Several logistics reforms may help to transform U.S. Army logistics requirement from WWII/Cold War Era to meet the needs of modern warfare. These reforms include the connection of Army logisticians in a manner that provides a secure communication and information network across the entire supply chain, modernizing the distribution so that it can support the rapid and precise actions for ground combat forces. The third reform is improving force reception to increase capacity to deploy forces at long distances, rapidly and without large footprints. The last reform is integrating the supply chain in order to ensure necessary flow of supplies to war fighters. Other reforms include the adoption of sense and respond logistics and modularity.

For U.S. Army logistics to meet the needs of modern warfare, they need to connect with the Army in a manner that provides a secure communication and information across the entire supply chain. In this transformation, the logisticians need to access information on the battleship situational awareness that is available to the operational staff or intelligence community. Furthermore, the logisticians need to communicate electronically with suppliers, logistical staff and supporters.

The logistics distribution systems need to be modernized in order to meet the needs of modern warfare. The army can consider adopting the modular systems in its logistics distribution systems. This system will allow for the simplification of the current maintenance systems from multiple levels of maintenance to two levels of maintenance. This will help to reduce material handling time and increase the speed of delivery of configured loads to the designated units. It can also consider modernizing the current set of Division Support Commands and Corps Support Commands. This will improve the adaptability and flexibility of the army to the needs of the commanders.

The army should consider improving force reception in the theater or area of operation. This can be achieved by ensuring total visibility of the supply network, capacity to adapt organizationally to the changing situation and reach back capability. It should also ensure that it maintains high security to all its supply units.  This is because supply lines are major targets for hostile forces and, thus, it is necessary to include better combat training in force protection. It is also necessary to improve security for combat support and combat service support personnel operating the convoys.

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The army should consider integrating the supply chain in order to meet the needs of the modern warfare. Through integration of the supply chain, the supply chain will be integrated with the joint transportation system, thus, ensuring a joint end-to-end view of the entire logistic enterprise. This will help in the reduction of unnecessary service organization, thus, identifying a single proponent of logistics transformation. The Army is considering reorganizing its prepositioned stock into more flexible regional fleets.

The Army should consider adopting sense and respond logistics and modularity in order to meet the needs of modern warfare. Sense and respond logistics help the Army to adequately track and predict supply and support needs of operating units. It also ensures that battleship situational awareness is accurate, timely and comprehensive. The Army should also consider adopting modularity. In the concept of modularity, the army will concentrate on creating a modular organization consisting of greater number of combat units and flexible structure for organizing force packages that are mission specific.

Question 2

Based on the green transportation article, Good practices in freight transport in EU, please identify the changes and the related improvement that can help reduce cost, carbon footprint, pollution, or traffic congestion

Based on the green transportation article, there are several changes and related improvements that can help reduce costs, carbon footprint, pollution or traffic congestion. These changes include technological improvements in vehicles, so that vehicles use cleaner fuels, cleaner engines and have energy efficient truck designs. In addition to this, logistic companies may consider training their drivers, switching to an environmentally friendly mode of transport, city logistics and reducing the actual numbers of vehicles running, vehicle kilometers and tone kilometers.

A company can reduce cost, carbon footprint and pollution if it improves the technology used by its vehicles. Examples of vehicle technological improvements include using electronic control systems, modification of engine systems and exhaust systems and use of new fuels. If a company uses fuels with low sulphur or alternative fuels such as liquid petroleum gas, then it will reduce air pollution. If a company modifies its engine systems, then it will reduce its levels of fuel consumption. Reduction in fuel consumption reduces repair costs and insurance premiums since the drivers will be driving these vehicles carefully. TNT in UK modified its engine systems and vehicles and it was able to save its fuel costs.

Driver training and behavior can help to reduce costs and traffic congestion. This is because when drivers undergo training, they are taught on how to avoid and reduce traffic congestion. Furthermore, through training of drivers, they are taught on how to drive carefully in order to reduce accidents. This reduces the money that a company would spend in paying for insurance premiums due to accidents. Driver behavior uses technology such as satellite positioning systems, real time data logging and direct communication with drivers. This helps to reduce fuel consumption costs since drivers have to conform to the company’s policy on fuel consumption.

A company will be able to reduce costs, carbon footprint, pollution and traffic congestion if it switches to more environmentally friendly mode of transport. Coastal shipping, waterway and rail have lower levels of noise emission compared to road freight. A company will, thus, reduce the levels of noise pollution if it adopts coastal shipping or waterway transport compared to road freight. Furthermore, a company will reduce road congestion if it adopts combined road and railway transport. Moreover, this mode of transport may help a company to reduce its transportation costs, especially when transporting goods over long distances. ETC BV in Netherlands and ICA in Sweden have used combined road and railway transport and they have managed to save many costs.      

A company may also consider reducing vehicle numbers, vehicle kilometers and tone kilometers in order to save costs, reduce pollution, carbon footnote and traffic congestion. Logistic companies may consider using hub and spoke systems in order to achieve this. In this system, consignments from different companies may be bulked up and transported in one trip.  ASDA chains in UK, Schenker Eurocargo and Otto Versand use this system. Coca-Cola and Schweppes have encouraged onsite bottling that has helped in reducing transportation costs. A company can also reduce total vehicle kilometers by developing computer-based logistics and communication systems. This results in protection of the environment, reduction of vehicle traffic and costs.

Logistic companies may also consider adapting city logistics in order to save costs; reduce pollution, carbon footnotes and traffic congestion. It involves setting up new partnerships and styles of cooperation between all those in the logistics and in delivering or receiving goods in city centers. It helps in reducing vehicle kilometers and truck numbers and, thus, this helps in reducing pollution, carbon footnotes, costs and traffic congestion. In Germany, City Logistik partnership helped to reduce the number of lorries and improve the urban environment. 

Question 3

Position yourself as a senior buyer of a (computer, furniture, clothing, etc.) company that designs all products but out-sources 100% production to overseas suppliers. You are required to produce a brief statement and the code of conduct to manage the social and environmental responsibility related to both supply and supplier.

Brief statement to manage the social and environmental responsibility of the suppliers

Smart Furniture is a company that sells excellent furniture ranging from office supplies to home supplies. We outsource 100% of our production from overseas suppliers.  It is our company’s policy to maintain social and environmental responsibility in all our products and, thus, it is  at our most expectation that all our suppliers will fulfill the same.

Smart Furniture’s Code of conduct

Social Responsibility to suppliers

Suppliers can expect from Smart Furniture

  • To be reliable in all their operations
  • To contribute to effective modes of production
  • To adapt our products to production
  • To take care of the environment

Working Conditions

Smart Furniture expects all our suppliers to be socially responsible to its workers by respecting their human rights and treating their work with fairness and respect.

Suppliers must

  • Provide a safe and healthy working environment for its workers
  • Pay them legal minimum wages
  • If they provide them with housing facilities, they should ensure that they maintain privacy

Suppliers must not

  • Use forced or bonded labor
  • Discriminate workers
  • Use illegal overtime

Suppliers must

  • Reduce wastes and harmful emissions
  • Reuse and recycle materials
  • Handle chemicals in an environmentally safe way

Suppliers must not

  • Use wood originating from natural parks
  • Use chemical products that are harmful to the environment

Brief statement to manage the social and environmental responsibility of the supplies

Smart Furniture ensures that all its supplies maintain environmental and social responsibility. This is because the environment provides us with the raw materials for manufacturing our furniture products and, thus, we should show responsibility to it. Furthermore, workers are responsible for selling our supplies and, thus, we should be socially responsible to them.

Social responsibility to supplies

  • Our company does not accept child labor
  • We do not operate on illegal overtime
  • Our company always provides safe and healthy working environment for all workers handling supplies
  • We pay legal minimum wages and compensate for overtime on workers handling all our supplies
  • We do not use forced or bonded labor
  • We do not discriminate the employees handling our supplies

Environmental responsibility to supplies

  • Our supplies should be manufactured from responsibly managed forests
  • Timber must be felled in accordance with national and regional forestry protection laws
  • Timber must not originate from plantations or subtropical regions that were planted to replace intact national forests
  • We should reduce carbon dioxide emissions, originating from transportation of products and people to and from the stores
  • We should use flat packs to help reduce the emission levels
  • All companies, distributing our supplies, should produce their environmental performance sheet to help us determine whether they help in the efforts of environmental protection
  • All our distribution centers should consider reducing their levels of energy consumption
  • We should consider using renewable sources of energy, while managing our supplies
  • We should consider working on waste reduction
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