Performance Based Logistics (PBL) the new wave: Frost & Sullivan

Readiness and platform availability play fundamental roles in current military operations, particularly in Afghanistan and Iraq. Providing the warfighter with the right equipment at the right time has become essential in modern warfare.
One increasingly popular solution is Performance Based Logistics (known as Contracting for Availability in UK parlance), a long-term sustainment strategy to optimise the readiness and performance objectives of weapon systems while boosting performance and increasing military capability.
In a new white paper entitled “Performance Based Logistics – A Global Trend in the Aerospace & Defence Sector,” Frost & Sullivan recognises PBL as a best practice sustainment strategy and vital emerging trend in the global Aerospace & Defence market which can benefit contractors, MoDs and end-users world-wide. Moreover, it expects PBL to be steadily implemented in major defence programmes across the globe.
Frost & Sullivan adds that current experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq effectively demonstrate the practical efficiency and value of PBL.
The CH-47 Chinook helicopter, heavily used by US troops in Afghanistan, attests to the importance of performance-based solutions in maintaining operational capability.
High-reliability and availability rates have been achieved on the battlefield and cost reduction has satisfied policy-makers, especially when Urgent Operational Requirements are placing stress on public spending.

Bruno Mucciolo, Aerospace & Defence Consultant with Frost & Sullivan, says that “the basic value of PBL lies in the creation of industry dynamics that incentivise the private sector to reduce costs and increase systems availability. At the same time, by improving the performance of military equipment, PBL significantly increases front-line support capability.  Moreover, reduced costs enable end-users to re-invest savings into defence acquisition projects.”

However, the implementation of PBL involves structural changes within MoDs that would encourage flexible and collaborative efforts between the public and private sectors, facilitate transparency in the PPP arena and, most importantly, foster mutual understanding between all parties involved. Once these are put into perspective, contractors, MoDs and end-users can all reap considerable benefits from PBL.

Jon Newsome, PBL/Sustainment Solution Principal at software giant SAP says that “to successfully execute PBL contracts, contractors and MoDs must re-evaluate both current processes and enabling technologies.  The shift toward level-of-service contracting puts additional requirements on technology to provide integrated views of the extended supply chain, enable rapid decision making and drive behaviour that meets immediate operational demands and supports strategic lifecycle sustainment. Customer focus is paramount, and exceeding MoD operational availability and mission reliability targets is the ultimate objective.”

Pic: SA Combat soilders in Young Eagle Exercise Nov 2008