Supply Chain Management

A supply chain is the network of organizations—be they military, government, or private sector—involved in creating and delivering a product or service to a customer or consumer. RAND research on the management of supply chains has focused on both the efficiency and the security of civilian and military supply chains, with reports covering freight modernization, rail capacity and security, fuel taxes, and container inspection at ports.

  • Wood block stacking with icon healthcare medical, Insurance for your health concept, photo by marchmeena29/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Don't Waste This Crisis: How America Can Begin Building a System of Health

    COVID-19 is shining a harsh spotlight on long-recognized but under-addressed gaps in the U.S. health system. There may never have been a more pressing time to think differently, broadening from health care services to a health-producing System of Health.

    May 4, 2020

  • Laura Ng, who has lupus and had to recently call at least five pharmacies before she could find a place to fill her hydroxychloroquine prescription, in Seattle, Washington, March 31, 2020, photo by Lindsey Wasson/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Unintended Consequences of a Proposed Cure for COVID-19

    The very discussion of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine as therapeutic options against COVID-19 has decreased their availability for proven treatments, exacerbated global shortages, fueled a rampant counterfeit drug market in Africa, and worsened trade tensions. What can be done to deal with these unintended consequences?

    Apr 29, 2020

  • Commercial trucks cross over the Ambassador Bridge at the international border crossing during the COVID-19 outbreak, in Detroit, Michigan, March 18, 2020, photo by Rebecca Cook/Reuters

    Commentary

    Supply Chain Disruptions Due to COVID-19 and Social Distancing

    There are significant epidemiological and economic risks and uncertainties with physical distancing policies put into effect in the United States to reduce the growth of COVID-19. We have estimated the economy-wide impacts of a set of these policies to provide a sense of their likely economic toll.

    Apr 28, 2020

  • Blog

    Medical Supply Shortfalls, Parenting Through the Pandemic, North Korea: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on reducing medical supply shortfalls, understanding who's in charge during a pandemic, North Korea's nuclear blackmail, and more.

    Apr 17, 2020

  • An N95 respirator mask at a laboratory in Maplewood, Minnesota, March 4, 2020, photo by Nicholas Pfosi/Reuters

    Report

    How to Reduce Medical Supply Shortfalls During Pandemics

    Pandemics present a high risk of medical supply shortfalls. But shortfalls in “hot spot” regions could be reduced by minimizing idle inventory and acquisitions of new supplies in regions where the number of infections is low. A backstop mechanism could help assure these “cool spots” that, if they release supplies and delay acquiring new supplies, they will have priority access in the future.

    Apr 16, 2020

  • Agricultural workers clean carrot crops of weeds amid an outbreak of COVID-19 at a farm near Arvin, California, April 3, 2020, photo by Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

    Commentary

    Forgotten on the Frontlines of the Food Supply Chain

    The working and living conditions of farmworkers make practicing social distancing, self-isolation, or quarantine impossible. In the food supply, farmworkers are the first responders who keep the supply chains going. FEMA, the CDC, and state governments should include farmworkers and agricultural communities in their emergency response plans.

    Apr 3, 2020

  • Cyber warfare specialists engage in weekend training at Warfield Air National Guard Base in Middle River, Maryland, June 3, 2017, photo by J.M. Eddins Jr./U.S. Air Force

    Report

    The Defense Industrial Base Needs a Cyber Protection Program

    The unclassified networks of defense industrial base firms have become a target for adversaries seeking to steal sensitive data, trade secrets, and intellectual property. How can the U.S. Department of Defense better secure these networks?

    Mar 30, 2020

  • Sgt. Angie Novoa, a warehouse chief with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response-Africa, organizes a shelf in her warehouse on Naval Air Station Sigonella, Italy, Oct. 28, 2016, photo by Cpl. Alexander Mitchell/U.S. Marine Corps

    Report

    Right-Sizing Marine Corps Intermediate Supply Units: A Staffing Model and Proposed Process Improvements

    The authors present a methodology to determine optimal personnel capacity for Marine Corps intermediate-level supply accounts and other measures to help these accounts work more effectively and efficiently to meet supported units' needs.

    Oct 14, 2019

  • Processor pins of a microchip

    Commentary

    Examining the Weak Spots in Tech's Supply Chain Armor

    When an attack on the supply chain occurs, manufacturers and purchasers should be better positioned to respond and recover. Even the simplest devices can rely on parts from multiple suppliers, which may have their own suppliers and so on. But every supplier, no matter how small, represents a potential weak link in the chain.

    Oct 16, 2018

  • Report

    Naval Operational Supply System: Analysis of Alternatives

    The Department of the Navy asked the RAND Corporation to assist with the Analysis of Alternatives for modernization of its future operational supply, food service, and retail operations capability, the Naval Operational Supply System.

    Oct 11, 2018

  • An Armed Services Blood Program blood drive at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, May 28, 2014

    Report

    How to Protect the Joint Blood Supply Chain

    Ensuring that blood remains available and safe for the Joint military community requires sophisticated logistical support and a dependable supply chain. Some future operating environments could present challenges to the blood supply chain. What can be done to make it more resilient?

    Sep 24, 2018

  • Report

    Enhancing Air Force Materiel Command Support to the Warfighter

    This analysis recommends ways the Air Force Materiel Command and its centers, specifically the Air Force Sustainment Center (AFSC) and the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center (AFIMSC), can adapt and improve support to the warfighter.

    Jun 7, 2018

  • Report

    Increasing Cost-Effective Readiness for the U.S. Air Force by Reducing Supply Chain Variance: Technical Analysis of Flying Hour Program Variance

    Seeking to reduce the $4 billion that it spends annually on spare parts, the Air Force asked RAND researchers to identify the causes and gauge the effects of flying hour variance (the difference between predicted and actual numbers of flying hours).

    Apr 10, 2018

  • Large container of ripe tomatoes in front of tractors

    Q&A

    Justice for Florida Farmworkers: Q&A with Susan Marquis

    In her new book, Susan Marquis takes readers inside the fight in Florida tomato fields. She traces the history and victories of a grassroots group of farmworkers and community leaders who wrested better wages and working conditions from major tomato growers and their corporate buyers.

    Dec 15, 2017

  • Women work at a tungsten mining factory in Zhongshan, China, June 2, 2017

    Testimony

    Taking Action Against U.S. Import Dependence

    When a country that controls its materials production dominates the supply chain for a critical material—as China does with tungsten—it's harder for American manufacturers to compete. But the United States can take steps to help mitigate this issue.

    Dec 12, 2017

  • Farm workers harvesting yellow bell peppers in California

    Commentary

    Campaign for Fair Food Makes a Real Difference

    The Fair Food Program protects farmworkers while providing corporations with transparency in their supply chains and tremendous brand protection. It has been widely recognized for improving agricultural working conditions and for changing the culture of America's farm fields.

    Aug 25, 2017

  • Report

    Army Stock Positioning: How Can Distribution Performance Be Improved?

    This report analyzes how the U.S. Army can improve its distribution of heavy secondary items that account for a small proportion of the overall number of items the Army must ship to users but comprise a large proportion of the weight it ships.

    Aug 14, 2017

  • 3D printer in action

    Report

    3D Printing: Downstream Production Transforming the Supply Chain

    This Perspective describes potential uses of 3D printing in a military context to help the U.S. Department of Defense understand future impacts on the supply chain and the structural and policy changes that might be required to support these efforts.

    Aug 11, 2017

  • Dissertation

    Let There Be Light: Green Industrial Policy and Energy Access in India

    Explores the competitiveness of India's domestic manufacturing across the supply chain; barriers and enablers to developing a domestic industry; and the cost of industrial policy support.

    Feb 27, 2017

  • Report

    Developing a Capacity Assessment Framework for Marine Logistics Groups

    This report provides a capacity assessment framework to assist each of the Marine Logistics Groups, or any size unit, in determining the ability of logistics units to meet current and projected tasks.

    Feb 20, 2017