Platform for Joint Transportation Management Systems (JTMS) for Defense and Military

Essential Capabilities in a Joint Transportation Management System (JTMS) for Defense Organizations

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In modernizing their transportation management systems with a digital supply chain network, global defense organizations can gain more functionality, better utilize existing legacy systems, and significantly reduce manual effort. It’s a transformation that goes beyond Transportation to optimized execution.

In this blog post I will introduce a modernized approach to implementing a Joint Transportation Management System (JTMS) for global defense organizations. It is one that provides enhanced functionality, dramatically reduces the effort in functional mission management (staffing and time), and simplifies and speeds up system enhancements, migration, and support. In a follow up post, I will explain how the platform works and how it empowers defense organizations. 

Transportation management, planning, and execution are complex processes. Transportation management refers to the ability to plan, control, optimize, and gain and maintain end-to-end visibility of all transportation processes and assets throughout the supply chain.

Proper transportation management equals readiness. Readiness is achieved through training, equipment accountability, visibility, and actionability, enabling us to build and sustain combat power.

A digital supply chain network provides extensive end-to-end capabilities that improve readiness while reducing costs. It significantly reduces the level of effort for personnel, allowing them to focus on more critical activities. The US Navy’s NOSS initiative is a good example of a digital supply chain network for naval operations. Learn more about how the Navy is using One Network’s Digital Supply Chain Network to improve the Navy’s effectiveness and readiness.

"A digital supply chain network provides powerful planning and execution capabilities for transportation management, and enhances readiness." -Michael Bruens Click To Tweet

A digital supply chain network provides a completely integrated supply chain capability in a single cloud-based platform, powered by a single data model, and available across any number of trading partners. It supports both planning and execution, across not just transportation management, but across all functions in the supply chain. This empowers the transportation management system (TMS) with enhanced upstream and downstream data, facilitating more intelligent planning and execution capabilities.

A digital supply chain network should be an open platform and provide a rich set of Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) modules that can be tailored to fit any business process using low-code development tools, rich module development tools, integration tools and public Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that are backward compatible and can be easily extended. The platform should also provide integration hub capabilities and can quickly interface, integrate, and subsume legacy applications.

"An effective JTMS needs to have a single data model spans any number of trading partners, supports both planning and execution, and is open to being easily adapted and extended." Click To Tweet

The platform should interface with existing defense systems and trading partner systems and enable rapid onboarding capabilities for the various commercial providers of containers and transportation services.

A control tower that provides multi-tier visibility and actionability is key. Defense organizations and their mission partners should be able to see and manage all their end-to-end operations in real-time. A control tower with AI/ML-enabled predictive alerts and issue resolutions is essential in large, global defense supply chains, where manually identifying and addressing every possible issue is impossible, and where delays can be costly, and undermine mission readiness.  It also readily enables DoD’s effort to move to “push” logistics vs. the traditional “pull” approach.

Digital supply chain networks deploy “as a service” so you only pay for what you need, and new capabilities can be easily turned on as you need them. You never have to worry about out-of-cycle sustainment costs for software upgrades, as there is no custom code to support/re-develop.

In addition, any defense supply chain management platform needs to support capabilities and mandates as required by defense organizations. In the US, these include:

  • Financial Improvements Audit Readiness (FIAR) Auditability
  • Item Unique Identification (IUID)/Serialized tracking of assets,
  • Use of the Defense Automatic Addressing System (DAAS, for Defense Logistics Management Standards/Military Standard System (DLMS/MILS) messaging), and
  • Disconnected Operations (for low/no connectivity) that supports operations in austere environments.

Finally, this platform needs to be highly responsive and scalable, to meet the critical needs of defense organizations. It should operate in real-time and scale to support billions of transactions, millions of items, and any number of trading partners across n-tiers.

In part two, An Effective JTMS for Defense Organizations, I go into detail on what such a platform looks like, the control tower capabilities and levels of maturity, and the associated benefits.


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Michael Bruens