LMI’s Logistics and Supply Chain Approach Emphasizes “Predictive”
LMI was born in 1961 as a logistics-focused organization and remains so today because it includes promising tools that can help federal agencies use data to better manage their supply chain.
With a new consortium of private equity investors, LMI seeks to capitalize more quickly on its clients’ desires to better master the intersection of technology with mission generally thought of strictly in the sense of manual labor.
Also consider that it’s hard to think of any other period in time where logistics and supply chain issues have dominated the agenda of governments and industries given what the COVID-19 pandemic has caused. and conflict-related disruptions in Ukraine and elsewhere.
“Overall, we find that all of our customers are concerned about managing supply chain risk,” LMI CEO Doug Wagoner told me. “It’s even more front and center, and it’s a data issue. Ultimately, logistics is about data.”
One area LMI is looking to do more is help agencies apply predictive analytics so they can identify issues early with fleets of all types of vehicles, indicating when they should be removed from the mission for the interview.
Field platforms are of course only one facet of the larger supply chain discussion. Wagoner said another priority for LMI and its government customers is to better predict when a pressure point appears in a supply chain during conflicts.
The above scenario could also involve how supply chain operators can pre-position items at certain locations and in a specific phase of the supply chain before issues arise, Wagoner told me.
Conversations with government customers on the subject of supply chain stability and resilience have been somewhat staggered, with the past year being the “a-ha moment” for everyone, as Wagoner said.
“Until you see the tangible effects of ‘I’m losing my prep, my prep is affected because I can’t get these parts, and I can’t get these parts because a factory closed for three months. in Wichita, Kansas, and oh by the way, one of the components of them is from an ally like Australia,” Wagoner said. “Now we’re going to work around and prioritize the issues, and fix the issues.”
Helping to inform Wagoner’s thinking on the broad topic of logistics and supply chain is a stint earlier in his career at the former Electronic Data Systems when that company was owned by General Motors.
The so-called “just-in-time inventory” was the prevailing philosophy at the time, as it was pre-pandemic, where the edict was to leave no parts on the shelf gathering dust.
“We made them so effective, and things were working so well, and then things started to go wrong, and we just didn’t realize that what we thought was so effective wasn’t necessarily resilient,” said said Wagoner. “Now is the time when you can reach a level of efficiency that doesn’t have the resilience you need.”
Wagoner warned that efficiency will always be a priority for supply chain management, so the practice of just-in-time inventory isn’t going away any time soon.
“It really comes down to predicting: if you can give me predictive metrics, I can still enjoy the efficiencies that I’ve built into all my supply chains, logistics, preparation and maintenance, but with resilience,” said Wagon.
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