Air Force Research Laboratory
Manuel D. Rossetti, Ryan Houx, Scott J. Mason, Mohsen Manesh, Amanda Mills, Ashlea Bennett, Joshua B. McGee
University of Arkansas
This research examines the Multi-Indenture Multi-Echelon (MIME) repairable inventory system used by the United States Air Force, reviews the literature documenting successful commercial practices that have been implemented in similar supply chains, and documents the metrics used in private industry to assess supply chains. Using simulation, this research assesses the effect of applying such commercial practices to military supply chains, and then evaluates the results by using private industry metrics in coordination with metrics currently used by the Air Force.
Military supply chains encompass a complicated network of suppliers and customers that depend upon the type of item being supplied (weapon system support, repairables, non-repairables, consumables, etc.) where demand is generated at the military unit level and passed up to within service depots (retail level) who are supplied by other within service wholesalers or outside service wholesalers (Defense Logistics Agency, direct vendors, etc.) These many layers of the supply chain have added unnecessary cost, delay times, and unreliability within the network. Better integration between the retail level and the wholesale levels of the supply chain can be achieved through the optimal utilization of transportation options, in particular scheduled delivery and priority time-based definite delivery transportation methods. The effect on the overall military logistical network of the increased utilization of transportation to reduce cost, delay times, and military readiness has not been fully examined within traditional multi-echelon inventory and readiness-based models. While many of these methods have been applied in commercial practice, their use in military scenarios is unknown. In addition, how the structure of military logistical networks might need to be changed to take full advantage of these practices is uncertain. The objective of this project is to develop a mathematical and simulation based methodology for quantifying the effect of transportation options such as scheduled deliveries, priority time-based delivery, cross-shipments, and mobile repair resources. This methodology should identify the strategic value of these practices and quantify the impact in terms of cost, response time, and military readiness of these techniques on current or future military logistics networks.