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DoD needs `innovative logistics,' advises former LMI chief.

Adjustment to change is one of the biggest challenges confronting logisticians today, according to retired Army Gen. William G.T. Tuttle, Jr.

"It is a leadership problem at all levels--we've got to help people change," said Tuttle, who recently retired as President and Chief Executive Officer of the nonprofit Logistics Management Institute, of McLean, Va.

"The toughest problem is the cultural change," said Tuttle. "You've got to talk, show and review--over and over again."

Tuttle made the remarks April 18 at the monthly meeting of the Washington, D.C., chapter of the National Defense Transportation Association.

"We have to look at new ways of doing business," said Tuttle, referring to Army Transformation efforts. "You are seeking rapid deployment and force agility. You don't want to drag around a lot of stuff."

The solution for the military, suggested Tuttle, is "innovative logistics." Within this concept, Turtle listed four components: Innovative technology, innovative processes and organizations, innovative management, and cultural adjustment.

Innovative technology is a key to the future movement of logical processes, said Tuttle.

"The revolution in logistics is in the technology," said Tuttle. "Data has to be continuously shared knowledge. Lots of people need to know."

New technologies allow logisticians to synchronize deployments with everchanging campaign plans, he said.

"The actions at the drop zone change," said Tuttle. "The campaign plan changes. Innovative technology allows you to minimize the footprint, yet maintain readiness."

Innovative processes and organizations mean developing "end-to-end supply chains," said Tuttle.

"The (military) services don't do very well in integrating industry into the process," he said.

Logistical organizations should be constructed to support processes, said Tuttle, and not the other way around.

Innovative management encourages innovation, he said.

"You want a decision-making organization, not a debating society," said Tuttle. "An integrated process team is a good way to do it."

Do not be afraid of risk, he said.

"If you wait for something to be certain," said Turtle, "you wait forever."

Finally, Tuttle said that cultural adjustment is the biggest challenge of all. It often negatively affects other elements of change. All levels of management must support change.

"You have to trust people to do the right thing," said Tuttle.

Tuttle is a former Commander of the Military Traffic Management Command's Eastern Area Command, in Bayonne, N.J., from 1979 to 1982. His last military assignment was as Commander of the Army Materiel Command, 1989-1992, a period that encompassed Operation Just Cause in Panama and Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in Southwest Asia.
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Title Annotation:Logistics Management Institute
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2002
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