The importance of transforming military logistic systems to a viable supply chain management process is critical. For this reason, this blog will focus on materials from two articles. The first article, Transforming Military Support Processes from “Logistics to Supply Chain Management”, by Scott Haraburda highlights the importance of changing the normal logistic system in the Department of Defense (DOD) to a more effective system. The second article is by Global Trade titled, “Infographic: How is Technology Enhancing Supply Chain Management?” This article focuses on the impact of technology in supply management as a whole, not just in the military.
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When you think about supply chain management, procurement comes to mind. Indeed, there have been numerous instances where loopholes in procurement processes have paralyzed systems and organizations. Whereas not many of these cases are highlighted in regards to the military, there are numerous challenges that the DOD still faces due to the same. Technology has indeed helped resolve some of the world’s greatest challenges.
For this reason, it is viable to argue that tech can be used to solve challenges faced within supply chain management. Haraburda (2016) argues that the traditional ways of doing logistics (in the military) have led to large fiscal crises. The scholar suggests that many military personnel in management reject ideas on using technology in supply chain management because the traditional principles have been tested and proven over time. However, times have changed and to remain efficient and relevant, DOD has to fully embrace the use of technology.
In my opinion, the article is very though thought-provoking. Having worked in the military, I agree that traditional practices are deemed best due to the clear structure they support. The fact that the military is highly bureaucratic and structured makes it that much difficult for the management to introduce the use of technology in any aspect of management. Despite this, I agree with Haraburda that technology can enhance the proper utilization of resources and effective logistical management.
The arguments presented by Haraburda do have an impact on my line of work. I am motivated to learn about the different technological advancements that have already been tested and are being used in supply chain management. I intend to understand the said technologies and apply them in my work in the future. Additionally, I do intend to spearhead and help in the development of more innovations within the same space to make supply chain management more effective.
This leads me to the second article mentioned by Global Trade. The article gives a general overview of how supply chain management has changed over the decades. According to the article, the supply chain is an everyday affair. It does not require one to have a big company or a complex system. Each individual in their capacity, wherever they are, including at home, engages in supply chain management every day.
Thus, any technology that makes it easier for individuals to do this is a plus for overall logistics. The article goes further to state that the supply chain starts at the creation of a product or service. This is interesting because many people believe that it comes at the end of the product. One can argue that marketing comes after a product is finished. Experience and expertise in the creation of a highly demanded product are used as a marketing strategy. However, using the concepts discussed in the article by Global Trade, one can state that marketing starts at the conception phase of a product.
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This relates to supply chain management in various ways. For example, tracking inventory is a big part of logistics. To do this, many organizations and companies prepare a list of the items they have in store and then manually tick them off the list as they deplete. Needless to say, this act is very tedious. Using technology, this work can be made easier. Global Trade states that using Radio Frequency Identification allows people in supply chain management to automatically track, record, and monitor their inventory. This means that the system will update itself on any depletion or addition to the stock. Since the system uses a formula, you can be sure of minimal mistakes in inventory.
Additionally, it takes less time to do the task. Chipping and GPS tracking are also relevant in the supply chain. This is especially true of items that are being transferred from one place to another. The transfer of goods and items is very common in the military. Whether these are food items or machinery, using GPS tracking makes it easier for those involved to not only monitor the transportation process but also know where each item is in case it is lost.
Overall, the two articles have broadened my perspective on the importance of technology in marketing and supply chain management. I look forward to using several of the stated technologies, and also come up with more that specifically address the unique challenges in supply chain management in the military, in the future.
Global Trade. “Infographic: How is Technology Enhancing Supply Chain Management?” Global Trade. Web.
Haraburda, Scott. “Transforming Military Support Processes from Logistics to Supply Chain Management.” Army Sustainment, vol. 48, 2016, pp. 12-15. Web.