Publication Date
Authored by
Michael Smith
Advisor(s): Chris Caplice
Topic(s) Covered:
  • Digitization

Companies spend significant resources on digital transformation projects that do not always meet expectations. This thesis contends that these projects fail or fall short because organizations do not consider the three fundamental flows of a supply chain; materiel, information, and payment. To address the issue, this thesis develops a lens to identify mismatches between materiel, information, and payment flows, and applies this lens to putaways and the post goods receipt process in the US Army’s supply chain. The thesis identifies an increased risk of loss for putaways confirmed before physical movement could take place, and confirmations that occurred after seven days. The thesis recommends measuring putaway time as a key performance indicator and establishing a two duty-day key performance standard, which would hypothetically lead to a reduced rate of loss. With respect to the post goods receipt process, it was found that a failure to confirm goods receipt led to the creation of millions of dollars in phantom inventory and late payments. This thesis recommends allowing customers to pay for materiel even if intermediate digitized information flows were not confirmed. It also recommends monitoring materiel available to be received so that leaders can spot and address errors. By considering the three fundamental flows of a supply chain, digital transformation practitioners can achieve better results.