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.

  • Unloading cargo from a C-141 Starlifter


    Improving Defense Logistics Agency Supply Chain Agility

    The DLA supplies common military items to the armed services and others while seeking to achieve customer service goals and minimize cost. When demand for an item rises unexpectedly, providing effective customer service is challenging, and when demand falls, the DLA can be left with the sunk cost of excess inventory. Continuous attention to supply chain agility is needed.

    Jan 5, 2015

  • Farm workers sort tomatoes at a ranch in Mexico


    'Product of Mexico': Why Have Corporate/Social Responsibility Programs Failed?

    The Fair Food Program has been a leader in using cooperation, visibility, and accountability to meet the needs of workers, growers, and buyers. Can it be a model for addressing these critical issues in Mexico as well?

    Dec 12, 2014

  • Report


    Findings from Existing Data on the Department of Defense Industrial Base

    Existing federal data can identify subcontractors in the defense supply base, their socioeconomic status, and the vulnerability of contractors and subcontractors to environmental risks and changes in their federal prime and subcontract revenue.

    Nov 6, 2014

  • Report

    Transforming Compliance: Emerging Paradigms for Boards, Management, Compliance Officers, and Government

    These proceedings summarize the discussions and include the white papers from a symposium about compliance as a field, factors that are likely to contribute to its transformation, and practical implications for key stakeholder groups.

    Sep 15, 2014

  • Report


    Small Business and Strategic Sourcing: Lessons from Past Research and Current Data

    Department of Defense (DoD) goals may conflict as DoD attempts to apply strategic-sourcing practices to reduce total costs and improve performance while maintaining a goal of spending about 23 percent of prime-contract dollars with small businesses.

    Aug 26, 2014

  • Launch vehicle lift-off for evolved expendable launch vehicle program


    Does Reliance on Foreign Component Supply Chains Put U.S. Launch Vehicles at Risk?

    While there are both risks and benefits of using foreign components in the U.S. Air Force Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program, the risk of potential supply interruption of most foreign components is manageable. To mitigate those risks, trade-offs of costs, schedules, and mission significance must be considered.

    Jul 16, 2014

  • Yool Kim and other witnesses at the July 16, 2014 joint hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Subcommittee on Strategic Forces and Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee


    Should the U.S. Rely on Russian Rocket Engines?

    One of the two launch vehicles that lift U.S. satellites into orbit depends on a rocket engine made by a company located in Russia. Russia's recent clashes with Ukraine and its claims on the Crimean peninsula have caused friction with the United States and thereby raised questions among U.S. policymakers about the potential for an interruption in the supply of the engines.

    Jul 16, 2014

  • Report


    Soldier-Portable Battery Supply: Foreign Dependence and Policy Options

    This report describes government and industry concerns associated with the foreign-dependent supply chain for batteries used by soldiers. It discusses alternative policy options to address these concerns.

    Mar 21, 2014

  • March to support the Fair Food Program


    Wal-Mart Chooses Fairness, Giving Farmworkers a Boost

    The recent commitment by Wal-Mart Stores to the Fair Food Program is a transformational moment in the decades-long struggle for fair treatment of agricultural workers in America but the decision is hardly the last human-rights battle to be won on behalf of this long-oppressed work force.

    Feb 7, 2014

  • Report

    Sourcing and Global Distribution of Medical Supplies

    Opportunities exist to gain efficiencies in the global military medical logistics enterprise without sacrificing capability, notably through minimizing intermediate materiel handling, seeking the greatest value from commercial freight, and streamlining warehouse operations.

    Jan 28, 2014

  • Airmen perform warehouse location checks at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., June 25, 2013


    Dispersing War Reserve Materiel

    Prepositioning of war reserve materiel is essential to rapid deployment of U.S. forces, but the existing centralized storage posture is not well suited to unpredictable deployments. Would dispersed storage be a better option?

    Nov 3, 2013

  • Report


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

    Army Central Issue Facilities (CIFs) do not have a formal mechanism signaling when to review inventory levels and when and whether to requisition items. RAND developed an algorithm that can be used to determine when and what quantity to replenish.

    Aug 5, 2013

  • Report


    Identifying and Managing Air Force Sustainment Supply Chain Risks

    Examines supply chain risk management, including evolving commercial and Air Force practices.

    Jul 2, 2013

  • Report


    China Is the Controlling Producer of Materials Critical to U.S. Manufacturing

    China is the controlling producer of 11 raw and semi-finished critical materials and has instituted export restrictions that create pressure to move manufacturing to China. Action is needed to mitigate the impact of such market distortions on the global manufacturing sector.

    Feb 11, 2013

  • Report


    A Gap Analysis of Life Cycle Management Commands and Best Purchasing and Supply Management Organizations

    The Army Materiel Command (AMC) asked RAND Arroyo Center to review its achievements in implementing best purchasing and supply management practices, and assess how it compares to commercial enterprises. Arroyo found that the AMC is making good progress in the area of personnel education levels, but is losing ground in the area of supplier analysis.

    Jan 7, 2013

  • Report


    Integrating the Department of Defense Supply Chain

    Provides a guide for the design and improvement of Department of Defense supply chain policy, structure, and management practices, along with associated opportunities for efficiency gains.

    Sep 4, 2012

  • G4S security at the London Olypmics 2012


    Drawing Right Lessons from the Olympic Security Debacle

    The way forward is not for the government to say no to outsourcing of sensitive functions, but to think carefully about which efficiency savings are real and which are, instead, a result of introducing a far greater degree of risk, writes James Gilbert.

    Jul 25, 2012

  • Container/cargo ship


    Revisiting 100% Inspection

    It is good that the congressmen have asked the Obama administration to revisit supply chain security. However, precipitous changes to how the global supply chain operates do not seem warranted, may not in fact improve security, and could have costly unintended consequences, writes Henry Willis.

    Jul 6, 2012

  • Trucks on a highway


    A Federal Role in Freight Planning and Finance

    Congestion within the U.S. freight system has increased dramatically in the past few decades, costing travelers, consumers, and businesses billions of dollars each year. A federal policy is offered to address the challenges faced by the U.S. freight network in an environment dominated by declining revenues and public resistance to increasing taxes.

    Mar 21, 2012

  • Report


    Best Practices in Supplier Relationship Management and Their Early Implementation in the Air Force Materiel Command

    Assesses the Air Force's Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) program, which seeks to help reduce the costs of logistics operations and improve their performance, and recommends actions that the Air Force could take to improve its SRM program.

    Feb 29, 2012