On line kit shop

Discussion in 'Weapons, Equipment & Rations' started by Trossachs, Sep 13, 2006.

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  1. Would this work ?

    Rather han have a heap of clothing stores all over the shop why not set up a mail-order business over the RLI/DII ? The only places that would actually hold a heap of kit would be recruit initial training depots and Chilwell. Recruits, mobilised reserves and deploying units would get a one-off issue then everyone just orders just like at home ( potential flaw if the IT aint in theatre for deployed units...) Once issued you would simply "buy" kit online up to an annual allowance. Once the allowance was spent you could use real cash.

    I'd see a website on MOD intranet with every single item of clothing kit listed. You want a pair of aircrew silk y fronts, naval plimsols or a sas smock - just order it up and its there three days later. No problem with "specialist" kit - stock would be priced at actual ( or slightly above) and re-orders triggered automatically.

    Pros - single stock of kit, less duplication of common items - potential big cash saving to MOD, easy visibility of stock levels for re-order purposes.. Potential to make actual cash money on the cash orders, sell other stuff too ?

    Cons - Postage issues. In-theatre issues. "Donnington Fire" potential.

    What do you think ?
  2. Trossachs

    i think you have a cracking idea, as said in previous threads that works like th americans do a kit allowance.

    but unfortunatly i cant see it working at all
  3. Not wanting to put a dampener on the idea, but it could have the effect of emptying the likes of the Infantry, some RE trades and a few others as these would be regular users of the shop to counter wear and tear. Other units, AGC for example, wouldn't need their allowance so could flog the surplus, essentially creating extra income.

    I like the exchange system, it just needs tuning so that it works.
  4. Yep. I take the point. Maybe the allowance system could be tailored ( ho Ho) to arm/trade ?
  5. You'd screw the scaling and therefore the provisioning system. The mil procures what it needs in teh numbers it needs. You are scaled for what you need and that is partly decided by the specialists in your trade. Procurement go out and procure enough of that kit to meet the needs it has been told about. When stuff goes out the door for people it isn't meant to be for (the old aircrew boots etc, windproof smocks etc) then you get the real shortages.
    Turning that system into one that matches market forces wouldn't work - sorry. Nice idea tho.
  6. Give it to one of the large online retailers to administer and you're onto a winner. Compared to the quantity and range of stock someone like Amazon or Play hold personal kit of the Army is a relatively small problem.

    As to provision, scaling etc - who cares. Use demand as a guide not the ramblings of some shiny trousered committee in an office. Has anyone, anywhere, ever managed to get by using whatever piece of fantasy that allegedly passed as their equipment scale ? No ? Thought not. "You'll get it in theatre" I think not. That sort of thinking dates from Wellington's time and before when soldiers joined the Army with rags on their back and nothing else.

    Besides, the more you buy, the cheaper they are. And if soldiers are dipping into their own pockets for Gucci kit (Note - they do this now) you might as well let them buy from the official system and use any profit to keep it running.
  7. This would be as likely to work as the next BOWMAN system :wink:

    The chance of the MOD being able to run and supply an on-line shop on a just-in-time basis for the Regulars (as it would have to be, considering you could no longer predict "sales") is NIL. MOD can't buy anything without a 2 year lead time.

    nd further more... just imagine the Sergeant Majors going spastic to stories like "I can't replace it sir, 'cos I've used up my allowance, 'cos you made us go over that barbed wire last month." and "I just wanted to be different, sir, not everyone has got a SAS pully"

    However... I think you might be onto something, TA-wise, if they could get their supply from the relatively large existing Regular stock. Largely because TA-types are more flexible, and actually willing (and able) to dig into their own pockets if they've screwed up and bought something that the CSM throws a wobbler at.

    Good point about earning extra income - ebay would be flush with kit. There are a lot of regular soldiers who can't make ends meet... and this would be too tempting.
  8. work better than the current system
    exchange socks
    "sorry battalion only gets 5 pairs this month wtf" when the exchange system works its great when as often it does'nt your effectivly screwed
  9. I feel the need to correct you there, I'm just deploying to the Balkans and I can't believe how much kit they have thrown at me! It has made a lot of the kit I have/was bought/going to buy redundent, the guys going to Afgan/Iraq could barely carry all the gear they got!
  10. The logistics system is slowly improving - as we bring all 3 Services together and improve everything else. I still think the culture of QMs in the Army has never helped - stop putting the last 200m of the supply chain in the hands of the sick, lame and old.
  11. In theory an excellent idea but the instant thought is lack of resources in theatre, you would also need a local webmaster for each Brigade/Division BOWO or DOWO springs to mind to administer this.

    There are also other issues which would have to be addresssed i.e security etc etc and could this only be used over DII terminals? (instant problem for the TA as a Drill night would be spent ordering kit, or at least waiting in the queue to order said kit.)

    Possibly one for someone higher in the grand scheme of things to mention as it would require much investigation.

    Any Volunteers to steer this suggestion in the right area on behalf of the arrsers?
  12. sadsacks - I'm commenting because I am working in exactly this arena - joint logistics IT. There is a long way to go before anything like this could even be looked at - but the future is pretty good!