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In the management of ammunition, the conventional stockpiling or Just-in-Case concept results in high costs for inventory holding and testing. The ammunition also requires periodic inspection to ensure that it has neither deteriorated nor been stored beyond its shelf life. Excess ammunition would expire, incurring cost to dispose of them. Thus, to derive a more efficient method of ammunition management, a DSTA team conducted a comprehensive study which analysed the holding levels, consumption patterns, shelf life and procurement lead times of individual ammunition items.

Working with SAFAC, DSTA was able to implement an innovative solution that optimises the management of the SAF’s 40-millimetre High Explosive Dual Purpose grenades. Essentially, this Just-in-Time concept leverages the high production capacity of the local defence industry to allow the purchase of the stockpile ammunition only when required. This was made possible as the local defence industry maintains a healthy stock level of raw materials and components to meet the high production capacity. Delaying the production also allows live components to be assembled only at the point of requirement, maximising storage life of the grenades.

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The project saved the SAF S$27 million in stockpile costs, earning the team the prestigious Savings and Value Enhancement (SAVE) Award, which is given to recognise the best project in the Ministry of Defence’s (MINDEF) Economy Drive movement. The team received the award at the MINDEF PRIDE (Productivity and Innovation in Daily Efforts) Day awards ceremony in May 2012 from Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen.

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