From Factory to Foxhole, Case Study Example

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Case Study

Question 1: Based on the US Military Logistics article “From Factory to Foxhole”, please identify the logistics reforms and explain the associated improvement that help transform US Army’s logistics requirement practices from WWII/Cold War Era to meet the needs of modern warfare.

The US military carried out Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom with logistics in place from the WWII/Cold War Era. During these two military operations, it was made apparent that the logistics in place were no longer efficient and did not meet the needs of today’s military. Many of the same logistical problems had been experienced during Operations Desert Shield and Storm. The Army G-4 was assigned to study and research current military logistics and in Dec. 2003, they turned in the, “Army Logistics White Paper: Delivering

Materiel Readiness to the Army” report. Four points of action were identified in the report: Connect Army Logisticians, Modernize Theater Distribution, Improve Force Reception, and Integrate the Supply Chain.

Problems arising with the WWII/Cold War Era logistics in today’s army include greater time to set up and take down theatres, combat troops used as force reception, inefficient transfer of supplies from one area to another, and strategy logistics ill-suited for the mobile missions now required. At the end of the Korean War and WWII, many posts occupied by the US military became fixed points of placement. Large stockpiles of weapons were stored in locations considered strategic at the time. Strategy planning was focused on fighting large scale, fixed wars with overwhelming masses of troops trained for pre-planned operations. Though tactical mobility increased with technological advancements, strategic mobility did not. The end of the Cold War brought a shift from the familiar forward stationed forces to forces deployed directly into battle, often straight from the United States. New threats from rebel state forces and the terrorists with possible weapons of mass destruction emerging from multiple locations required a new way of fighting. The Army has had to become lighter and more mobile, but at the same time more lethal and able to survive these new threats.

Logistic reforms to deal with the above recognized problems and address the four areas outlined by the Army G-4 are already in motion. The first area outlined is the need to connect communications among logisticians across the supply chain in a secure manner. For logisticians to do their job there must be information acquisition and sharing of all battlespace situational awareness available to intelligence and operational staff at all levels. Round the clock communications with other logistical staffs, suppliers, and supporters is also necessary. The goal is a dedicated logistical network with a common operating picture for all levels and transfer of information directly between the battle area and industrial base.

Modernizing theatre distribution is the second area identified by the Army G-4. This requires integrating new organizations, new processes, and a 24/7 information connectivity from the deployed unit to each service and on to the industrial base. Modular systems and platforms are being considered as a way to simplify the current maintenance system. Combined with specific configured loads and an intelligent load-handling system, material handling time would be reduced and delivery speed of loads to designated units increased.

Improvement of force reception in the theatre is the G-4’s third focus. The supplies and support required to sustain the mission need to converge with the fighting force. Also, the supply lines need to be secured. Better combat training for support units is necessary, as well as force protection for convoys, supply units, installations, and infrastructure.

Integration of the supply chain is the G-4’s last area of focus. An all-service network with information sharing at all levels for both consumers and suppliers is necessary. The supply chain must be integrated to work with the transportation system. A reorganization of prepositioned stocks into forward-stationed regional fleets is currently taking place, in order to provide more flexible and better managed assets.

Question 2: Based on the green transportation article “Good practices in fright transport in EU”, please identify the changes and the related improvement that can help reduce cost, carbon footprint, pollution, or traffic congestion.

The article “Good practices in freight transport in EU” draws attention to the negative environmental effects of freight transportation and examines what can be done within the industry to change public perception to a more positive view. Air pollution, noise, land take, and contributions to global warming are a few of the negative associations of freight traffic. Road damage and the presence of trucks in neighborhoods are a concern to citizens. From the article we can identify the changes and the related improvement that can help reduce costs, carbon footprint, pollution and traffic congestion directly attributable to freight transportation. Environmental concerns are being taken into widespread consideration within the freight industry and many companies have already taken actions to improve their environmental image.

The freight industry has found that taking environmentally positive steps prove to be a win-win for all parties involved. With improvement to both the environment and business in mind, five approaches to the adoption of environmental concerns have been established. These are: reducing the impact of each mode through cleaner engines, cleaner fuels, new fuels and in the case of road freight, energy efficient truck design; driver training and behavior; switching to environmentally friendly modes of transport, e.g. rail, coastal shipping, waterways and any of these in combination with road transport; reducing the actual number of vehicles running, vehicle kilometers and tonne kilometres by increasing load factors (reducing empty or partly loaded running of lorries), improving routing, utilizing new information technology to maximize backloading, consolidate deliveries, sharing loads and pick-up deliveries with other companies; and city logistics.

Modifications to engines, electronic control systems, exhaust systems, and new fuels can improve the fuel consumption, reduce air and noise pollution, and reduce costs. Many companies have implemented these new technologies. Thomas Nationwide Transport in the UK implemented engine and vehicle modifications that have saved the company in fuel costs, showing these technologies can make business more efficient and reliable. The French group 3 Suisses is experimenting with using electric vehicles. And effective fuel management has been shown to decrease fuel consumption by up to 20 percent.

Even more than technology, is the effect driver training can have on fuel reduction. Courses, such as those organized by EVO in the Netherlands, train drivers in methods that reduce fuel consumption by 5-10 percent. Logging systems that encourage efficient fuel consumption and rest periods have been shown to have a positive effect on driver’s stress, thereby improving driving habits. Bonuses for safe driving and fuel-performance are encouraging to drivers.

Using rail, waterway, and coastal shipping when possible is also an attractive way to reduce environmental impact. Advancements in technology and deregulation of formerly State-controlled modes of transport have opened up more availability with these methods.

Since using the least number of modes of transport has always been cost efficient for freight companies, this is already a general rule. But it is an area the freight industry is always looking to make even more efficient.

The last approach is city logistics. City logistics focuses on involving all those involved in the delivery/recipient chain in city centers. With city logistics, marketing and packaging strategies and organizational linkages are considered in conjunction with the management of vehicles and depots. Well planned city logistics can reduce the total distance travelled.

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