Weapon System Sustainment Management

A Concept for Revolutionizing the Army Logistics System

by John Dumond, Rick Eden, John R. Folkeson


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This documented briefing advocates a comprehensive concept for managing the Army and DoD logistics systems — Weapon System Sustainment Management (WSSM) — and illustrates the concept by drawing on several RAND logistics studies. To meet future threats, the logistics system must become much leaner, more flexible, and more responsive. The most successful commercial firms have developed these same characteristics by adapting a new management paradigm. WSSM applies similar management concepts to improve the Army logistics system. WSSM identifies three strategies that can help the logistics system achieve improved performance at lower cost. The first strategy is to focus the entire system on meeting the needs of the "customer" (i.e., the operational commander). The second strategy is to design and redesign weapon systems to be more supportable. The third strategy calls for changes in the structure of the logistics system so that it depends less on mass and more on the speed and accuracy of its processes (repair, distribution, etc.). WSSM integrates much RAND logistics research conducted over the past several decades and is influencing Army and DoD policymakers through projects for several sponsors.

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