Managing logistics for any large Department of Defense organization is complicated. It requires keeping track of thousands upon thousands of assets, from microchips to aircraft. Logisticians must know the location of any asset any given time, whether in a warehouse, on a truck or marked for disposal. They must know serviceability, accessibility, classification and other characteristics to make real-time asset acquisition, allocation and distribution decisions.
In the DOD, the urgency of the military mission and remote locations for deployed supplies and equipment further complicate this already complex responsibility. Defense logistics also involves detailed interaction with federal contractors that supply most of the department’s material – requiring specialized skills and experience for optimum mission support. Military organizations and DOD agencies face an important decision when choosing a company to develop and sustain automated data systems for logistics and supply chain management
The four keys to choosing a partner
In our experience, you should look for these four key traits in a potential logistics IT partner:
- Deep understanding of the laws, policies and directives that govern military logistics. An extensive array of prescribing guidance controls DOD logistics resources and operations, due to huge dollar values and critical national security importance at stake. Know this turf to gain successful development and sustainment of enabling information technology.
- Subject-matter experts who understand defense logistics processes. In addition to knowing the rules and regulations, a capable IT partner will have resident experts in logistics, supply chain and organizational change management. They must understand the who, what, when, where, how and why of combat and supporting processes in order to make the best choices for system development and sustainment.
- Continuous benchmarking. Status quo dooms logistics in a world where every other competitor continuously moves forward. The right partner company knows what state-of-the-art looks like and where it will try to go in the future.
- Business process re-engineering expertise. Your partner should know more than current best practices. The best partner companies can improve existing systems, and also find or design new ones. These companies balance total cost of ownership tradeoffs with performance execution excellence to bring an optimal solution to the DOD logistics leaders.
The CGI Federal Advantage
We have long had a strong defense logistics capability. You can see it in things such as our Total Asset Visibility (TAV) program. TAV benefits military operations by enabling pre-positioning of resources where they will soon be needed, whether weapons, vehicles, spare parts or personnel. It also enables military branches to see what other branches have on hand and borrow equipment, rather than requisitioning it and awaiting delivery.
Our strengths include a long-running inventory control contract with the U.S. Marine Corps, at the Marine Corps Platform Integration Center (MCPIC). Moreover, CGI’s acquisition of Sunflower Systems in 2019 added a power suite of asset management solutions to CGI’s portfolio. Asset management isn’t limited to logistics, but does contribute to effective logistics operations.
CGI Federal acquired Array Holding Company, Inc. (ARRAY) in October 2021, adding capabilities and experience in defense logistics to its already extensive resources. As part of this acquisition, I joined CGI Federal, along with other key ARRAY staff members, and brought our extensive DOD portfolio. We’re proud of our strong past performance, and the strength of our core team for current and future projects.
Prior to becoming part of CGI, ARRAY supported DOD IT programs at 270 worldwide locations. Our work was important in 34 enterprise IT programs, with 58 data systems supporting over 800,000 end users.