For organizations as large as the U.S. Army, finding a supply management system that fits is no simple task.
As Dwight D. Eisenhower once said, “you will not find it difficult to prove that battles, campaigns, and even wars have been lost because of logistics.” While the logistics he was referring to were primarily tactical, the logistics behind delivering and storing supplies have always been integral to wartime strategy as well.
It should come as no surprise that the military has a long and illustrious history of utilizing efficient (and often creatively resourceful) supply chains. Unlike commercial supply chains, however, these chains are not designed to maximize profit -- instead, they are intended to supply the maximum support to military units while creating the minimum burden for the taxpayer to shoulder.
Although formal supply chain management didn’t become a staple of the military supply system until the early 1980s, it has helped the military expand their system to include both suppliers and customers. For an operation as large as the U.S. Army, supply management isn’t simple. To ensure that everything ends up where and when it’s supposed to, the military has to engage with a litany of suppliers and sub-suppliers, constantly monitoring internal information and funds flow.