To support smaller reparable asset inventories, current Air Force logistics policies direct the “expedited evacuation of reparables ... to the source of repair.” Mode selection is based on the asset. Focusing on the asset is an efficient and effective method of getting assets to where they are needed in a timely manner in the forward portion of the supply pipeline. However, in the reverse portion of the pipeline, the demand for an asset may no longer be critical to how it is transported. The quantity of the asset at the depot may already exceed repair capacity. In this instance, rapid movement results in the asset being added to the backlog already awaiting repair, thus retrograde modal selection focus should shift to repair capacity. Since the depots face budget and manning constraints and do not operate on a continuous basis, their repair capacity is limited. With finite repair resources, the question of when an asset can be repaired should be involved in mode determination. A stock-point modeling approach was used, with depot production requirements as a surrogate for demand in calculating shipping priority. Using Warner Robins Air Logistics Center reparable asset production data, this article illustrates potential savings in transportation that are possible utilizing an alternative factor in modal choice decision for the retrograde or reverse portion of the pipeline.
Cunningham, William A., Swartz, Stephen & Kahler, Harold M. (2004). Depot repair capacity as a criterion for transportation mode selection in the retrograde movement of reparable assets. Journal of Transportation Management, 15(1), 55-66. doi: 10.22237/jotm/1080777960