Oman is consolidating all of its military logistics under a single umbrella, contracting with Miro Technologies of La Jolla, Calif., to deliver a single system for managing assets and transportation services across its Air Force, Army, Ministry of Defense Engineering Service, Chief of Staff of the Sultan’s Armed Forces and National Survey Authority.
“There are a lot of inefficiencies when military organizations are attempting to manage maintenance and logistics data that resides in individual silos,” said Mark Ogren, Miro chief marketing officer. “With the cost pressures we see today, there is a big push for [off-the-shelf] software solutions that can serve diverse platforms, from helicopters to munitions to tanks to facilities.”
That pressure has been building in recent years. With budgets under increasing scrutiny, and operational tempo putting high demand on supply chain efficiencies, many are wondering why each service has its own form of logistics management, and if there’s a better way to do it. Miro says it has already solved this problem through deployments in the U.K., Saudi Arabia and elsewhere.
Silos have emerged because each service perceived its needs as unique; the material demands of a navy can be worlds away from those of an army.
But Ogren prefers to focus on where the uniqueness ends and the commonalities appear. And when it comes to delivering supplies on time to the right place, it doesn’t matter whether the part is a propeller or a gun barrel.
“There are differences in the way an aircraft is maintained than, say, a tank. But there are more maintenance process commonalities than differences,” he said. As to managing across services, “certainly it can be done, if you have a proven logistics application that has the scope, functionality and the flexibility to effectively manage sustainment for multiple asset types and multiple organizations.”
Still, vendors have been wary of triservice solutions.
“The typical sales cycle in this business is one to two years, and that is for dealing with a single military organization. What happens when you are trying to close a deal with multiple services and multiple decision-makers? Getting agreement among multiple organizations takes longer than just dealing with one service,” Ogren said.
Nonetheless, Miro is betting that Oman’s deployment of its management systems may help establish a precedent for bigger installations in the U.S.