Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Army's logistics system for aviation parts, focusing on: (1) the current performance of the Army's logistics system; (2) the Army's efforts to improve the logistics system and reduce costs; and (3) opportunities where best practices could be incorporated into the Army's logistics operations. GAO did not test or otherwise validate the Army's data.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of Defense||1. As part of the Army's current efforts to improve the logistics system's responsiveness and reduce its complexity, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Army, working with the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), to develop a demonstration project to determine the extent to which the Army can apply best practices to its logistics operations.|
|Department of the Army||2. The Secretary of the Army should appoint an accountable "change agent" for this program who will periodically report back to the Secretary on the progress of the demonstration project.|
|Department of the Army||3. The Secretary of the Army should identify the Army facilities that will participate in this project, establish specific test program milestones, and identify the performance measures that will be used to quantify process improvements and reductions in the overall pipeline time. The practices should be tested in an integrated manner, where feasible, to maximize the interrelationships many of these practices have with one another. The specific practices that should be considered, where feasible, are: (a) eliminating excess inventory and inducting parts at repair depots soon after they break, consistent with repair requirements, to prevent parts from sitting idle; (b) using the cellular concept to reduce the time it takes to repair parts; (c) establishing innovative supplier partnerships to increase the availability of parts needed to complete repairs at the depot, such as local distribution centers and integrated supplier programs; and (d) using third-party logistics providers to store and distribute spare parts between the depot and end users to improve delivery times. GAO recommends that this project be used to quantify the costs and benefits of these practices and to serve as a means to identify and alleviate barriers or obstacles that may inhibit the expansion of these practices.|
|Department of the Army||4. After these practices have been tested, the Army should consider expanding and tailoring the use of these practices, where feasible, so they can be applied to other locations.|