The military of the United States and several agencies of the US government especially the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) have combined efforts to provide sufficient supplies to the warfighters in a bid to lower cost as well as to improve efficiency of related operations to transportation logistics to the warfighter. The achievement of a successful supply chain management concerning transportation logistics, which ensures effective supply to warfighter right from the point of placing order to the point of delivering the order, is too wide and complicated for a single agency to handle successful. This is the reason for the existence of partnership among the Defense Logistics Agency, the United States Transportation Command and the Defense Logistics Agency. According to Buxbaum (2010) the significance and complexity of the logistics operations involved in supporting warfighters has made it necessary for one civilian and two military agencies all of which are government agencies to combine efforts to achieve the transportation objectives.
Buxbaum (2010, p.1) states that “The U.S. Transportation Command has partnered with the Defense Logistics Agency and the General Services Administration in an effort known as the Strategic Opportunities Initiative to study, analyze and re-engineer the processes they employ to provide supplies to warfighters”. The effort is aimed at providing the need and requirements of warfighter at the lowest supply chain cost possible, which the collaboration aims to achieve through such unity of effort. The unity of DLA, USTRANSCOM and commercial transport sector have a mission of conducting distribution operation jointly throughout the supply chain; from the moment products and or services are ordered until they are delivered.
United Sates Transportation Command organizes, harmonizes and optimizes the efficiency of operation of the whole enterprise. It is the responsibility of the agencies to ensure that they supply as well as to manage the items ordered by DoD, which include specific non-military items, for example, paints, office accessories, adhesives, tools janitorial products among others. DLA and USTRANSCOM are also endowed with the responsibility of identifying opportunities, which improve DoD performance in the process of distribution as well as to determine and analyze improvement service and materials delivery based on the past efforts (Cohen & Roussel, 2005).
In addition, the collaboration team identifies challenges, which face the distribution of services to the warfighter and they ensure that they address the challenges accordingly in order to improve service delivery, reduce supply chain cost as well as to reduce customer wait-time. The partners have been able to identify five main opportunities that support the warfighter and they include improvement of processes of distribution, optimization of tactical airlift, proper surface optimization, planned optimization of network and configuration of supply. The result of the collaboration or partnership has been remarkable since the team has been able to use a strategic framework that is capable of measuring efficiency as well as performance of the enterprise. Besides, the partnership has employed the use of metrics to effect improvements. For instance, Defense Logistics Agency uses SCOR model to manage supply chain. Buxbaum (2010) argue that commercial transport sector in collaboration of the Defense Logistics Agency and U.S. Transportation Command have been able to use SCOR to examine the main supply chain processes, which are examined in four levels where level three process categories are broken into transportation, handling of inventory, and theater distribution as well as shipping. The model has made it possible for the agencies to coordinate the supply chain of transportation logistics to support warfighter.
Buxbaum, P. (2010). Supply chain operations references: Government agencies partner to streamline warfighter supply operations. Web.
Cohen, S. & Roussel, J. (2005). U.S. Department of Defense Profile: Making the Tail Smaller and the Tooth Stronger. Web.