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Value recovery, in the form of the return and repair of reparable spare parts, involves large amounts of time as well as inventory investment for the Army. Sometimes it is cheaper to buy a new part rather than repair, but some parts are so expensive that it makes economic sense to repair them and return them to the inventory, typically as spares to replace other broken assemblies. This monograph reports on metrics developed to evaluate the retrograde processes and establishes a performance baseline in fiscal year 2000. The data collected indicated the presence of long repair times: over a month for items repaired below depot and returned to stock. It took an average of 82 days to move an item to depot for repair. These data suggest that the process has substantial potential for improvement. The authors suggest ways to speed up the movement of parts through the system to minimize the size of the parts inventory.

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The research described in this report was sponsored by the United States Army and conducted by the RAND Arroyo Center.

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