With the rapidly changing environment in both civilian and military organizations, there is a need for planning, adoption, and implementation of Information technology. Both organizations require competency in their organizational processes in terms of speed, accuracy, reliability, and relevance. These processes include supply process, transportation, manufacturing, sales, marketing, order processing and deliveries. Adoption of information technology in these processes enhances efficiency in both organizations through reduction in the time taken to execute the process and through efficient management of material by avoiding wastages. This in turn increases the performance standards and eases organizational functions such as strategic management, supply chain management, coordination, and control. Even though strategic environment in military and civilian organizations differ, the environment in which information technology is applied remains similar to both organizations. With a few adjustments for suitability where necessary, the managers in civilian and military organizations will use similar organizational competencies.
Need For IT Planning and Implementation
The top management in both sectors has to carry out strategic assessment and evaluation of the information needs in each sector, device plans, and means of accomplishing them to satisfy such information needs. The process is necessary due to the need to mitigate and control with a known degree of certainty the risk and challenges that the operational environment poses to the organizations. By using the Supply Chain management, this paper will examine how the military and civilian organization will apply the same competencies in planning for and implementation of information technology in management of supply.
First, we examine the strategic difference that exists between the military supply chain environment and the Civilian or commercial supply chain. A commercial supply chain faces a forward bound logistic line unlike the Military supply chain, which in addition to the forward logistics, it also has to handle reverse logistics. That is, once the supply of goods occurs in a commercial supply chain there is no return of goods for repair or huge replacements. On the other hand, a large percentage of supplies in a military supply chain are repairable. The hi-tech and sophisticated weapons and machines will require constant repair and maintenance. The military supply chain has to have a good information system to handle reverse logistics in addition to the forward one.
Another huge difference in the strategic environments is the major area of focus in both commercial and military supply chains. The civilian organization supply chains place their major focus on the advantages derived from physical efficiency of the information technologies applied in the supply management. This is the reason why they will concentrate their efforts on obtaining information technologies that will minimize overall costs, lower inventory expenditure and fully utilize their capacity. Just-In-Time inventory management system is a good example of such information systems.
The military supply chains place more importance on the ability to respond rapidly and capacity to cope up with huge and unexpected demands. They will therefore go for a Supply chain management system that meets their supply demands with a greater degree of responsiveness and flexibility. During wars, the army needs a supplier and a system that will be able to service their needs in good response time and delivery at any given location without running shortages. These differences will therefore call for a slight adjustment in the organizational competencies to suit each organization. The following are some of the organizational competencies and management practices both civilian and military organizations will use.
Supply chain IT assessment and evaluation
IT systems require a careful planning and keen implementation. Without these two key competencies, the engagement of an IT information system may otherwise prove costly to both civilian and military organizations. They must put in place mechanisms to evaluate and select the best-suited information technology with regard to the cost benefit analysis. Understanding of the supply chain environment and requirements will create more value and maximize the benefits of IT in the supply chain.
The major benefit of adopting IT systems is to improve the overall efficiency in terms of speed and accuracy. It is therefore imperative that managers should have a good measure of velocity management competency. In both organizations, time is of essential importance. The amount of sales and profit recorded in civilian organizations depends on how fast they are able to service and deliver an Oder. On the other hand, the success of military missions will depend on how timely the army receives its contingency supplies and weapons. The management in both supply chains therefore require IT systems that will speed up the operations of the supply chain in terms of delivery time, Oder processing and requisitions. Velocity management will therefore reduce the overall supply chain management costs and increase efficiency and utility derived from the IT systems.
As a part of management competency, civilian and military organizations face the need to manage and control the risk factors that exposes them to potential loses. They need to incorporate risk identification, quantification, and mitigation measures in their supply chains and overall organizational functions. This will reduce the impact and severity of risks should they occur unexpectedly. They require systems that have the ability to forecast risks and provide elaborate measures whether stochastic, deterministic, economic or simulated measures to reduce their effects.
Improved Requisition and Purchasing supply Management
Civilian and Military organizations performance will depend on how well they manage the purchasing function. They will do well if stock of supplies is available at all times even at moments of unexpected changes in supplies. Managers will look for IT systems that will enable timely requisition and reduce the risk of reliance on a single supplier that can create a shortage should the supplier face sudden disruptions. The Organizations should collaborate with suppliers to forecast plan and replenish orders timely. Funding and financial shortages should become minimal in both organizations.
In conclusion, the above-mentioned strategic competencies are applicable in managing the supply chain in both the Military and Civilian organizations. They face different strategic environ with slight adjustments in the management competencies to suit each organization but the basics for implementation of information systems remain the same.
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