Cover: Best Practices in Developing Proactive Supply Strategies for Air Force Low-Demand Service Parts

Best Practices in Developing Proactive Supply Strategies for Air Force Low-Demand Service Parts

Published Jun 23, 2010

by Mary E. Chenoweth, Jeremy Arkes, Nancy Young Moore

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The Air Force uses thousands of different items to support its aircraft. Most of these parts seldom need replacement. Nevertheless, difficulties in attaining them can affect aircraft availability. Furthermore, some of these parts can be more difficult, and expensive, on average to manage, given that they may have relatively higher unit costs owing to fixed costs such as physical plants, manufacturing and repair equipment, and overhead being apportioned over a smaller total quantity of parts. The authors review Air Force purchases of “low-demand” parts, analyzing how much the Air Force spends on such parts and the types of parts that have a low demand. They then identify and synthesize best commercial purchasing and supply chain management practices used for developing supply strategies for such items. Finally, the authors recommend how the Air Force could improve its supply strategies for such items.

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The research described in this report was sponsored by the United States Air Force and conducted by RAND Project AIR FORCE.

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