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Logistics and the Royal Navy of Oman Dissertation

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Abstract

Logistics has evolved through a passage of time from an unplanned, unorganized and inefficient task to a well planned, well-developed and highly synchronized process. Today logistics plays an extremely important role in almost all the organizations. Military is not an exception when it comes to the importance of logistics. Today, the efficiency of the military forces is highly dependent on the efficiency of the logistics department. The logistics process starts from the manufacturer’s storage units and ends at the final consumer. The main purpose of the study is to examine extensively the current Refit Material Support Group in Royal Navy of Oman (RNO) in order to highlight the weakness points and try to improve them. This would become possible after reviewing all relevant literature that would help gathering the required information from the publications. Moreover, to interview the Officer in charge of Refit Material Support Group and the staff officers in the logistic directorate in the Head Quarter and finally propose good practices to achieve high performance of Refit Material Support Group.

Introduction

Logistics is the management of flow of material, information, service and capital. Logistics in today’s world also gives importance to all the communication, information and control systems that are essential for efficiency of an organization.

Logistics is a process of supply chain management which is developed to help the organization achieve its goals. Major focus of the logistics is on enhancing the efficiency of the organization and integrating all the departments working within the organization and outside it. Logistics has now become a part of the organizations that cannot be ignored by any management no matter what the management is focusing on.Logistics has developed over a period of many years as businesses have gradually expanded operations, accelerated the inflow and outflow of goods and so have also increased the number of complexities in the business world. The sole purpose of introducing, managing and developing logistics is to control, support and enhance the life cycles, effectiveness, efficiency and overall performance of any organization.

Logistics comprises of several professional fields, for example, planning, controlling, directing the whole organization, establishing coordination between all the departments of the organization, forecasting future needs and arranging for them, warehousing of supplies or inventories and arranging for efficient transportation. is the planning, coordinating, directing, controlling, transporting and management of the movement and of military forces. Military logistics deal with:

  • Designing, developing, , storing, distributing, maintenance, and disposition of .
  • Medical services.

Military logistics deals with the issues of procurement of supplies, maintenance, distribution, transportation and replacement of personnel, equipment and supplies.

Military logistics deals with:

  • Designing, implementing, enhancing and developing all the programs for the procurement, storage, maintenance, and disposal of material.
  • Arrangement of service and providing those services to the personnel.

Exact sciences are the fields of study where a set of guidelines or principles have to be followed. Logistics is not among those fields. The reason for it is because logistics does not follow a set of principles or guidelines in every situation. Military logistics is a very dynamic field which requires quick planning, decision making and implementation according to the situations which keep on changing continuously in the volatile world of warfare. As the nature of the field of logistics is dynamic, one or two solutions cannot be prescribed for every situation as situations can differ largely in most of the aspects.

Military logistics has existed since the time man learnt the art and tactics of warfare. In ancient or pre historic times, fighters or soldiers were forced to make arrangements for their own hiding places, shelters and food for survival during the time of war as there was no proper system to support them in these tasks. Soldiers were individually responsible for acquiring and maintaining their necessities. With the passage of with time, soldiers joined larger groups and this slowly led to formation of armies. Later, divisions were made within the force to assign different tasks to different soldiers. As a result of making divisions in the forces, soldiers were assigned different tasks by the commanders, for example, arranging and planning for supplies and other necessities for their counterparts, who may be in the division which was responsible for fighting with the enemies in the battlefield. These practices later on led to the development of military logistics. Today military logistics has become a field of study for almost all military forces around the world.

Such decisions are based on their ability to analyze and interpret different situations, their intuition and their past experiences which have made significant contributions to their knowledge and improvements in decision making.

Logistics has always played a major role in determining the outcome of wars. For example the failure of the German naval force in the 2nd Atlantic Battle of the Second World War. It was to be concluded that mismanagement of logistics was largely responsible for the loss which led the British to victory.

Today, it has become an integral part of military tactics and the department which can lead the forces either to success or failure in twenty first century warfare.

Modern developments in the field of logistics have led to improvements not only in the performance of military logistics but the all the fields and divisions of the military. Efficient use of time and financial and other resources is the main reason for the enhancements. This efficiency has improved the standards of the performance of the armed forces and has proved to be of many benefits which have made considerable contributions to the overall growth and development of the military forces of almost all the countries active in modern warfare and national defense in today. Accurateness and speed are the major factors largely responsible for the constant flow of information and materials from its suppliers to its final users which leads to better performance of the armed forces overall.

In military science, a crucial element is to maintain one’s own supply line and destroy the supply line of the opponent as it is an obvious fact that a force without supply is incapable of warfare. In today’s modern and volatile world, militaries require solutions to the problems of logistics. This need has led militaries to enhance their policy making procedures and develop effective programs for the implementation of the policies and plans.

or “ILS” is a science in military studies which makes sure that an easy supportable system with a reliable supply service or logistics is provided at the lowest possible cost with reliability, maintainability and other requirements required for the military operations.

The categorical developed by United States military was developed in a way that categorizes supply with consumption at the same or similar levels in order to plan and implement policies effectively. For example, consumption of ammunition, fuel and other warfare necessities will be comparatively less than consumption of these items during a war. It must be noted that the supply of certain items such as clothing and food will be almost the same all the time irrespective of situations the military is in.

Some types of supply have a demand which is directly proportional to the supply. For example, addition of more troops will lead to more demand of supplies and so more will be supplied. Another example may be the increase in the use of equipment means an increase on the demand for fuel other accessories. Other classes of supply consider “time” as another important variable other than supply and consumption which can largely influence the operations of the armed forces.

Planning for replacement of equipment and ammunition is another major factor which makes time management more important. As equipment deteriorates more and more are needed by the forces because a little compromise on the efficiency of the military equipment can prove to be a major loss to the forces, especially in a time of warfare. Even when usage and supply is consistent, time and trends cannot be ignored as the world today has become very volatile especially in the field of technology. Obtaining the latest information about the developments and inventions, and recording and analyzing the trends, also assists in planning for future situations. The military forces can plan for the future requirements of the troops. The troops can be, supplied adequate amount of essential items which are necessary for survival, at the right time without any complications in planning. Lessons from history prove that the logistics are very essential for an armed force to be effective.

Literature Review

A Brief History of Military Logistics

Throughout history military commanders have faced the problems of logistics and strategies, and the integration of both.

By the mid of 19th century, the transportation facilities for the forces had not developed. Armies used to travel either on foot or on horses. In some countries, wagons were used by the forces which required lesser effort and time as compared to walking on foot or riding a horse. Ammunition and supplies were either carried by men themselves or the horses used by the forces. During much of the nineteenth century, most of the countries involved in warfare remained wild and undeveloped. The primary reason for the lack of discipline was the undeveloped or inefficient infrastructure. During the last decades of the 19th century, railways were introduced for transportation of men and supplies.

The advantages of railways came to be known shortly after the introduction. Previously, a wagon driven by some mules could carry around 1 or 1.5 tons for 500 miles, but after the introduction of railway, a military locomotive could carry 150 tons of cargo for 30 or 40 miles.

Train travel made it easy for the soldiers to arrive at their destinations in a healthy state of mind and at the right time. The speed and development of the new transportation systems also allowed supplies to arrive in better condition.

Military logistics developed at a faster rate during the Second World War. Many options, to carry out logistics programs, were developed during the warfare. Some of the practices or ideas developed during the world wars are still used today by militaries of many countries but in a more advanced form.

Logistics has now become a field of research and study. It does not follow a set of rules or tables. Today, logistics managers focus on the efficiency and effectiveness of the logistics of an organization, even military logistics. Delivering shipments outside the premises of the organization is a serious task undertaken by the logistics managers today.

Logistics of today has become a source of relief or ease for the managements of organizations who viewed it as a burden a few decades ago (Military Logistics, 2001). Organizations and armed forces nowadays hire people with in depth knowledge about the supply chain management and logistics (Tucker, 2008). Military personnel responsible for logistics are not different from the managers of commercial organizations (Logistics History, 2007). When it comes to military, the deadlines are even stricter and efficiency of the entire system is given top priority by the management of the military forces (HYW, n.d).

Developments in Military Logistics

Logistics is sometimes referred to as “combat service support”. It must be efficient and competent to address highly uncertain conditions, especially during warfare. Perfect forecasts are impossible but forecasts models help in reducing uncertainty in different situations. These models help in determining the amount of supplies or services which will be needed. These models also assist in determining the time of delivery of supplies and the destination where the supplies will be required.

Often, the officials responsible for logistics have to make their decisions on these matters, using intuition. Another option for the officials is to appraise the alternatives, which can be used to tackle the problems, scientifically. Military strategy, tactics, intelligence, training, personnel, and finance are considered by the officials while making their judgments, as they very well know that only the professional knowledge of the science of logistics is not enough to come to a conclusion and make their decision.

Some case studies reveal that quantitative and statistical analysis are essential for the decision making process and making judgments. This technique is used by the Office of Naval Research to make forecasts about the future requirements of fuel in time of war or some other kind military operations.

In key armed actions, logistics are frequently vital in assuming the end results of battle.

Many techniques introduced by the military in the field of logistics are now even used by the commercial organizations. For example, “Operations research” was developed by the military during WWII, and it is now used by the commercial world. Likewise, many techniques introduced by the commercial world are used by the military.

The Logistics Department and its functions

Manufacturing and marketing activities cannot survive without an effective logistics planning and infrastructure.

The main function of an efficient logistics system is to ensure that the unfinished goods and the finished inventories of the organization are transported to the right place using the most cost effective ways.

The main tasks of the logistics department are:Storage, distribution, warehousing, and transportation of goods from one place to another have to be supervised and managed by the logistics department in both situations, within the organization or outside the organization.

  1. To make sure that all the requirements of the customers or the deployed forces, as in this case, are met at the right time efficiently with the least amount of wastage.
  2. To make plans, design policies and outline procedures of the logistics department.
  3. To implement of the logistics system successfully.
  4. To make sure that the goals of the logistics department are in accordance with the goals of the organization.
  5. To create, maintain and develop supporting facilities for the customers or the forces (in this case).
  6. To develop and maintain coordination with all the departments inside the organization.
  7. To make sure that no illegal activity or breach of contract is committed in the process.
  8. To maintain and manage inventories efficiently and effectively, keeping in mind the future requirements of the organization.

The department also performs numerous other tasks other than the above mentioned ones.

The logistics department also serves as a middleman and supervisor between the organization, suppliers and carriers to ensure a continuous and uninterrupted flow of goods to their destination.

The department also takes care of the procurement process. The logistics department develops strategic plans provide support for the development and acquisition of fresh goods. Scheduling and timely delivery are also taken care by the logistics department as it is the body which maintains links with the suppliers and transportation.

Logistics department is held responsible for material distribution as well. The department is also responsible for the selection of the most appropriate modes of transportation for particular types of cargo.

Thus the logistics department is of utmost importance for the whole organization. Once again, it is worth mentioning that the organization is heavily dependent on the logistics department, especially the organizations in which the flow of goods both in and out plays a major role, which can lead such organizations either to success or to failure.

Policies and Practices

When an organization plans and implements a strategy for logistics, it clearly marks the levels of performance where the logistics department is contributing to the success of the organization in the best possible or the most effective and economical ways. Supply chains change from time to time or even on continuous bases. An organization may come up with a number of strategies for logistics, which may include the procedures, policies and framework required by the organization to develop its logistics.

So why do organizations implement a Logistics strategy? What are the reasons for developing and implementing and then monitoring a logistics plan or strategy?

The supply chain keeps on changing continuously and these changes will affect the logistics process of any organization and if these changes are not dealt with the whole organization is likely to suffer some loss or incur extra unplanned costs. To keep pace with the flexible and changing nature of the supply chain, organizations should plan, develop and implement a practical and efficient logistics strategy.

Concerning the Development of the Logistic Strategy

A firm can come up with appropriate logistics strategy with the help of 4 identical stages of the logistics companies.

Strategic: Examining the objectives of the organization is essential as all the other departments have to work in coordination to achieve the objectives of the organization. The logistics department, like other departments, has to implement strategies which focus on achieving the objectives of the organization, not just the department. The logistics personnel must consider the contribution the logistics department makes to the organization and then implement the logistics strategy.

Structural: the Logistics strategy must also consider the elements which make up the structure of the logistics department. Number of warehouses, distribution centers, manufacturing plants, suppliers and most importantly the management should be considered before designing the policies. The organizations for which the logistics are a major part, should implement strategies which allow for flexibility and short run changes as mentioned earlier, the logistics and supply chain are volatile and dynamic in nature.

Functional: the strategy must include the plans and approaches of all the departments of the organization which either directly or indirectly influence the logistics department. All the functions and capabilities of the logistics department are to be considered before strategies are made because the strategy will be impractical, and an impractical strategy is useless.

Implementation: Logistics deal with the whole organization. Likewise the strategies of the logistics department will influence the whole organization. The strategies of the logistics department must reflect on the effects it will have on the rest of the departments. The implementation of the strategy must also include the design and establishment of a network for the transfer of information from one area to another.

There are many component of every company but the major ones are listed below:

  • Transportation: the transportation strategies of the organization should be efficient to help the organization’s services. The availability of the transportation is also an important consideration. The transportation facilities should be readily available at the required time.
  • Outsourcing: The type and the degree of outsourcing practiced in the logistics function by the organization are important to be known as it may change the condition or the performance of the department. For example third party logistics often lead to improvement in the services at different levels of the logistics department.
  • Logistics Systems: The data of the logistics department is essential for an effective strategy. The accuracy of the data can play an important role in implementation of an effective strategy. If there is some problem then, new systems have to be installed to gain efficiency.
  • Competitors: The strategies and practices of competitors are also very important for the department and organization. Such information is important when competitors are of similar size and their operations are similar.
  • Information: Again, the information is very important. The accuracy of the information is essential for the development and implementation of any strategy. Any misinformation or vague data can result in the failure of the strategy.

Any misleading information may cause the management to make the wrong decisions regarding the logistics of the organization. So the trustworthiness and transparency of the sources from where the information is obtained are to be given special attention.

Review of Strategy: Again, it must not be forgotten that the goals and strategies must be in accordance with the goals of the organization. The logistics department must aim for the targets that the organization hopes and works to achieve.

Key Issues and Problems

For effective logistics, these are the key issues

Movement of product

Often, logistics are viewed as the department responsible for the movement of goods. There are many activities other than this, as mentioned earlier; the strategies or plans are useless if the main task of the logistics, the flow of goods, is not managed properly. Low but efficient inventories and service, are required if costs are to be controlled and kept to the lowest levels. Products must move along according to the plans. Goods must “flow” from the point of origin to the final destination as mere “movement” of the goods is not enough. If “flow”, is not there then the supply channel is inefficient at some point in the logistics process. In such a case, there are imbalances in inventories with and goods do not reach the destined place and the whole logistics system fails as there is big difference between actual performance and planned performance. Therefore synchronization must be taken care of by the management.

Synchronization

Logistics cannot be an isolated department or a department focusing on one aspect of the organization; it has to work side by side with other departments. The plans regarding the movement of the goods have to be very flexible. The plans must make the logistics capable of working and maintaining efficiency in different situations. Forecasts may be a hurdle in the planning and execution as they can be misleading. The movement must be capable of adjusting and dealing with the changes in activities of other similar organization, the external environment and world outside. This may require multimode service programs to keep the supply chain mobbing freely or flowing. Consider the example, that it may require a combination of sea and air modes of transportation to keep a smooth supply chain. Such combinations become necessary in situations where changes occur frequently the amounts required. Some situations may even require a combination of different vehicles of the same mode of transport, for example small speed boats and normal size boats.

Movement of information

It is not enough to move different products and materials only. The department responsible for logistics must have sufficient knowledge about where those products and materials are. Timely and accurate information is just as important as any other essential part of the logistics process.

The information must flow within the organization. In this case officers, suppliers, carriers, forwarders, warehouses and deployed forces are the units or the areas that require accurate information at the right time to enhance their programs and try to improve the whole process.

The flow of information is not restricted to emailing, fax or phone calls anymore. Investment in information technology is now a requirement for logistics departments, either of private company’s ort armed forces. In the commercial world corporate effectiveness is heavily dependent upon logistics department.

IT systems should exist at an all-encompassing level, covering the whole organization. As logistics is a process which requires interaction with many other groups inside and outside the organization, it is essential that a sophisticated communication system be established. The IT systems must be vibrant in nature for managing orders, production, distribution, finance and future demands. The information systems must also be proficient at receiving orders through EDI, convey Advance Ship Notices and it must be able of tracking inventories at different levels and communicating the data to the authorities responsible for the management of stocks.

There must also be developed and efficient systems at the logistics level. All of the above mentioned areas of the organization use technology in the modern world in order to have effectively managed them. Bar codes and scanners are also used for keeping records of inventories and movement of goods.

Time and service

Changes include changes in forecasts, final user demands, innovations, new resources, new and more efficient management techniques, which are more cost effective and less time consuming.

Materials, spares and components must arrive wholly, precisely and quickly according to the order. Lead time of one or two months or a few weeks is history. Today, the lead time is in terms of days in most of the cases. It may not even be in days in many situations. As competition is cut throat in the modern world, back orders have to be avoided at all costs. It is well understood that if the supplying companies cannot properly satisfy the demand of the customers, the customers will look for better and more efficient options.

Service nowadays is something more than simply having a shipment sent to the purchaser or to the area where it is required. Competition, demand and the position of the organization in the industry are influenced by the factors of time and service. Services and efficiency even influence the culture and the network between all the people working in the organization. Logistics help in linking or coordinating all these factors. The more scattered the geographical locations of organizations, manufacturers, warehouses and final users, the more critical is time. Distance is another factor responsible for consuming time but time delays are unacceptable when it comes to business. The movements of products and information reveal their importance here.

Cost

Freight, warehouse charges, labor wages and other items must be calculated in order to arrive at a total cost, as only then will the comparison between plans and actual performance have some significance. Inventories have to be included in the balance sheet as assets. Cost control and management are extremely important for the organization’s profitability or efficient uses of allocated funds in the case of armed forces. All managers have to give fiscal issues a great deal of importance along with clever management. The suppliers charging the highest prices are not necessarily the best options as far as products and services are concerned. At the same time, very low charges are not a sign of good service either. The managers are entrusted the responsibilities of managing the organization not in one aspect but various areas of the organization.

Costs are of immense importance to an organization. The organization is required to be very careful in the matters of finance and expenditures. Cost minimization of the various elements of logistics can positively influence the effectiveness of the logistics department.

Costs are directly related to services. The management of the organization often calculates services against the costs or costs against services. This calculation later develops into the budgets and costs of operations. Costs have to be controlled “at all costs” or otherwise they are likely to go out of control of the management or in some cases “beyond control”.

But there is no fixed mechanism which can make proper recognition of costs for time and services or for changes in any parts of the organization’s plan. Different types of systems are used in an attempt to measure the costs of a dynamic logistics process in a globalized world.

Some factors, other than the already mentioned ones, influence the cost effectiveness of the organization which may include exchange rate fluctuations. The air freight is charged by the country from where the shipments originate or the country allowing the logistics to use airspace for movement of goods. Ocean terminal charges are also charged in the currency of the country the waters belong to. Currency conversion can either prove to be unfavorable or favorable influences on costs.

Integration

Integration within and outside the organization is another major issue in the field of logistics. Integration means to bring everything together. It is more of a requirement nowadays to establish an integrated system within the organization.

Effectiveness of an organization demands that each element of the organization does its part in the most efficient way.

In addition to in-house integration, the organization must collectively bring the external factors affecting the organization and work with them. Manufacturers, vendors, carriers and warehouses, must understand the operations of the organization and processes. The organization must communicate information, about its logistics plan, to these external factors which can contribute to the overall efficiency of the organization. These external players may offer ideas and contribute to the organization to further improve the performance of the logistics department and enhance its effectiveness.

Integration with final users, whether they be customers or soldiers, is as important as with the other departments. The organization should consider the requirements of the customer or some other kind of a final user with everyone in the logistics department and the organization. It is no longer a viable option for an organization to tear the orders and hand them to many departments. Integration has a different meaning nowadays.

A discussion must take place between the parties involved in the logistics process about requirements and delivery. The more the organization knows about requirements or the needs of the final user, the more efficient is the integration of the organization.

Methodology

There is a methodology involved in each dissertation. Methodology is all about the techniques of tackling a dissertation and its objectives. The very basic structure of any dissertation methodology involves below approaches:

Literature Review

Literature review is the backbone of any dissertation. Literature review involves review of various literatures available in physical libraries and e-libraries, etc by the mean of journals, books, articles, blogs, videos, pictures or any other source of data that may provide productive information regarding the topic and cause of the dissertation. To investigate a cause, it is of vital importance to gather, review and analyze the key findings that a researcher comes across through proper and adequate research. Literature review is based on several studies, practical experiences and real research applications conducted by various researchers worldwide. This part is very important for any dissertation to support the findings and to enhance one’s grip over the topic and its various aspects. Quality if literature review helps a researcher to succeed in his cause. The more one read, the more he / she gets familiar to the cause. Referring a lot of different literature adds value and credibility to any dissertation. It is always suggested to add as many references to the literature review as possible. This is very important. For this study, several books, journals, articles and several blogs (including online blogs) are referred to increase the authenticity of the cause. in this study, methodology that is involved depends on reviewing different data and discussing / analyzing the findings.

Why Literature Review Approach

Due to the time and resources limitation, it was not really possible to conduct the real research. Therefore, for this study, only the theoretical approach of the dissertation methodology is adopted. This approach is quite productive and adequate as the studies that are being referred already are based on several real research campaigns. A thorough literature review covers all the flaws that may arise if the approach of the “Real Research” has not being adopted for some reason. However, for better results, a few analysts are being approached who confirmed to evaluate the paper on the ground of their professional experiences.

Real Research

Second approach of a dissertation involves real application and working to investigate the cause. Real research is mostly very interesting activity for the students as it involves real time activity. It involves conducting a survey, interviewing the key participants and a few more methods that may provide a real picture of the theoretical side of the cause. In this dissertation, real research is not really involved or adopted. This study strongly depends on the first theoretical approach that is the literature review. However, interviewing such as interview with the Deputy OIC/RMSG is involved in this research.

Discussion

Evaluation of Logistics department

Today organizations have become very demanding. This may be due to the environment these organizations are working in. Immediate delivery is demanded by almost every organization today. As competition is tough and the world around the organization keeps on changing continuously, quick and efficient delivery of goods has become a pre requisite for the survival of logistics departments. The final users of the goods expect the shipments to be delivered to them as quickly as possible at the most economical cost.

Considering all the above mentioned information about the logistics department, it shows that the logistics department plays a major role in the organization not only as a contributor to the efficiency of the organization but as a factor which may make or break the whole organization. It can be concluded that an efficient and competent logistics department is the one which benefits the organization by using the most economical ways of conducting activities utilizing the least amount of time.

It has become a necessity to control and evaluate logistics in any organization. For example costs of shipments. It is understood that the logistics department will carefully plan for the costs of goods and shipments, and the most economical modes of transportation will be used as the sipping expenditures are lower than the cost of the goods which are to be delivered but there have been instances in the world of logistics where the cost of shipments have been higher than the cost of goods included in the shipment.

Major logistics Key Performance Indicators

Balanced scorecard is well suggested to be used by the logistics managers. The balanced scorecard can be used for the evaluation of the logistics department.

There are numerous key performance indicators or KPIs which can help in controlling and evaluating the performance of the logistics department of an organization.

The balance scorecard can also help in coordinating strategic goals of logistics to the strategic goals of the organization

The following are some of the KPIs which can be used to evaluate the logistics department:

  1. Shipment rate per piece: This is one of the most important Key Performance Indicators in logistics. It is desirable to keep this indicator as low as possible. The shipment rates per piece have to be kept low, otherwise the shipment costs will be raising as the number of products or pieces increases. It will result in an inefficient system with monetary problems which may cause losses to the organization.
  2. Average time allowed: It comprises of the time required for acquisition, delivery and documentation. Formalities and legal procedures also consume a lot of time of the personnel responsible for the decision making in the logistics department.
  3. Speed. Speed accelerates the progress.
  4. Credentials and initial: Lesser the paperwork required sending one item; the better it is for the efficiency of the organization.
  5. Damage costs. These costs are usually incurred due to mismanagement or due to some kind of external factors. It is advised to all the organizations to minimize the damage costs as extra losses can prove to be disastrous for the whole organization if left uncontrolled.
  6. Load capacity. The load capacities of the available transportation modes must be utilized to the maximum in order to gain efficiency in transportation as the costs will be low for bigger shipments. The logistics will be performing poorly if a vehicle capable of carrying 10 tons is carrying only 5 or 6 tons. A better approach would be to use smaller vehicles for small shipments.
  7. Frequency of check: This is not much of an indicator but it can be used as one. A responsible management is committed to the development and efficiency of the organization and all of its departments. The more frequent the checks and inspections, the higher the probability of improving and maintaining efficiency and reducing wastage of resources. The government authorities can also inspect the organization if any complaints are filed against the organization in the courts or with the government bodies.

Naval Logistics

Naval Logistics is the field in which fundamental logistics principles, functions and elements are applied in the naval forces. It includes the use of the resources of formal planning and logistics information to attain the basic goal of readiness of the operational force. It is a misconception that naval logistics is just the movement of material from the base to the ship, pretty much similar to ordinary logistics. It must be emphasized that naval logistics means much more than just materiel. It is a complex structure of systems within which there can be numerous other systems or sub systems. Planning, acquisition, maintenance, engineering support, training, transportation facilities, operations, and personnel support are some examples of systems in a naval logistics structure.

Functions of naval logistics

The most successful plans consider the application of each logistic principle across all the functional areas of logistic support. There are six functional areas in naval logistics. The products of these six functional areas, when combined and balanced, produce and deliver effective logistic support to the operating forces:

The main functions of naval logistics are:

  1. Supply
  2. Maintenance
  3. Transportation
  4. Engineering
  5. Health Services

The supply function includes designing, procurement, contracting, receipts, storage, inventory controlling, and issuance of end items, repairable and consumable materiel, and eventual disposal. The needs of the supported naval forces (on shore or off shore) are the reason these supply efforts are made.

The Defense Supply System is divided into ten classes:

The term “maintenance” includes all those activities necessary to protect, revamp, and ensure continued operation and efficiency of the defense systems for example, guns and other types of ammunition, warships and logistics ships, fighter jets and other aircrafts, and other components. It also includes the policies, the structure and framework of the organization, and issues related to the maintenance of equipment, on shore and off shore. The Defense Supply System, containing several million different items, includes the individual Service Supply Systems. These items are grouped into the following classes of supply recognized in joint operations.

The classes include:

Subsistence: It includes garments, individual gear, tools, managerial provisions, fuel, lubricants; construction materiel, ammunition and personal items of the personnel.

The gathering and analysis of the maintenance data helps in decision making regarding procurement.

Transportation: ‘Transportation’ in military logistics is the movement of military units, staff, gear, and supplies from the point of origin to the planned destination. Transportation involves deployment and sustainment of forces within the region of the country to ports of embarkation.

Other responsibilities of transportation support include offload and operational control of the ports. The movement of personnel and equipment, medical evacuation, and taking back of materiel to the base are also parts of the function of transportation.

Engineering: Naval Logistics provide the construction materials, damage repair essentials, combat engineering kits, and maintenance of other facilities. Technical and specialized units provide for combat support and civil engineering support to the commanders or any other designation having authority at the moment. The supported commander’s priorities, plans and allocations influence the plans and the measures taken by the supporting engineer. Marine division engineers carry out missions related to mobility, counter mobility, and survivability in areas where troops are deployed only to provide combat engineering support. The term “engineering” over here also includes over coming and emplacing obstacles, maintaining communication with the other departments, and constructing forward arming and refueling points. Marine combat service support engineers provide general engineering support in the form of construction materials, water purification facility, and fuel support.

Naval Construction Force units are established to complement Marine air-ground engineering capabilities by upgrading roadways, developing aviation support facilities, and erecting combat zone emergency hospitals. Naval Construction Force units provide the additional capabilities of well drilling along with the construction and repair of expeditionary piers and ports. Civil engineers of the navy plan, contract, construct, maintain and repair both shore and off shore facilities. They are entrusted the management of environmental matters, construction of deployable medical facilities, store and distribution of water and fuel, generate electricity and maintain utilities

Health Services: Naval logistics provide the support for the health and medication of the military force personnel. Naval logistics provide health services which are designed to preserve and improve the health of naval personnel, as well as their families. Health services provide medical and dental checks, blood and blood products, and facilities and services in both combat and non-combat environments. Provision of health services also include providing emergency and routine health care to all the personnel of the force; advising personnel on the state of health, sanitation and medical readiness of deployment of forces on a continuous basis. Health services also provide routine and contingency medical and surgical augmentation to selected ships through Fleet Surgical, Medical Mobilization Augmentation Response and Medical Augmentation Program Teams.

Elements of Naval logistics

Distribution: distribution is the process in which allocation of logistic support takes place. Allocation and delivery take place in order to maximize combat effectiveness of the navy.

Sustainment: sustainment means to ensure that adequate logistic support without any interruptions in order to allow continuous operations.

Disposition: disposition is the process that includes the return of excess, unsuitable or materiel not functioning properly, for repair or redistribution.

These processes, operating in each functional area, constitute the overall processes in naval logistics (Britannica, n.d).

Conclusion

Logistics has evolved through a passage of time from an unplanned, unorganized and inefficient task to a well planned, well-developed and highly synchronized process. Today logistics plays an extremely important role in almost all the organizations. Military is not an exception when it comes to the importance of logistics. Today, the efficiency of the military forces is highly dependent on the efficiency of the logistics department. The logistics process starts from the manufacturer’s storage units and ends at the final consumer. Effective logistics comprises the timely, accurate and efficient movement of products, information, and service. Cost, integration and time are essential factors which are given the highest priority in the decision making process of the logistics department. All of these issues are critical to the effectiveness and success of logistics in an organization. The navy is an integral part of a country’s armed forces. Like other forces, the navy also has a dire need for an effective logistics department. Naval logistics have also evolved into becoming a highly complex process today and it now demands a specialized department within the force responsible for logistics alone. It has been well shown how detailed the field of logistics is and how logistics has contributed to the military. It is now difficult to contest the notion that the word is heavily dependent on logistics today for both commercial trade and military operations.

The Royal navy of Oman

A modern naval force was needed by the country which would be compatible to international navies. The Royal Navy of Oman is a capable, modern and efficient naval force which stands head to head with the navies of other countries in the region.

The crafts of RNO are equipped with state-of-the-art combat systems making the RNO capable of carrying out its operations under all circumstances. Naval bases and other units were built to provide support to the fleet. The operations, logistics and administration of the RNO are planned and managed at the naval bases.

The RNO was established in 1950s for the protection of the Sultanate of Oman from naval attacks. The RNO has a fleet of 13 ships of different classes. Four of the ships of RNO belong to the Dhofar class, three to AL-Bushra class, three small amphibious ships which are logistics ships, a royal yacht, a training ship and a corvette of Al-Qahir class. Three offshore patrol corvettes of Khareef class were added to the RNO in 2010. The new corvettes were built by BAE Systems Surface Ships in United Kingdom.

History

Oman is an ally of Britain and the west. The RNO has a major role to play in keeping the troubled waters of the Gulf region safe. RNO has, been through a transformation from, without exaggeration, ancient ships to the very heights of technological and modern ships of today. During the 17th century Oman produced the best sailors in the world who learned the skills and tactics of warfare while fighting with the Portuguese forces who had occupied the region, only to make it a colony of their empire. These skills developed after each successive victory over the Portuguese and so doing led the Omani people to control both sides of the Gulf region and to dominate the Straits of Hormuz. The desire to rout the Portuguese saw the Omani pursue them to East Africa, where the island of Zanzibar was occupied and remained part of greater Oman until the mid 1800’s.

Despite their loathing of the Portuguese occupiers the Omani’s around this time developed and maintained excellent relations with Britain, which continue to this day. At one point there was an exchange between William IV and Said Sultan when the Omani ruler gave the British King a warship in exchange of a royal yacht.

At the time His Highness Sultan Qaboos ibn Said came to power in 1970 the Omani Navy consisted of a Royal Yacht and two armed dhows. In the beginning years, small, but powerful armed, fast attack craft were built at Vosper Thornycroft and Brooke Marine; these replaced the old dhows and allowed the Omani Navy to operate well out into the Gulf over successive decades the fleet (Boniface, 2009).

Fleet

The fleet is one of the key components of any naval force. The navy of any country has to have a properly managed fleet of vessels equipped with modern equipment and technology in order to perform its duties in a state of war. The government of Oman is dedicated to supporting the fleet of the RNO. Though, Oman is not a major player in the warfare game its government has spent much on the military forces, including the navy, to keep the forces well equipped and ready for any emergency. The Royal Navy of Oman has gained the respect of the navies of many friendly countries. Normal joint exercises, port visits, exhibitions and foreign tours have helped RNO in gaining respect of the navies of other countries.

The RNO provides modern training to the staff on board. The Royal Navy of Oman also provides specialized training services for other authorities and departments of the government in the country.

Logistics department of Royal Navy of Oman

The mission of the Logistics department of RNO is to ensure the highest state of logistics and engineering readiness to make the missions of the Royal navy of Oman (RNO) successful. It aims to protect and defend the sovereignty of the state of Oman keeping the coast of the country trouble free.

Logistics Support Structure: Logistics Directorate NHQ (naval headquarter) is responsible for supply and other matters related to supplies and logistics within the Naval Headquarters. The Director for Logistics is the chief authority of the logistics directorate who is entrusted the responsibility to supervise and direct the whole department.

The various departments within the Logistics Directorate NHQ are responsible for support policy. Giving the short titles of those directly concerned.

Logistic Support is an integral part of all aspects of system planning, design and development, test and evaluation, production and/or construction, consumer use, and customer requirements. The elements of logistics support have to be integrated to achieve efficiency and effectiveness. The elements of logistics support are:

Protection and Development

Maintenance and Planning includes all the planning and analysis required by the logistics system. Maintenance and planning constitute all the activities in the department starting with, the development of the maintenance all the way through the accomplishment of logistic support analyses during the design and development stage, the procurement and acquisition of goods, and to the distribution and consumption phase. Maintenance planning is accomplished to integrate the various other aspects of support.

Refit Material Support Group

Refit Material Support Group (RMSG) is a group in the RNO with the main role of providing material support to the fleet. Moreover RMSG is also responsible of the ships TOP and Major over Hauls of main and diesel engines since 2007. The group is under the guidance of Head of Naval Logistics. The RMSG has played an essential role in the operational capability of the fleet. A study of the statistics about the Logs Depot reveals that a major part of the resources of the RNO are spent on the Refits and DEDs. Up to fifty percent of the demands raised to the Depot are raised though RMSG. This percentage is likely to increase as the current fleet gets old and newer vessels are added.

Objective of the RMSG

Refit Material Support Group is responsible for supporting the ships of the RNO which require Refits, DEDs, TOP and Major over haul. The group is made to provide a specific and critical stores support service for the fleet.

Process prior to the Refit/ DED

  • All the demands should be raised in the Logs System.
  • All the items which are available should be earmarked for the demanding units in Refit/ DED
  • PNRs (Purchase Notification Reports) for the items which are not available should be generated and send to the Procurement Section for timely and quick procurement action
  • Demands for items which are not computerized should be sent to the Research Section for immediate action.
  • Continuous hasting of the Not Available items should be carried out by the staff in order to make sure the not available items must be procured well in time

During Refit/ DED

  • The RMSG staff has to make sure that no demands are received from units/ workshop.
  • All the demands during the period of Refit/ DED must be received from the Planning Office.
  • Available items should be issued to the end-user as per their requirement.
  • All emergent demands should be created in the Logs System after the approval from the officer in charge
  • Similar action should be taken for not available items and all effort should be made to ensure quick procurement action to these items.
  • RMSG personnel should attend all the meetings related to Refit/ DED on weekly bases.
  • RMSG should issue the status of Refit/ DEDs weekly and when desired.
  • RMSG should also provide all assistance to the fleet and workshop staff and form a link between Logs Depot and Engineers

Action on Not Computerized items

  • For non computerized demanded items the following actions must be performed.
  • All those demands that are no longer required will be forwarded to the Computer Section for the purpose of cancellation.
  • Demands of all the items which are still required will be forwarded to SOS (Supply Officer Stores) for the purpose of issuance.

GENSIG (General Signal)

Software based on advanced MS Excel has been developed for the ships in Refit/ DED in order to assist the performance and generate different reports. This program has brought a significant result which has helped the section as well as the Engineers in monitoring the status of the demanded spare parts; moreover all the reports are updated automatically on the daily biases.

Method of Communications with the End-user

Weekly meetings are held to examine the status of Refit/ DED items demanded. The critical items and exchanging ideas between RMSG, Procurement and Engineering departments as a result of the meeting provide an updated view of the status of the items demanded. The updates are then clear and notified by the all concerned departments. Based on the output of the meeting a weekly progress signal for the ship in Refit/ DED is initiated by DFM (Directorate of Fleet Maintenance).

Major and TOP Overhaul

Demands for Major and TOP overhaul of main and diesel engines should reach to RMSG in 12-months before the date of the maintenance arrives.

The following points should be taken under consideration while receiving the demand:

  • The part number, FMF number and BSL number.
  • Description of the parts which includes manufacturer, date of manufacturing, brand, model number and serial number.
  • All the demands should be created in the Logs System.
  • All the items which are available should be earmarked for the particular unit.
  • PNRs for the items which are not available should be generated and sent to procurement section for timely and quick procurement action.
  • Demands for items which are not computerized should be sent to the research section for the purpose of computerizing it.
  • Available items should be issued to the end-user as on the required date.

Problems faced by the RMSG Section

The RSL is sent quite late to the RMSG section which ultimately delays further process and creates a lot of stress in the section. The RSL being a year old is not rewetted prior to the Refit/ DED with regards to the following points:

Any system/ equipment might be obsolete

Items issued to the end-user at least six months before the Refit/ DED against OPDEF

  1. Late submission of demands slows down the procurement process and thus negatively affects the overall performance of the department.
  2. Most of the items in RSL or emergent demands which are available are not drawn by the end-user even in the case of critical items due to lack of adequate planning.
  3. Refit/ DED items are not cancelled by the Planning Office.

In an interview with the Deputy OIC/RMSG several questions were asked to the officer.

The following are the answers to the questions asked by the researcher.

The Orgnizational structure of the Refit Material Support Group.

The Orgnizational structure of the Refit Material Support Group.

The top authority of the department is the Head of Naval Logistics. After the head, the Deputy Head is in the line. The Deputy Head is responsible for commanding and supervising both, the Logistics computer officer and the OIC/RMSG. The OIC commands the deputy OIC who is directly responsible for several sections, namely Storage, Issuing, Spare parts and the logistics systems section.

The Earmarking System of the RMSG

The Earmarking system was created in 1995 with the specific purpose of providing a transparent picture of the nature of all stores under the direct control of OIC RMSG. Until then, items required for future Refit/DED purposes were ‘invisible’ in as much as they were issued off charge on Issue Vouchers. This meant that items still in the Logistics Depot were off charge pending physical issue in the future. In the event of a high priority requirement, where such items were needed, there was no clear indication of their whereabouts. The Earmarking System was established in order to rectify this irregularity by ‘Globalizing the stockholdings.

Coordination between RMSG and DFM & FMG

By having regular meetings and the weekly status report provided by RMSG, there has established effective coordination between RMSG, DFM & FMG.

The main challenges facing the RMSG section

  • The long lead items from suppliers.
  • The systems obsolescence (Not any more manufactured).
  • Non sufficient information for demanded items.
  • Receiving Raw Ship List late.
  • The critical spares which are demanded after dismantling the main systems.

Logistics computer system in the RMSG section- the process

  • All demands provided by the planning office are to be fed into the system to know the availability and the location.
  • For those items which are not available ,the PNRs (Purchase Notification Reports) are generated for procurement action

Types of reports RMSG submits to Naval Head Quarters and other departments before and during Refit /DED

  • Weekly Status Report. Statistics for available items demanded by RMSG are prepared each week and distributed widely to Senior Management and Departments.
  • Provides statistics on item availability for ships preparing for or undergoing Refit/DEDs. Emergent Work statistics are also included.
  • Ship’s Refit/DED Start Dates and Completion dates are recorded based on the Planning Office Monthly Schedule.
  • The Demand Progression chart, visually displayed in RMSG, is updated according to the to the availability statistics promulgated in the Weekly Report.

How RMSG assists NHQ to estimate the budget of future maintenance plans?

  • Costing Data. This information is prepared by RMSG and submitted to RNO HQ to assist in determining the Budget requirements for Refit/DED Ships. The data is analyzed by many personnel before the finalization of the budgets.
  • The Costing is calculated on the basis of the quantity of items issued and ordered for ships Refit/DED, multiplied by the purchase price.
  • The submission of Costing Data is determined by RNO HQ.

What is the time required to obtain the Raw ship list from the planning office?

  • It is prepared and provided to RMSG by the planning Office 52 weeks prior to ships Refit/DED.

What action to be taken when any of the fleet units has an Operational Defects and require items which are Earmarked for another unit in Refit/DED?

  • Strobe Procedures. In the event of a Store rob Request for an item held pending a ship’s Refit/DED, permission is obtained from the Planning Office and the appropriate Ship’s Manager for its release.
  • Once permission has been obtained, the Earmark is suspended. The issue is then made to the requesting ship using Logistics Computer System.
  • The replacement item for the donor ship is re-Earmarked.

Completion of Refit/DED

  • At the completion of a Refit/DED, unused spares are mustered and transferred to the Logistics Depot for future use.

Supply of wrong items and the actions taken afterwards

  • It happens sometimes that the items supplied to the departments are found, on inspection, to be either unsuitable or incorrect. Such items are returned to the Logistics Depot direct, detailing the reasons in full for the return.
  • All items returned under such circumstances are examined by a qualified Technical Senior Rate, seconded to the Logistic Depot, to determine the reason for the incorrect item being supplied.
  • It is the responsibility of the user department to ensure such items are properly identified on future demands to prevent any recurrence of errors.

Recommendations

Considering the information available about the performance and problems of the RMSG, the following solutions can be recommended.

  • Instructions from HQ RNO must be issued to all the concerned departments for carrying out the complete survey of essential spares which are required for Refit/DEO prior to the issuance of R$L to the Logs Depot.
  • The RSL and the emergent demands should be sent on time for the purpose of fast and timely action.
  • Planning Office must review the demands after the start of Refit/ DED according to the actual requirement of the work package and the spares that are not required should be cancelled in order to save resources.
  • Enhance the manpower. Manpower is the basic factor responsible for the performance of any organization. The RMSG management must recruit specialized personnel in order to allow uninterrupted flow of not only goods but also information.
  • In addition to the recommendation above, the structure of the department must also be reviewed and discussed by the management. As far as communication is concerned, there must be lesser personnel in the line to reduce distortion in the communication.
  • Delays have to be controlled at all costs. Time is extremely important for the logistics department of any country’s military force. More time taken the lesser the effectiveness of the department. To tackle this problem the management can introduce cost effective methods of procurement and delivery. More importantly, the management needs to establish a well developed computerized system for reporting and submission of information regarding refits and stores.

Supply Support

Supply support includes all spares units, assemblies, modules, repair parts, consumables, special supplies, and related inventories needed to support prime mission-oriented equipment, software, test and support equipment, transportation and handling equipment, training equipment and facilities. Supply support also includes documentation, procurement, warehousing, distribution, and personnel associated with the acquisition and maintenance of spare parts inventories at all the support locations. Considerations include each maintenance level and each geographical location where spare parts are distributed and stocked.

Head of Naval Logistics (Hnl)

The Head of the Logistics Department is responsible to the Naval Base Commanding Officer for the organisation’s performance. The head is responsible for efficient use of equipment and training of the personnel of the department. The head of naval logistics has to direct all officers of the appointed for Logistics duties. The head is also responsible for allocating duties to the officers of the department.

  • All the accounts of logistics department are to be reported to the head of naval logistics. The Head has the authority to have control of any other ranks or ratings detailed for Duty in his department, while being employed.
  • The Head of naval logistics is jointly responsible, with the Head of Fleet Maintenance, for Logistics support under the direction of Director of Logistics) and Director of Engineering.
  • The responsibilities for Supply matters, on vessels which don’t have logistics officers on board, will be carried out by an officer, who using the authority delegated to him by the vessels Commanding Officer will take care of the logistics of the vessel. The officer is usually called Executive engineering officer or Marine engineering officer.

Royal Army of Oman

Responsibilities

The Base Ordnance Depot of the Royal Army of Oman (RAO) is responsible for the provision, procurement and logistic support of all stores and equipment which come under the single service management of RAO, and are shown in the Vocabulary of Ordnance Stores (VOS). These include:

  • Service Rations
  • Mechanical Handling Equipment
  • Barrack Stores
  • Crockery and Glassware
  • Depot Machinery
  • Office Machinery
  • Training Support Equipment

Royal Air Force of Oman (Rafo) – Responsibilities: The Supply Depot of the RAFO, is responsible for provision, procurement and logistic support of all stores and equipment which come under the single service management of RAFO.

Ministry Of Defense Engineering Services – Responsibilities: MODES is responsible for providing certain items of domestic equipment fitted in Marine Quarters and other outside accommodation for e.g. Electric Cookers, Water Heaters, Deep Freezers and Refrigerators etc. and for the repair and replacement of galley equipment in all shore galleys.

Staff Organization: It is important both for the efficient running of the stores offices and storerooms and the associated accounts, records and physical stocks that all Logistics Accountant ratings are given regular changes of employment where numbers within the complement make this possible.

Supply Officers in Supply Charge are to ensure that every possible opportunity is given to officers under training and to Logistics Accountant ratings, especially those in the junior rates and particularly those direct from initial training, to gain experience in every department and all aspects of accounting and storekeeping. Whenever the opportunity arises staff should be allocated duties in those areas where they have yet to gain experience and where others more experienced are also employed and able to provide “on job” instruction.

Separation of Store Accounting and Storekeeping Responsibilities

One of the principles of Government Accounting is that the store accounts should be maintained by office staff and that the storekeepers should not have access to them. Accommodation layout and complementing constraints, particularly in ships, make it impracticable on occasions for Supply Officers to follow this principle. Whenever possible, however, store accounts are to be held in a separate area from the stock and not to be maintained by the same rating as the one responsible for the associated stock.

Security in Storerooms and Offices

All RNO Logistics Department storerooms and offices including compartments which contain security classified items without the protection of approved security containers within these compartments are to be fitted with a rim lock and an appropriate security locks. This protection is also to be applied to other storerooms including storerooms containing valuable or attractive portable items which have a ready sale potential as directed by the Officer in command. Where a security padlock is used, a completely welded hasp and staple with a hinged pin, clenched to prevent removal, is to be fitted if possible; otherwise a security hasp and staple having all security screws or bolts riveted and concealed when the hasp is closed is to be fitted.

Sources of Supply

Supplies provided for use by Royal Navy of Oman ships and Shore bases are normally supplied from the following sources.

  1. General Naval Stores: Items that are listed in the RNO catalogue of General Naval Stores. These items are obtained via local contract negotiated through the Purchasing Directorate and Base Ordnance Depot.
  2. Technical Stores: Major and minor components of technical items supplied to the forces are spare machinery, electronic and electrical items, weapons control spares and mechanical spares found in the BSL (Base spare Lists) and other similar things which are a necessity for the force on board. Where possible, items are obtained from Call-off Contract or Support Contract from suppliers via Defence Purchase Orders or Local Purchase Orders.
  3. Accommodation Stores: All the items of furniture and soft furnishings (including mattresses) are obtained via Base ordnance depot.
  4. Mess Gear: All cooking utensils, tableware and cutlery are also obtained via Base Ordnance Depot.
  5. Clothing: All items of clothing (both uniform and protective), bedding (excluding mattresses) are obtained via local contracts. Common usage tri-service clothing is usually obtained via Base Ordnance Depot MAM.
  6. Office Machinery: photocopying machines are obtained via Base Ordnance Depot.
  7. Stationery: All Stationary items, printed forms and office requisites are also acquired via local contracts negotiated through the Purchasing Directorate.
  8. Petrol, Aviation Fuels, Oils and Lubricants: Diesel fuels for ships, engine oils, marine lubricating oils and petrol. These are some of the necessities of the naval fleet. These items are obtained via contract administered by the RAO. Aviation fuels contract administered by RAFO. Diesel oil for vehicles is obtained through MODES sponsored contracts.
  9. Rations: Fresh, frozen, dry, canned and preserved rations are required on board. Usually these items are obtained through Base Ordnance Depot and local markets.

Division of Stores

Stores provided for use by the staff on board ships of the Royal Navy of Oman and shore bases are dealt with under the following main ranges. Further divisions of these ranges are made, into groups within each range for accounting purposes and method of identification to distinguish an item in one range from another.

  1. Accommodation Stores
  2. Clothing
  3. Electronic/Electrical Stores
  4. Fuels, Oils and Greases
  5. General Naval Stores
  6. Motor Transport Stores
  7. Office Machinery
  8. Rations
  9. Ships Machinery Spares
  10. Stationery, Forms and Office Requisites
  11. Trophies
  12. Weapons Control Stores

The following are the functions and activities of the logistics depot in RNO:

  1. To provide the support of spare parts for all machines and equipments onboard all ships as instructed in the “Base Spare List” to ensure that these ships are operational and available at the time required and to, not to let any chance for ships which are not operational or suitable for a mission to fall in under taking any task due to lack of spares parts.
  2. To provide spare parts for all the machine and equipments that are operational at Naval Bases and other establishments of the navy. It covers all the naval units of the RNO.
  3. To maintain and control the flow of inventory and stock in all stores in all bases and other establishments.
  4. To provide ration for all Navy personnel including the staff at bases and other units. Joint services “Base Ordinance Depot” which is run by the army, is responsible for rationing dry, frozen and tinned items and to purchase the fresh items for rations through the local suppliers or local market.
  5. Provision of all types of uniforms for all the personnel and civilians in the Royal Navy of Oman.
  6. To provide for fuel, lubricants and greases for all ships of the RNO. Fuel and lubricants are essential for the machines on ships and bases. Vehicles used in the navy and air force helicopters providing support to the navy also require fuel.
  7. To provide stationary, forms, office machinery, computers and their accessories and training aids of all kinds to the offices at the bases and to the personnel on board ships.
  8. To provide for all the accommodation stores, mess and sports equipments, cultural events, exercises and also for the preparation of all the celebrations of RNO.
  9. To maintain and supervise the accounts in all the messes in RNO and to conduct audits and other forms of inspections form time to time.
  10. To provide ammunition of all types. The ammunition has to be tested and approved for usage before it is distributed to the personnel. In addition to that, a vital function is the management of the stock of the ammunition.
  11. To maintain a large range of stores for different types of goods, for example general stores, cleaning gears, electrical stores, electronic stores machinery maintenance and spare stores and weapons control stores etc.
  12. To maintain all the accounts of stores through a computerized system and maintain the information including suppliers’ invoices for payments from the Directorate of Finance in HQ.
  13. Prepare the logistics personnel and providing training for efficient functioning.

Purchasing Procedure

The main purchasing objectives are: To obtain materials of the right quality in the right quantity, from the right source or suppliers, delivered to the right place at the right time, at the most economical price.

Procurement is carried out from many suppliers around the world because the fleet and the equipment are of diverse or varied nature. The supplies are not obtained from a single source due to the complexities of the equipment and fleet. The Naval Budget is allocated by the Ministry of Defense. The Office of the Under Secretary/ Purchasing Department is responsible for the use of a major proportion of the budget as the expenditure of the purchasing department is huge.

The amount allocated to the Navy is for Capital expenditure and recurrent expenditure. All Ships and user departments make recommendations every year to decide upon items of spending to be included in the Capital expenditure. The recurrent expenditure budget is provides finance for the purchase and maintenance of spare parts to support of the Fleet. All purchases from the Capital and/or Recurrent budget are obtained directly through the Head of Naval Logistics. The purchases are either obtained in liaison with the Office of under Secretary/Purchase department on Defense Purchase Requisitions or, via Local Purchase. Support contacts are also an option available to the navy for purchases.

Following are the procedures and types of purchases of the RNO.

Local Purchase

The items that are available from local market sources (a local manufacturer or whole seller) are purchased considering the financial restrictions and budgets. Where the cost of an order is known in advance to exceed RO 5,000.000, a Purchase Requisition is to be raised. To or avoid operational delays and in exceptional circumstances a Departmental Purchase Order may be raised world-wide for up to RO100,000.000.

Purchasing is to be carried out economically and efficiently having regard for the Purchasing Objectives and policy of the management.

Whenever the prices are too high or the supplier overcharges, the orders have to be cancelled. The cancelled orders are resubmitted through Head Quarter against a Defense Purchase Requisition.

Cancellation of Local Purchase Orders: The Local Purchase Orders which are not satisfied after a time period of six months are normally to be cancelled. Ships and Departments are to be consulted by preformed before the decision is taken concerning cancellation. Where the item is still required a Defense Purchase Requisition should be raised.

Defense Purchase Requisition is an option available for those items not which are not immediately available locally. It can also be used for all overseas requirements. Defense Purchase Requisitions are raised on the Office of the Under Secretary/Purchasing Department.

Because of the difficulties and delays encountered in ordering for supplies from overseas, extended pipeline times are normal rather than exceptional. This is to be considered when raising requisitions for overseas supply.

It is the duty of the Office of under Secretary/Purchasing Department to obtain quotations for purchases. Any attempt by other authorities or individuals in Navy to obtain such quotations is strictly prohibited until and unless the Office of US/PD approves. HNL has been authorized by the Office of US/PD to obtain estimates for budgetary purposes only when the item has not previously been provisioned.

Defense Purchase Requisition – Quotations

After receipt of all quotations the Office of US/PD will confirm acceptance of the most viable option in terms of quality and cost. This is normally done in conjunction with Technical Departments although the Office of US/PD will remain the final authority on Purchase Order placement.

When prices and estimates differ, either the prices quoted by the suppliers are accepted or a re-budgeting takes place. If re-budgeting is able to satisfy the HNL and Office of US/PD then the purchases is made otherwise, other suppliers are sought.

Recommendations

  • Infrastructure: It is one of the most important factors which show development either in a company or a naval force.
  • Standardization: The process of standardization helps the organization remain on the track and maintain its efficiency. The institutional aspects of logistics of any organization have to be reformed if standardization is to be implemented.
  • Support technological developments
  • Build stronger cooperation and coordination

Evaluation of the logistics department of RNO

Performance indicators are required to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of the logistics department of the Royal Navy of Oman (OECD, 2002). These indicators may include the Key Performance Indicators (KPI).

References

2007, Web.

Boniface, P 2009, The history of the Royal Omani Navy, Web.

Britannica n.d, Logistics, Web.

Craig, T 2011, Logistics–Five Key Issues for Logistics Effectiveness, Web.

HYW n.d, Logistics, Web.

2007, Web.

2001, Web.

OECD 2002, Transport logistics: shared solutions to common challenges, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Web.

Singh, S, Kundu, SC & Singh, SK 1998, Logistics Management, Mittal Publication, New Delhi.

Tucker, T 2008, Military History and Warfare: American Civil War: Logistics, Railroads and Strategy, Web.

2007, Web.

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