The U.K.'s Supply Chain Struggles

Unfortunately, not every military involved in the Iraq War enjoyed such seamless supply management. The U.K.’s deployment, for instance, was riddled with logistical errors. This was not the first time the U.K. experienced a supply chain issue -- as Supply Management reports, the British Ministry of Defence (MoD) made their share of errors during the Gulf War, losing 228 aircraft pallets containing equipment worth £680,000.

According to Sir John Chilcot’s report, the MoD didn’t learn its lesson in time for the 2003 conflict in Iraq. Although many factors contributed to the U.K.’s supply chain difficulties, the most obvious was their lack of an efficient asset tracking system, like the U.S.’s RFID. Since the flow of information was inconsistent, so was the flow of supplies -- high and low priority materiel became confused, and many individual lives may have been lost as a result of the mixups.

So what’s the takeaway? When it comes to logistics, supplies are only as good as the delivery system that gets them to where they need to go. Without a comprehensive tracking system, important material is lost -- with real-time tracking, the military can ensure troops receive what they need, when they need it.


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