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A commodity management process for the South African Navy
Transformation brought many changes to the South African Navy (SAN). The "old way" of provisioning, which involved spending enormous amounts of money on maintaining high stock levels and running supply processes through an overly large staff component, is over. The new Navy will have to survive with fewer funds and a reduced staff. This changed circumstance calls for a more efficient and effective provisioning process. The current provisioning process handed down from pre-transformation days is outdated and totally obsolete. The result is that Commodity Managers (CMs) do not have an adequate process for the planning, decision-making and control functions of their supply support activities. This absence of an updated, clearly defined provisioning process is causing poor end-user service delivery. This research project starts with a literature survey (Chapter 2) in which published practices are reviewed to substantiate the need for and importance of a process that includes planning, decision-making and control. This research concentrates on government and military practices and investigates processes that support operational planning and sustainability levels. It also includes the principles of logistics and articles on lessons learnt by other military organisations. The second step involves interviews with provisioning managers of similar organisations to the SAN (Chapter 3). The result of these interviews identifies new and interesting concepts that may assist in achieving a more effective provisioning system within the SAN. A statistical investigation (Chapter 4) involving provisioning data provides insight into the bottlenecks and highlights the need for a provisioning-package process-smoothing capability. Interviews with SAN members (Chapter 5) provides insight into the input interface challenges and identifies the need for a tracking system that gives a real-time indication of requirement progress. The findings of this research provides recommendations (Chapter 6) at national strategic, military strategic, operational and tactical levels regarding the planning, decision-rnaking and control functions that will lead to the establishment of a valid provisioning process for the Commodity Management subsection of the SAN. This will ensure that a standard process is followed enabling the effective provisioning of SAN end users using fewer funds and with a reduced staff.
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