Enterprise Simulation and Optimization Lab (eSOL)
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DOD - Navy

Memphis, Tenn.—June 7, 2006

The FedEx Center for Supply Chain Management announced today that the United States Navy contracted with the University of Memphis to explore the applicability of supply chain management to the problem of human resource management within the Navy. The main objective of this project is to apply the principles of value stream mapping and its related toolkit to the Navy’s manpower, personnel, training, and education processes.

The Navy system for recruiting, training, assigning, developing and retaining Sailors consists of numerous semi-autonomous organizations whose interdependence is well known but not well understood. Each organization within the personnel network maintains independent operational and strategic data systems, measures success locally, and makes decisions without full visibility into the impacts their decisions have on the extended enterprise. The Navy is exploring supply chain management techniques for improving business processes across their enterprise as well as for strategic planning in an effort to overcome the inherent inefficiency of independently operating organizations.

The Navy’s Personnel Supply Chain (NPSC) has a number of unique features. First, the main entities of the NPSC are human, with their own unique complexities, rather than inanimate products. Second, the NPSC is a spiral supply chain, where the end customers utilize the products at each stage of completion for a period of time before they are re-processed to the next level of completion. The end customer will differ from one cycle of product completion to the next. This pattern of product utilization and re-processing continues throughout a Sailor’s career. In the NPSC, the product life cycle is the personnel service life, which may exceed 30 years. These unique features differentiate the NPSC from traditional supply chains. Successfully adapting traditional supply chain metrics such as cost and cycle time to the area of human resources management is an extremely important achievement from academic, industry, and military perspectives.

The initial scope of this project focuses on supply chain processes in Navy career fields and their related rank structures, including the interconnections across career fields. Successful demonstration of the efficacy of supply chain principles could lead to their adoption across the entire force of 350,000 active duty Sailors and 200,000 Navy Reservists worldwide.

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enterprise Simulation and Optimization Lab (eSOL)
365 Innovation Drive, Suite 201
FedEx Institute of Technology
The University of Memphis
Memphis, Tennessee 38152-3115

Office:  901-678-3691
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E-mail: ledwrds1@memphis.edu

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