Military Analytics Expert Sees Tens of Billions in Supply Chain Efficiencies as Alternative to Looming Pentagon Force Structure Reductions

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INFORMS Military Conference highlights Analytics and Operations Research

MONTEREY, CA, March 21, 2011 – The Defense Department, faced with cuts of what Secretary Leon Panetta said could be $487 billion over the next ten years, can find tens of billions of dollars in cost reductions by better aligning the Pentagon supply chain rather than imposing precipitous reductions to the uniformed forces, according to a former Army colonel who is speaking at a conference hosted by the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS®), the premier organization for advanced analytics professionals.

The INFORMS Military Applications Society Conference takes place at the Hyatt Regency Hotel & Spa in Monterey, California from March 27-28. The speakers examine the ways that advanced analytics and operations research can address pressing problems faced by the American military today.

“Tens of billions of dollars can be saved by properly aligning the way the Defense Department supplies the armed services with what can be described in business terms as actual customer demand,” said Dr. Greg Parlier, a retired Army colonel who is currently a consultant and a member of the adjunct research staff at the Institute for Defense Analyses. Dr. Parlier is currently serving as president of the INFORMS Military Applications Society (MAS).

In his 2011 book, “Transforming U.S. Army Supply Chains: Strategies of Management Innovation,” published by Business Expert Press, Dr. Parlier argues that advanced analytical techniques, management innovation, and especially operations research can be used both to reduce unnecessary inventory and better support tactical units in the field, thus finding savings by eliminating unneeded supplies rather than sacrificing crucial manpower.

“These techniques can also be used to answer questions like, ‘What’s the impact of a billion dollar cut in the operations and support account?’” he said. “Right now, we are forced to wing it.”

Dr. Parlier is available for interview.

Recalling his service in the Pentagon during the 1990s in the wake of the Cold War drawdown in military spending, Col. Parlier expressed concern about again sharply reducing forces with the end of the American military commitment to Iraq and the anticipated 2014 drawdown in Afghanistan. Sharp cuts, he maintains, leave the United States insufficiently prepared for a future conflict.

The meeting will include papers on the military and operations research/analytics, with topics about:

  • Metrics and Algorithms for Detecting Suicide Bombers
  • Strategic Conflict in Cyberspace
  • Logistics Innovation 
  • Decision Support
  • Warfighter Technology Trade-space
  • Assessing Spending in Iraq
  • Cooperation Metrics
  • Future Vertical/Lift Joint Multi-Role Technology

More information is at http://www.informs.org/Community/Conferences/INFORMS-MAS-2012-Monterey-Conference-27-28-March-2012.

About INFORMS

The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS®) is an international scientific society with 10,000 members, including Nobel Prize laureates, dedicated to applying scientific methods to help improve decision-making, management, and operations. Members of INFORMS work in business, government, and academia. They are represented in fields as diverse as airlines, health care, law enforcement, the military, financial engineering, and telecommunications. INFORMS serves the scientific and professional needs of operations research analysts, experts in analytics, consultants, scientists, students, educators, and managers, as well as their institutions, by publishing a variety of journals that describe the latest research in operations research. INFORMS Online (IOL) is at www.informs.org. Further information about operations research can be found at www.scienceofbetter.org.

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