Thanks for the interview with Major Bob Curran in DC VELOCITY's May 2005 issue. It was very descriptive of the hostile environment encountered by those charged with "battlefield distribution." Our military folks are really good at overcoming the obstacles in the "last mile." They are masters of the "enema solution." However, they aren't as good as private-sector logisticians at improving the processes upstream and avoiding the need for an enema the next time.
As a teacher for the last four years, I've done some thinking about the art of fixing supply chain funnel networks. Instead of the usual metaphor of static supply chain links, I'm using the image of "funnel networks" to demonstrate the need to "see" and "feel" the dynamics of materials in motion. I've had a great reaction to my use of funnels of various sizes and shapes that are connected in sequence from the factory to the foxhole. Class groups actually learn by testing flow-related issues with various "products" ranging from beans to BBs. It's a simple visual approach that could be applied in almost any distribution scenario.
It would be great to see more articles on how other "funnel fixers" are successfully improving the velocity and efficiency of their supply chains. Just an idea from one of your many faithful reader fans.
Roger W. Kallock
Chagrin Consulting Associates
Former Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Logistics & Materiel Readiness)