Sustainment at the Speed of Relevance

Sustainment at the Speed of Relevance

Blog by Paul Thomas

VP, Business Solutions

Paul Thomas HeadshotAs we consider the intellectual underpinnings of the phrase “Speed of Relevance”, especially how it applies to supply chain management (SCM) and supply chain risk management (SCRM), it seems plain that the many interpretations leave room for SCM/SCRM to play an important role:

A phrase both former Defense Secretary James Mattis and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford often used was the “speed of relevance”. Both men separately have been credited with the creation of the expression; they each also identified the speed of relevance as being the basis for gaining competitive advantage. Further, in National Defense Strategy, signed by Mattis in January 2018, he refers to the delivery of performance at the speed of relevance.

Organizations serving the Defense Department have tried to develop a mission perspective to this idea, but they take varied approaches. Some see speed of relevance as technology-driven; others focus on acquisition; others see it as improving relevant human factors. From a SCM/SCRM perspective, we at Amentum see it as a tremendous focus on mission improvement through evergreen technology, continuous process improvement, and trained and motivated people. We seek to make the supply chain secure (a very large subject we will discuss in future blogs) and to provide responsiveness, visibility, and ease of access to the right information.

To keep our operations moving at the speed of relevance, our technology solutions must stay current; it’s critical that they resist obsolescence.
To that end, Amentum invested in IFS/SupplyTRAC, our SCM ERP solution. Our SCM capability is built on leading-edge technology to support the digital transformation of commercial and government industries. Its open architecture was designed for emerging requirements and scalable environments. Our solution gives the government tools to solve business pain points while still meeting its stringent security requirements.

This evergreen model requires continually updating and refreshing applications. As IFS states in its most recent Statement of Direction,

“Successfully implemented evergreen is an appealing way to gain access to new innovations as well as keeping applications updated from a security and quality point of view.

For consumer-focused Software as a Service (SaaS) applications, applying the principle of evergreen is obvious, but the picture is more complex for enterprise software. The value of evergreen needs to be balanced against the impact of change, the efforts (training, technical work, etc.) of effectuating that change, as well the risks of changing an application that is integrated with other applications and absolutely mission critical. “

Our solution allows us to rapidly and easily connect to customer technologies and leverage tools to create a favorable trade-off between speed and overall operational quality. This enables our customers to make decisions and deliver mission solutions faster than the opposition, without reducing quality. Amentum can bring “Sustainment at the Speed of Relevance” to the customer and retain our “relevance advantage” throughout the contract period and beyond.