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Military Analytics Expert Sees Tens Of Billions In Supply Chain Efficiencies As Alternative To Looming Pentagon Force Structure Reductions

March 21, 2012

The Defense Department, faced with cuts of what Secretary Leon Panetta said could be $487 billion over the next ten years, can find tens of billions of dollars in cost reductions by better aligning the Pentagon supply chain rather than imposing precipitous reductions to the uniformed forces, according to a former Army colonel who is speaking at a conference hosted by the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS®), the premier organization for advanced analytics professionals.

The INFORMS Military Applications Society Conference takes place at the Hyatt Regency Hotel & Spa in Monterey, California from March 27-28. The speakers examine the ways that advanced analytics and operations research can address pressing problems faced by the American military today.

“Tens of billions of dollars can be saved by properly aligning the way the Defense Department supplies the armed services with what can be described in business terms as actual customer demand,” said Dr. Greg Parlier, a retired Army colonel who is currently a consultant and a member of the adjunct research staff at the Institute for Defense Analyses. Dr. Parlier is currently serving as president of the INFORMS Military Applications Society (MAS).

In his 2011 book, “Transforming U.S. Army Supply Chains: Strategies of Management Innovation,” published by Business Expert Press, Dr. Parlier argues that advanced analytical techniques, management innovation, and especially operations research can be used both to reduce unnecessary inventory and better support tactical units in the field, thus finding savings by eliminating unneeded supplies rather than sacrificing crucial manpower.

“These techniques can also be used to answer questions like, ℠What´s the impact of a billion dollar cut in the operations and support account?´” he said. “Right now, we are forced to wing it.”

Dr. Parlier is available for interview.

Recalling his service in the Pentagon during the 1990s in the wake of the Cold War drawdown in military spending, Col. Parlier expressed concern about again sharply reducing forces with the end of the American military commitment to Iraq and the anticipated 2014 drawdown in Afghanistan. Sharp cuts, he maintains, leave the United States insufficiently prepared for a future conflict.

The meeting will include papers on the military and operations research/analytics, with topics about:

    Metrics and Algorithms for Detecting Suicide Bombers
    Strategic Conflict in Cyberspace
    Logistics Innovation
    Decision Support
    Warfighter Technology Trade-space
    Assessing Spending in Iraq
    Cooperation Metrics
    Future Vertical/Lift Joint Multi-Role Technology

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