In his essay, The Way to Wealth, Benjamin Franklin wrote:
“For want of a nail the shoe was lost, for want of a shoe the horse was lost; and for want of a horse the rider was lost; being overtaken and slain by the enemy, all for want of care about a horse-shoe nail.”
One of the most overwhelming characteristics of defence supply chains is the shear magnitude of the inventories concerned. A recent assessment of the UK Ministry of Defence landscape identified some 500 million SKUs, a large proportion of which (compared to other sectors) are deemed to be critical spares. That represents an awful lot of warehousing personnel, processes and procedures, and therefore cost, to manage.