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LOG 430 GU Supply Chain Strategy for Walmart Internal Value Chain Essay

LOG 430 GU Supply Chain Strategy for Walmart Internal Value Chain Essay

Question Description

Complete a Supply Chain Management paper either using personal experience or a selected fortune 500 company that elaborates on the internal value chain, degree of supply chain integration, and associated SCM road map.

The requirements below must be met for your paper to be accepted and graded:

  • Write between 750 – 1,250 words (approximately 3 – 5 pages) using Microsoft Word in APA style, see example below.
  • Use font size 12 and 1” margins.
  • Include cover page and reference page.
  • At least 80% of your paper must be original content/writing.
  • No more than 20% of your content/information may come from references.
  • Use at least three references from outside the course material, one reference must be from EBSCOhost. Text book, lectures, and other materials in the course may be used, but are not counted toward the three reference requirement.
  • Cite all reference material (data, dates, graphs, quotes, paraphrased words, values, etc.) in the paper and list on a reference page in APA style.

References must come from sources such as, scholarly journals found in EBSCOhost, CNN, online newspapers such as, The Wall Street Journal, government websites, etc. Sources such as, Wikis, Yahoo Answers, eHow, blogs, etc. are not acceptable for academic writing.


Strategy is the lifeline for every organization seeking long-term sustainability. The Department of Defense (DoD) is no different in using a standardized framework known as the Defense Acquisition Management System (DAMS) model. The DAMS model is an interdisciplinary approach and process map for program managers in developing Major Defense Acquisition Programs (MDAP) and Major Automated Information Systems (MAIS) strategies. Having worked in the Department of Defense for the past 15 years, I have gained a significant amount of respect for this model, which leverages DoD development and sustainment capabilities of weapon systems, that enhance our nation’s national security posture.

As with any corporation, the Department of Defense (DoD) publishes strategic goals and objectives, which charters federal and military agencies toward a three to five year plan. Narrowing our focus to the Information Technology (IT) realm offers a key example using the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR), an organization under the Department of Navy (DON). Their 2012 through 2016 strategic plan embodies guiding principles, their mission, and strategic goals. The guiding principles presented correlate directly to the United State Navy ethos and mission as the Fleet is the customer and comes first to deliver valued-added products followed by investing in people, and sponsoring innovation through collaboration, accountability, and transparency. SPAWAR’s mission as the “Navy’s Information Dominance Systems Command is to provide capabilities in the fields of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; cyber warfare; command and control; information and knowledge management; communication systems; and enabling technologies including meteorology and oceanography.

SPAWAR programs and projects cover the full life-cycle from research and development, system-of-systems engineering, test and evaluation, acquisition, installations and in-service support” (SPAWAR, 2012). Figure one below represents SPAWAR’s strategies relevant to the DON vision and associated tenets.

The three SPAWAR strategies include:

  1. Maintain, modernize, and integrate the existing fleet
  2. Build affordable future information dominance capability
  3. Develop a premier information dominance acquisition workforce

Each strategy feeds the guiding principles and brings to fruition the SPAWAR vision as related to the DON tenets and vision. These factors are critical in developing the logistics and supply chain initiatives, tasks, and deliverables that make this vision a reality. SPAWAR hosts over 67 cybersecurity programs valued at over $10 billion. SPAWAR is a competency-based organization with Program Executive Offices (PEOs) that were established and organized to develop, manage, and maintain systems applicable to a System of Systems (SoS) concept. Employees across the organization rigorously train to learn and effectively use the DAMS process to manage program performance, costs, schedules, and risks. Prior to explaining the DAMS process, each student is introduced to SoS systems to better understand how IT technologies are grouped in today’s global markets.

System of Systems (SoS)

Thomas, Capshaw, and Franken (2010) define SOS as “an amalgam of individual systems, each of which is designed to perform a specific function” (p. 439). SOS interoperability has caused engineering, IT, and logistics challenges based on hardware configurations and software non-compatibility based on corporate proprietary knowledge associated with the requisition of commercial products and software technologies.

Engineers “find it much easier to conduct evaluations of individual systems because the parameters, threats, and variables that are part of the individual system’s tests are not complicated or influenced by other systems” which create supply support and logistics challenges (Thomas, Capshaw, and Franken, 2010, p. 440). Not only are inventories and fill-rates impacted, but multiple systems dispel complex relationships requiring disparate training, where failures are not always prevalent. Only by testing the individual systems versus the interoperability on ships, aircraft, or operations centers with other operational systems, are problems identified such as degraded bandwidth, systems glitches or failures, or failure at the strategic level.

Milestone A

Each program supported always begins with the Materials Solution Analysis (MSA) and Technology Development (TD) phases under milestone A (MS A), or the pre-systems acquisition phase. Key logistics leaders formally recognized as Product Support Managers (PSM) are a critical part of the program management team and work closely with engineers, finance, contracts, Information Assurance (IA), military stakeholders and other program management personnel to determine the weapon system needs associated to support objectives. Determining a military warfighter need versus the supportability objectives is often the most critical element required to initiate the acquisition process, as there is often great ambiguity and complexity associated with the customer need. Figure two below represents the DAMS framework surrounding weapon system development.

The System Acquisition Framework represents an event-based process model followed by a series of milestones with entry and exit decision points authorizing the transition between program phases. The MS A phase normally begins upon the receipt of an Initial Capabilities Document (ICD) received from the military (customer) component describing a particular weapon system need to sustain our national security posture. By conducting an Analysis of Alternatives (AoA) and researching alternative maintenance and sustainment concepts across existing joint-military service weapon systems a determination for a new weapon system or modernization of an existing weapon system emerges.

Milestone B

The MS B is a Milestone Decision Authority (MDA) led decision that marks the official beginning of a program. MS B reflects the completion of the Technology Development phase certifying that the program is affordable and can meet the established performance objectives as well as scheduled requirements. The Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase focuses on building a system or increment of capability and designing-in critical supportability tenets to ensure material availability and reliability with particular attention to reducing the logistics footprint. Ultimately, the EMD phase efforts lead to the integration of end-item components and subsystems into an operational and supportable system.

Milestone C

Upon fully developing a system that satisfies an operational capability, the next phase is the Production and Deployment, during which the system is piloted to an end-user. Logistics and supply activities include managing the product baseline, risk assessments, the Life Cycle Sustainment Plan (LCSP) and other product elements that feed the supportability and health of the program throughout the life cycle. Lastly, the Operations and Support Phase objectives are to execute and support the program fully in meeting performance requirements, which includes sustaining the system in the most cost-effective manner over the total life cycle.

Total Life Cycle Systems Management

A plethora of information follows a system throughout the entire lifecycle from conception until disposal. Throughout each phase of the DAMS process DoD acquisition managers conduct thorough analyses, System Engineering Technical Reviews (SETR) events along with entrance and exit criteria (finalized system products) supporting each milestone, but also feeding back to the organizational strategy. Strategic factors related to logistics and supply managers include measuring the design commonality versus unique materials based on cost factors, demand, and availability burdens. System intricacies also lead to additional maintenance schedule complexities at the organization, intermediate, and Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) to include higher cost burdens. Measuring each aspect falls in line with the system support plan. A Business Case Analysis (BCA) is updated at milestones B and C, to measure the material technology and maturity readiness, component integration, IT commonalities, user functionality, and cost associations, which are fed to organizational executives, known as the Milestone Decision Authority (MDA) who approve or disapprove the program to move forward.


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