Stores Squadron - Technical Question

Discussion in 'RLC' started by KnightsofRowallan, Oct 8, 2012.

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  1. I won't bore you with the background, in short it involves trying to explain and quantify Military Logistics to some civilian types.

    What SKU does a typical stores squadron hold in peacetime, i.e. in Gutersloh/Hullavington, etc and what does/did this increase to on Herrick / Telic (as was).

    If you don't know what SKU means then you probably don't need to comment on here.
    If you happen to be a Supcon/Supspec/supplier and don't know what SKU means then.........
  2. To a civi SKU is probably just Stock Keeping Unit...

    To answer your question you need to refer to JSP886 - THE DEFENCE LOGISTIC SUPPORT CHAIN MANUAL I believe.

    Just in case you are a journo I won't answer further, instead I'll refer you to the defence intranet. I'm sure you'll understand my caution.
  3. Sadly the JSP , which I am well acquainted with, gives the procedures for employment of the Joint Supply Chain.

    I have been trying to estimate the number of item headings (SKU), and just wanted a gross error check.
    (its not exactly colour of the boat house stuff).

    My RSA key has died or I would have e-mailed a Sqn Tech WO, not to worry I will have to wait until I get back to the office.

    For the record I am not a journo (see my other posts) and can't for the life of me think why a journo would want to know.
  4. Bde Sp Sqn in peace around 1000 item headings held on one account. Herrick GS Sqn around 10000 item headings split over 4 sub-accounts. Bde Sp Sqn around 120 men, GS Sqn around 215 men.

    I don't know what a SKU is; i've never heard the term used and its certainly not common lexicon in the 'modern day' supply environment
  5. Thank you Danny.

    An SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) is the civilian term for what we know as an inventory item code, i.e. NSN.
  6. Thank Christ you didnt email me, i havnt got a clue what it is! As i say to my Suppliers, OC and RTO "its all that Supplier stuff that bores the tits off me. Who cares whether MJDI cant talk to JAMES or the TSR's are not signed! Ill tell you when im opening the ISO's and ill tell you what to back to your Tally printer and leave me alone to read Porsche Weekly. And the reason i read Porsche and not Volvo Weekly is my crap Suppliers didnt spot me selling my allowable monthly write-off to the civvy Contractors!". Alledgedly!
  7. This is a provisioning question. The key factors would be the size of the dependency, the skill of the provisioners, the SCPT and the efficiency and availability of various means of transport. I understand that some of the CA UINs in Abingdon are routinely down to around 900 NSNs, based on LCS (DSDA) seven day delivery, whereas a busy deployed account will have around ten to twenty times that number. However, you have effectively requested that we ascertain the length of some basic white securing cord.
  8. Insert supplied free of charge! :)

    The term Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) is at the heart of all civilian supply chain environments. The SKU actually refers to the format of the item held in stock and up and down the supply chain, so the same basic product might have several different SKU formats.e.g. 5kg bag of sugar, 10kg, 25kg etc. Each one will have its own SKU code. In the fast moving consumer goods (fmcg) industries, these SKU codes are referred to as the Unique Identification Number or UIN, and are associated with a barcode that can be read at checkouts or other scanning stations.

    The Nato Stock Number (NSN) is strictly speaking only the coding system. IIRC, the term "Line Item" actually referred to the "thing" itself, the NSN identified it in numerical form and the Unit of Issue was the quantity or format which was used to account, to store and to issue.

  9. The numbers here are close to what we were estimating. Based on a Stores Sqn deployed on Op Telic, I reckoned about 15k SKU.

    Not wishing to derail the thread but I have found the RLCs attitude to stores quite baffling. DUring my career the focus has always been with the tpt function, particularly, rubber wheel tpt. I have worked in virtually every functional area, so I can say transport is actually pretty simple. Its not difficult. Its about moving things from A to B and C, and as long as you can count its not hard.

    But if you read Post-Op reports the problem with the supply chain, in every Op, is the tracking and visibility of our stores, which compared to how civilian industry does business, we are farce at times.
    Good Log IS system are absolutely vital. Only now are we getting MJDI which will start to address the problem.

    I was in a room with some chaps from Amazon and I was talking about deploying a squadron and was explaining how we didn't have networked computers, were using sheets of paper (FMT 1000s etc) to do fleet availability and tracking, explaining how VITAL tracks to a geographical location not a stores location etc etc, by the time I had finished talking about OSCAR, CEESUPS, GLOBAL, etc they were looking at me pretty oddly.
    "How long ago was this?" they asked, when I said 2004 they essentially accused me of making it up as they just couldn't believe how awful our systems were, but yet we were still 'successful' on operations.
  10. The reason why the Army supply chain works despite the lack of technology is because it is designed to work when technology is not available or fails. The individuals down to the junior ranks learn and understand what it is they are doing on the ground. My considerable experience in both the military and civilian supply chains has shown that the vast majority of civilian inventory managers and staff have no professional training and basically can only drive the computer in front of them as taught by the computer vendor, who knows bugger all about inventory management, or by on-the-job-instruction. If they meet a problem, they don't have the flexibility and knowledge to react accordingly.

    They quite often don't understand the relationship between the key points of the provisioning cycle, asset/liability matching, safety stock calculations etc. and consequently don't know whether or not the data in their computer is accurate or appropriate. Part of my consultancy services includes training and I provide a public course which is based on the instruction I received in the School of Ordnance over 30 years ago. The feed back from delegates is excellent because they learn what is behind the computer screen and how to ensure the data is correctly gathered and used.

    The fact is that networked computers etc are fantastic as long as the working environment is stable. Almost by definition, the military evvironment is not. Therefore it falls on the operators to have the flexibility and knowledge to continue to operate when the networks are either non-existent or fail. The acid test would be to see any part of the Amazon supply chain being able to operate if the computers crashed. They couldn't.

    Just saying, like......
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Actually old chap it's the D of Q.

    Yawn - sorry.
  12. Yes, it's all coming back now.

    MAD(new) = Beta x [E] x (1-Beta) x MAD(old)

    I knew that spell at Deepcut would come in useful one day.
  13. Isn't progress wonderful! Yawn & scratch......Sorry
  14. Neggers Cheggars.
    0443-99-3991127 Nitrogen
    0443-99-7243765 Nitrogen
    0443-99-2651332 Nitrogen
    0443-99-5499756 Nitrogen
    All the same stuff, just in different quantities.

    PS, DofQ in each case, Cy.
  15. Wordsmith

    Wordsmith LE Book Reviewer

    I'm going to gently disagree with you on this one. A SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) is a distinct physical unit of sale: thus a 5Kg bag of sugar will have a different SKU code to a 2.5 kg one. 1 SKU code = one distinct product on sale. SKU codes are often internal to retailers. Retailers can buy a product from multiple suppliers - particularly for own-label products. These supplied products will have a 14 digit GTIN code (and bar code) associated with them. When the bar code is scanned at the till, the software converts the bar code to the SKU code and that's what generally goes into the retailer's record. The retailer is interested that they've sold a 2.5 Kg bag of sugar - they're not generally interested in the detail of who supplied it unless there is a quality problem. Wordsmith