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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Bresler

Research in Defense Logistics: Where Are We And Where Are We Going?

Amanda Bresler was published in the Journal of Defense Analytics and Logistics.

View the full article in the attached PDF. An excerpt is included below.

A series of four questions were posed to the panel of experts to better understand the current state of military logistics and supply chain research and opportunities for advancing knowledge in this domain. Each of the questions and responses from the panelists, in alphabetical order, are provided below.

Q1.Briefly describe your activities and expertise in military logistics/supply chain management research.

Amanda Bresler: My expertise in military logistics/supply chain management stems in part from my role as Chief Strategy Officer at PW Communications, a firm with more than 22 years of experience supporting federal and commercial clients – including many of the world’s largest Department of Defense (DoD) contractors; and in part from extensive research I undertook in 2018, evaluating the efficacy of DoD-backed innovation programs as a means of enhancing the adoption of new technologies force-wide. It became apparent to me through my research that the DoD’s innovation challenges are, in large part, logistics and supply chain management challenges. Specifically, my research evaluated the distribution of more than 1.29 million DoD contract awards over seven years, across a data set of more than 8,000 recipients of DoD-sponsored Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Rapid Innovation Fund (RIF) awards. The analyses sought to determine how program participants performed in the broader defense market, in the years following their innovation program award. The research results produced several critical findings, including the fact that the majority of small, innovative companies that participate in DoD-backed innovation programs achieve no meaningful growth in their direct DoD business after program completion; and participants’ capabilities rarely diffuse to DoD stakeholders outside of their initial branch sponsor. To better understand the reasons for these issues, I conducted qualitative research in the form of surveys and interviews of individuals from three stakeholder groups: participants in DoD-backed innovation programs; program managers from DoD-backed innovation programs; and general members of the DoD community. Based on these research findings, I make a series of recommendations for how to improve innovation programs to enable the military to better leverage its broad “innovation portfolio,” and to improve the DoD’s ability to identify, engage and retain the best and brightest innovative suppliers.

One of my primary research recommendations argues for the creation of a centralized repository of information about the companies that participate in DoD-backed innovation programs so that DoD stakeholders can more easily access this information and engage with mission-tested, innovative suppliers. I used my research to promote important policy changes with leaders from Capitol Hill and across the DoD, and in the process, I have gained an even greater understanding of the DoD’s current supply chain and logistics environment.

View the full article in the PDF below or read it here.

JDAL_Research in Defense Logistics
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