Improving Inventory Management of Organizational Clothing and Individual Equipment at Central Issue Facilities

by Carol E. Fan, Elvira N. Loredo

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Research Questions

  1. How can managers at Central Issue Facilities make the most efficient replenishment decisions?
  2. How can the Army make better use of existing organizational clothing and individual equipment (OCIE) inventory?

The Army's Central Issue Facilities (CIFs) do not have a formal mechanism signaling when to review inventory levels and when and whether to requisition items. Logistics leaders need a routinized inventory review process to help improve inventory management practices. The current process is based on managers' experience and expert judgment, which are not always empirically based, and because of local differences, is executed unevenly and typically infrequently. As a result, there is a perception that many CIFs have significantly more clothing and equipment inventory than required to meet soldiers' needs. The report appendices provide an in-depth description of how inventory levels should be set, including which items to order, when to order, and how much to order. They also address the question of how to identify materiel that is available for lateral transfer.

Key Findings

The Army can reduce its expenditures for organizational clothing and individual equipment (OCIE) by reducing wholesale replenishments and increasing lateral transfers between CIFs

  • A RAND-developed algorithm can be used to determine when to replenish CIF inventories and the quantity to replenish.
  • A 2010 pilot test showed improved performance at CIFs, with a reduction in expenditures for replenishments while maintaining high performance in meeting soldiers' needs.


  • Central Issue Facilities should adopt a standard, data-driven approach to help managers make replenishment decisions.
  • The Army should increase lateral transfers of OCIE items between CIFs in order to reduce orders from the wholesale system.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    A Standard, Data-Driven Approach to Help CIF Managers Make Replenishment Decisions

  • Chapter Three

    Increasing Lateral Transfers

  • Appendix A

    Overview of Peak Issue Methodology Algorithms

  • Appendix B

    Original Issue and Turn-In History

  • Appendix C

    Drop List

  • Appendix D

    Substitutable/Replaced List

  • Appendix E

    Proxy NSN List

  • Appendix F

    Set Component List

  • Appendix G

    No Turn-In List

  • Appendix H

    Input Files to Inventory Levels Algorithm

  • Appendix I

    CIF Inventory Levels Algorithm

  • Appendix J

    Input Files to Retention Levels Algorithm

  • Appendix K

    CIF Retention Levels Algorithm

Research conducted by

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

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