Is it time to disband the RLC and sack the MOD Procurement Organisation?

Jim, correct but.....

How big is the stockpile you talk about - quite small would be my guess.
How long is the lead time to buy more - quite long I would guess.
How expensive is each missile - very much so.
How much money do we have just lying around to buy new stocks - not a lot.
 
The problem with 'Just in Time' is that it requires two things to be a success, stability and people using it who understand that stability is a prerequirement for it's use.


Warfare/armed conflict by it's very nature is unstable.
 

jim30

LE
"How big is the stockpile you talk about - quite small would be my guess.
Exact figure is classified, but public documents put total at about 60 plus missiles.

How long is the lead time to buy more - quite long I would guess.
Actually its done regularly and very quickly - we put an FMS case into the US, its approved and the new missiles come over.

How expensive is each missile - very much so.
About £100K-£200K - not much really in the greater scheme of things. TLAM is pretty cheap to be honest.

How much money do we have just lying around to buy new stocks - not a lot"
Thats what the Treasury reserve is for - once the war is over (or sooner if it goes on), then we'll get new cash for an attrition buy to bring us up to peacetime holdings again.

Its happened before and will happen again - there is nothing to be concerned about here.
 
An SSN can only carry X (X being a classified number) of missiles which does not equal Y (Y being total UK stockpile, and again I believe a classified number).

Even if the Duty TLAM Shooter fired her warloads off, she'd still have to rearm a few times prior to exhausting the stockpile. Also, don't forget the wonderful concept of 'attrition buys' - a quick review of UK TLAM engagements in the 15 or so years since it entered service show that we've probably fired off the entire arsenal already at least once. If we need more, we'll just buy some more!
Your assertion seems to be part of the problem there jim:

9 Failure to deliver the right item on time is primarily due to items being unavailable for transport. For orders to be fulfilled items need to be available for dispatch and they need to move through the supply chain effectively. Where items did not arrive on time, over half of all failures were due to lack of item availability. This means that either the Department is not forecasting accurately usage and repair rates
of materiel to ensure the right amount of stocks are held (an information issue, made more challenging by the dynamic nature of the Afghanistan operational environment), or suppliers are unable to respond to the theatre demand (a procurement issue).
The NAO report seems to be of the belief that an IT system will solve all the ills within the supply system. Investing in a crystal ball would be of more benefit.
 
Your assertion seems to be part of the problem there jim:
The TLAMs are a bit of a unique case, in that we only have so many platforms capable and ready of firing them. Contrast this to land operations in Afghanistan, in which quantities of bombs are bullets are not only vast on a daily basis, but also vary massively due to the pace of operations.

I would argue that during peacetime, we are simply not set-up for firing lots of them. If this were to change, then I think we could probably buy them more quickly than the entire SSN fleet could be stood up (and re-supplied) to shoot them.
 
The claim that you can have logistics more streamlined, more agile and more effective reminds me of the old project management line: You can have the product cheap, quickly or done right; pick two.

Just in time is a message forced on us for nearly two decades now by so called experts who have all the answers to defence problems. The problem is that these experts in the main come from either factory production line or the retail sector. Both face very different challenges to the defence industry. In defence "just in time" can rapidly become "just too late" . Factories don't suddenly speed up to meet demand - in many cases it is more profitable to not meet demand, it pushes up prices and profit. In retail - who care if you run out of beans for a short while?
 
Ah, uhm, well... how to put this quickly...:

Yes.
 
The claim that you can have logistics more streamlined, more agile and more effective reminds me of the old project management line: You can have the product cheap, quickly or done right; pick two.

Just in time is a message forced on us for nearly two decades now by so called experts who have all the answers to defence problems. The problem is that these experts in the main come from either factory production line or the retail sector. Both face very different challenges to the defence industry. In defence "just in time" can rapidly become "just too late" . Factories don't suddenly speed up to meet demand - in many cases it is more profitable to not meet demand, it pushes up prices and profit. In retail - who care if you run out of beans for a short while?
As someone with more time in manufacturing than I can remember I think you'll find the problem can be traced back to Harvard Business School and the trend to send people away to do MBAs. These courses fill people full of bright ideas but don't necessarily develop the judgement skills necessary to use the ideas to the best effect. Just in Time manufacturing is a method of optimising cash flow by reducing stocks to an absolute minimum. Done well (eg Nissan in Sunderland) parts arrive in the factory hours before going onto the production line. The only storage involved is goods inward inspection and the ready to use bins on the lines. Done badly you either have lorries full of parts queueing in the drive or more likely a workforce sitting on it's arse doing nothing for their wages.
 
As someone with more time in manufacturing than I can remember I think you'll find the problem can be traced back to Harvard Business School and the trend to send people away to do MBAs. These courses fill people full of bright ideas but don't necessarily develop the judgement skills necessary to use the ideas to the best effect. Just in Time manufacturing is a method of optimising cash flow by reducing stocks to an absolute minimum. Done well (eg Nissan in Sunderland) parts arrive in the factory hours before going onto the production line. The only storage involved is goods inward inspection and the ready to use bins on the lines. Done badly you either have lorries full of parts queueing in the drive or more likely a workforce sitting on it's arse doing nothing for their wages.
Agreed,the problem with 'lean logistics/just in time' is that it is based on a prior knowledge of what is required/predictibility,which works well in industry,but is a total sack of shit for military environment,the Japanese developed it in the 60's and 70's,and it worked well for their industries,it will always work in certain circumstances,but Mil/Log isn't one off them.

Given the Armed Forces current commitments,both long and short term,nobody and I mean nobody can predict with enough accuracy,what is going to happen in 2 days time,let alone 2 weeks,as you say,there are too many people in the chain who have the MBA's/Degrees,but no practical experience of the problems that arise within the supply chain.

In Industry if it all goes tits up,they can extrapolate some previous figures,and try work their way around it,worst that can happen is a few less widgets turned out, bugger up supplies to a forward area,and the shit hits the fan,no ammo,no food,no water,no fuel,any of these would add to an already hazardous situation,resulting in injury,and death of service personnel,if someone in the UK wants to play at Tesco supermarket supplies,fine do it at Tesco,not at the MOD.

I'm of back to look at my SLR porn! 8)
 

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