Logistics: The Need For Speed and Why It's Ignored


14, 2006:
By reexamining the "acquisition process" for AMRAAM (AIM-120D)
air-to-air missiles, the U.S. Air Force found that they could cut the time
required from 48 to 20 weeks. This is the amount of time required to shuffle
all the proper papers, get all the proper approvals and meet all the legal
requirements, before production of an item can actually begin. The air force
officials went back and started from scratch, and found that, over the years,
the acquisition process had picked up a lot of useless, or counterproductive,
features. With these superfluous items trimmed, the time to do the deed was
reduced by more than half. Normally, government bureaucrats do not like this
sort of efficiency, because it puts bureaucrats out of a job. This has
additional negative side-effects, as bureaucratic organizations measure their
power, partly by the number of people they employ. This sort of thing also
explains why new weapons and equipment get developed so quickly in wartime,
when the bureaucrats and their procedures can often be ignored.


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