOGWAR Multinational Working Group seeking to provide a ‘smaller, faster, better’ integrated logistics solution, together with the practical workings of NATO logistics, and the overall UK approach, has provided a fascinating insight into the workings of Coalitions, multinational logistics initiatives, and logistics consideration. On a more personal note. The opportunity to participate in ANZAC Day Ceremonies on the Western Front was humbling. Standing overlooking paddocks in France where over 90 years ago, thousands of Australian troops had died in a single day was thought provoking on the sheer scale of the tragedy, and a testament to their personal commitment & courage. Similarly, participating in the ACDS (Log Ops) ‘staff ride’ to Southern England and Normandy in France to consider the logistics aspects of Operation Overlord was also a highlight. With the assistance of military historians and syndicate briefings, the planning, preparations, and conduct of the campaign were studied within the context of logistics, and what we can learn in support of contemporary large coalition amphibious and expeditionary operations today. In summary. The ability to be exposed to the workings of a very different Defence structure which is going through a number of major change programmes, together with visibility of what has worked and ‘what has not’ has provided a fascinated insight. At times the saying ‘two countries separated by a common language’ is most definitely true, however there is still very much in common between the ADF and the British Armed Forces, with significant potential for further shared interaction between the senior services of both countries. The British hospitality for an Australian family in the UK has been outstanding, and the opportunity of working and living in another country has been an amazing experience. Commander Shane Glassock is currently serving on exchange with the Royal Navy, in the United Kingdom. His career to date has included a mix of maritime logistics and logistics information systems roles, with more recent postings as SO MELBOURNE, DFSO, and in support of the Graded Officer Pay Structure project. His next posting is as XO CERBERUS in early 2010.