Supply Chain Management and Logistics Essay

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A comparative study of logistic operation in the military vs. commercial organization

The past two decades have witnessed drastic transformations in civilian as well as military logistical settings. The commercial sector has been transformed by mass retailing, technological advancements, deregulation impacts, supply chains, etc. which have posed challenges to the commercial logistical setting. Simultaneously, military logisticians saw the Cold War era and associated strategies, a whole new kind of enemy, evolving military employees and sustained combat maneuvers within Third-World settings (Rutner, Aviles & Cox, 2012). Both groups have encountered tough choices, in addition to being pressured to review and perfect their corresponding logistical processes. But the question of whether both have been growing at the same rate remains to be answered.

Contemporary corporations are required to simultaneously achieve reduced costs, superior quality and superior logistics performance. They are facing increasing pressures to modify their offering to address changing requirements, promote technological growth, and meet the lofty conditions that are placed with regard to the areas of delivery lead times, reliability, cost and quality. Traditional, resource-based manufacturing process design and management fails when it comes to satisfying the above conditions (Schverak, 2010). Efficiently managed logistical systems entailing goal-focused process design will be able to offer corporations sustainable competitive edges over rivals, owing to the fact that good logistics management increases client satisfaction, lowers costs and maintains delivery quality.

The military domain can be considered as a frontrunner in logistics process implementation. After all, the word "logistics" first began to be used extensively in military circles. Researchers usually hold that logistics studies emerged from war-time needs including the need for transporting soldiers, rations and equipment to battlegrounds. Military literature beginning from the 19th-century U.S. Civil War depicts the word "logistics" being used specifically (Rutner et al., 2012). After World War II (WWII), scholars started separating logistics into military and commercial logistics in their works, and the phrase "business logistics" surfaced. Hence, although logistics has its roots in the military profession, it clearly moved over to the commercial arena.

Thus, upon comparing commercial and military supply chains, one will expect that the latter enjoys appreciable advantage on account of its far earlier researching and implementation of logistical practices, processes, instruments, technology and equipment. But, in truth, commercial supply chain management (SCM) and logistical domains outdid military logistics sometime in the post-WWII period. This gives rise to the question of how a role reversal occurred with respect to the two "rival" supply chains' positions. Therefore, this paper will employ the organizational design and reasoned action theories for assessing behaviors which drove this role reversal.

Goals and objectives

This venture's corporate goals directly support the organizational strategy of achieving more technological growth in information processing and telecommunications, via a comparison of business and military arenas.

• In the end, the objective is: creation of a firm capable of adapting in a swifter, more flexible and timelier way to novel information

• Generally, the objective may be described as: an attempt at proving that armed forces are, as traditionally perceived, ideal rigidly-categorized institutions.

Project Management Approach

From the project plan as well as supplementary management blueprints, it follows that the Project Manager is given overall charge and control over project management and execution. Considering the plan's nature, which is a scholarly work aimed chiefly at educational course requirement completion, the student will constitute the venture's project manager in this case, with other key stakeholders being the undertaking's supervisor and course tutor. Project planning will be carried out by the student (project manager) using all available resources. Every project-related plan requires the supervisor's analysis and approval. The project manager will have to make funding decisions as well. All allotments of approval authorizations to project manager ought to be provided through a written document, containing the manager's as well as supervisor's signatures. The former is also charged with providing company managers with information on individual project resource performance and project progress.

Project scope

This business and military project will comprise of project design, testing and reporting of comparison and contrast outcomes of business and military institutions' structural issues. The business sector has also dominantly seen structural issues of late, owing to a reformation in how big corporations carry out their business operations. The team selected for the project will complete every requisite software and hardware resource (Rutner et al., 2012). Overall, this project will not be bound by ordinary ongoing operations; further, no mandatory research process will disturb everyday operations.

This logistics and SCM project's scope encompasses secondary and primary information acquisition in case of civilian business and military logistics and SCM, information analysis, and report preparation (Spychalski, 2011). Additionally, the project scope covers complete manuals, documentation, and presentations which will supplement the project. The project will only be regarded as "completed" after successful research and documentation completion and submission to course tutor and project supervisor. Every aspect of the project will be internally completed; there will be no outsourcing of project-related tasks. The project scope doesn't cover modifications or amendments in standard logistics and SCM prerequisites.

HR Management

Personnel need to comprehend straightforward instructions with regard to workplace safety and processes, and safety, as well as properly respond to orders in case of emergencies. Elementary training in this regard is often provided to fresh recruits. Personnel stationed at far-flung posts need to be provided basic necessities if they cannot acquire them easily from other sources.

The Project will involve a matrix arrangement and will be supported by a number of internal organizations. Every project task will be carried out in-house. Project staff must include:

A Project Manager: In charge of overall project management. The Project's Manager will be charged with planning, development and management of every relevant task, variance, supervision, documentation, enlistment of project staff, communication, coordinating activities with course tutor and supervisor, and performance appraisal. he/she will also be given the responsibility of project programming and coding. Every coding/programming activity has to be implemented only after the supervisor's appraisal. Furthermore, the duties to be carried out by the project manager also include aiding in the process of risk identification, ascertaining change requests' effects on the project, its timeline, outcomes etc. and reporting on milestone completion status on a daily or weekly basis. Project Programmer will have to report to the Manager, who will offer feedback to both course tutor and supervisor; this information will be utilized in the area of performance appraisal.

A Project Supervisor: The project supervisor's key duties include overseeing every project-related process, making sure project operations adhere to quality standards, overseeing project manager activities (as mentioned in the previous paragraph, the project manager will offer feedback on performance), and collaborating with Project Manager on the creation of work packages, risk management, project schedule management, identification of requirements, and formulation of project reports.

A Course tutor: In charge of aiding the Project Manager with the development of quality assurance as well as quality control benchmarks. he/she will be accorded the responsibility of compiling and updating quality assurance and quality control logs all through the course of the project. Further, he/she will be required to work in collaboration with the project supervisor in overseeing Project Manager activities (as stated earlier, the project manager will offer feedback to aid the course tutor's performance assessment as well).

An Assistant Specialist: In charge of aiding Project Manager with the formulation and oversight of quality assurance and quality control benchmarks. The individual in this post will chiefly be in charge of gathering and penning quality measures and reports to be communicated by the Project Manager. Further, he./she will be in charge of compiling complete project reporting/ documentation into institutional formats. he/she will also be given the responsibility of aiding the Project Manager with Configuration Management tasks and in revision control when it comes to the task of project documentation. Lastly, he/she will be accorded the responsibility of scribing in every project team meetings, as well as maintaining every communication distribution list. This individual's work will be overseen and directed by Project Manager (feedback will be offered in this case, as well, to aid the performance assessment process).

To sum up, the Project's Manager will be required to negotiate every important stakeholder for identifying and allocating project resources. Every resource requires the approval of relevant stakeholders prior to its utilization in any project-related process or task. Project team members will not face co-location in case of the project; every resource will continue to be situated in the same workspace.

Communications Management

The project's Communications Management blueprint aims at setting its communications agenda. The chief role of this plan will be: providing….....

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Anderson, D. L., Britt, F.F. and Favre, D.J. (2007). The Seven Principles of Supply Chain Management. Supply Chain Management Review: 41 -- 6.

Bosona, T. & Gebresenbet, G. (2012). "Logistics and Supply Chains in Agriculture and Food." In Groznik, A. (ed.). Pathways to Supply Chain Excellence. Sweden: Intech, pp. 125 -- 146.

Chen, Y., Li, D., Li, L., Zheng, Y. (2012). "A Bayesian-Based Search and Classification System for Product Information of Agricultural Logistics Information Technology." Computer and Computing Technologies in Agriculture V. In Daoliang, L & Yingyi, C (ed.). IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology. China Agricultural University, Beijing, 29 -30 October, 2011, pp. 437 -- 444.

Rutner, M.S., Aviles, M. & Cox, S. (2012). Logistics evolution: a comparison of military and commercial logistics thought, The International Journal of Logistics Management, Vol. 23 Iss: 1, pp. 96 -- 118

Schverak, C.M. (2010), The globalization of military logistics, Army Sustainment, Vol. 42 No. 3, pp. 57-62.

Spychalski, J.C. (2011). Transportation policy: precedent-breaking choices over five decades, Transportation Journal, Vol. 50 No. 1, pp. 10-22.

USAID - DELIVER PROJECT, Task Order 1. (2009). Planning and Implementing a Logistics System Design Activity. Arlington, Va.: USAID - DELIVER PROJECT, Task
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