SOURCE: Government Business Council

February 19, 2015 09:00 ET

Pentagon Officials Say Logistics Challenges Are Negatively Impacting U.S. Readiness

A Recent Survey of Defense Department Officials Shows That Ineffective Data Management Systems Are Leading to Increasingly Common Supply Chain Disruptions and Equipment Shortages

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - February 19, 2015) - The Defense Department's recent challenges with managing and analyzing logistics data are placing additional burdens on U.S. servicemen and women deployed overseas, according to a report released by Government Business Council (GBC) and Cloudera.

The report, A 360 Degree View of Defense Logistics assesses the perceptions, attitudes, and experiences of senior-level managers operating within the U.S. Department of Defense and military service branches.

86 percent of respondents stated that the Pentagon's logistics challenges have a negative impact on the readiness of U.S. forces. 25 percent say the impact is "severe." 80 percent report that their unit has faced equipment shortages in the last year, while 67 percent say that they have actually been forced to dispose of unneeded equipment due to excess inventories.

According to these defense executives, the leading cause of supply chain inefficiency stems from ineffective data management systems currently in use. Further, many respondents report experiencing difficulties with integrating disparate data sources, as well as working with unstructured and non-standardized data formats. As a result, only 26 percent are confident in their unit's ability to effectively forecast future demand for materiel and equipment.

"These survey findings are really eye-opening," said Zoe Grotophorst, manager of Research & Strategic Insights with Government Business Council. "The fact that so many defense officials are dissatisfied with the status quo -- the vast majority of them intimately involved in logistics -- should motivate decision makers to consider viable alternatives for supply chain management."

"The Department of Defense's supply chain spans a massive, complicated network of logistics, personnel, and medical operations whose efficiency impacts our entire country," said Mercedes Westcott, Vice President, Public Sector at Cloudera. "The findings of this study reveal both the true implications of the Big Data challenge that agencies are struggling to address, and the pressing need to fuse their multiple application and data silos into a centralized data hub that meets the DoD's unique needs for data management, security, and governance."

Other key findings of the study include:

  • 72 percent of respondents report that materiel and equipment arrive late; 63 percent say it arrives over budget; and 56 percent say it arrives in bad shape at least some of the time.
  • Half of respondents say they have experienced a supply chain disruption in the last six months.
  • Only 25 percent of defense officials say that they are confident in their unit's ability to derive actionable insights from their supply chain data using current methods.
  • Respondents believe that capabilities, like the ability to integrate real-time and historical data streams, automate data collection throughout the supply chain, and conduct analysis on unstructured and non-standardized data, would have the greatest overall effect on their unit's mission effectiveness.

The GBC study is based on survey data collected from 314 individuals, serving at the GS/GM grade levels 11 through 15, the Senior Executive Service, and the U.S military officer corps.

To view the complete report, visit GBC at www.govexec.com/gbc.

About Government Business Council
Government Business Council (GBC), the research arm of Government Executive Media Group, is dedicated to advancing the business of government through analysis and insight. GBC partners with industry to share best practices with top government decision makers, understanding the deep value inherent in industry's experience engaging and supporting federal agencies. www.govexec.com/GBC

Follow @GovBizCouncil
You can also follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn

Contact Information

  • Contacts: 
    Zoe Grotophorst
    Manager of Research & Strategic Insights
    Government Business Council
    +1 202-266-7335
    zgrotophorst@govexec.com