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US Marines in massive supply chain overhaul

With its troops still fighting in Iraq, the US Marine Corp has embarked on an overhaul of its multibillion-pound supply chain.

With its troops still fighting in Iraq, the US Marine Corp has embarked on an overhaul of its multibillion-pound supply chain.

Earlier in the war, reports claimed that US forces had to pause their campaign due to problems maintaining a supply chain stretching hundreds of miles.

The supply chain project, known as Systems Realignment and Categorisation, was announced earlier this year. It will revamp the Marine Corps' entire IT architecture and business processes. The modules in the new supply chain will be rolled out over the next two years.

The core of the supply chain is based on Oracle's 11i enterprise software suite. It will create a single supply chain for the Marines, replacing the two supply chains currently used to support garrison units and soldiers deployed on active duty.

AT&T Government Solutions, analyst firm Gartner and KPMG are among the 35 suppliers working on the project.

The project is being driven by "the need to create an agile and flexible supply chain to enable the Marine Corps to respond to the new crises in the 21st century", according to a Marine Corp paper outlining its benefits.

A key challenge presented by the project will be to consolidate the Marine Corp's sprawling legacy systems to enable them to integrate with the new supply chain infrastructure. So far, 36 legacy systems have been scrapped. The old supply chain had more than 200 logistics applications, with little integration between them.

Some of the benefits of the supply chain overhaul identified by the Marine Corps include a cost reduction of up to $180m (£115m) and a 35%-50% reduction in order cycle time for products and services.

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