Supply Chain Transformation: An Information Technology Perspective

Jessica A. Smith


Since the early 2000s, the U.S. Air Force Logistics Community has invested in multiple high-level strategic programs and related information technology (IT) initiatives in attempt to significantly improve global supply chain practices. Unfortunately, strategic programs such as the Expeditionary Logistics for the 21st Century and its associated initiatives had limited success and failed to produce desired improvements. In order to remain competitive in the evolving global warfighting environment and to fulfill Third Offset requirements, it is important for the U.S. Air Force Logistics Community to use lessons-learned in its own IT-enabled supply chain transformation history, as well as industry best practices and lessons-learned to effectively harness the power of advanced information technologies. The purpose of this research is to examine U.S. Air Force and industry supply chain IT-enabled transformations to identify critical factors for the successful adoption of new supply chain technologies. Based on the findings from a review of existing literature and semi-structured interviews with eleven subject matter experts, four propositions have been developed as a suggested framework for the U.S. Air Force Logistics Community to consider when evaluating potential supply chain-related information technology initiatives. The four propositions were identified as important aspects for successful IT implementation by literature and selected interviewees regarding policy, workforce education, investment, and industry collaboration.