A report by the National Audit Office has criticised the Ministry of Defence’s supply chain management, identifying problems with getting equipment to troops.
According to the report, the MoD is managing to make only 54% of its deliveries on time, meaning that soldiers are often kept waiting for essential supplies.
The report highlighted procurement as a problem, as many late deliveries were caused by a lack of stock. Possible causes could be poor forecasting making it difficult to hold the right amount of stock, or the inability of suppliers to respond quickly to demand.
The report also highlighted concerns that too many routine deliveries into Afghanistan were being made by air, tying up resources when they could be delivered by land or sea at an annual cost saving of £15 million.
“The department urgently needs better supply chain information systems with the appropriate skills and processes to match,” says Amyas Morse, head of the NAO.
Defence minister Peter Luff said: “Operations in Afghanistan are our top priority and the NAO notes the improvements in the supply chain including to our armed forces on the front-line. We are constantly working to improve our performance and we are currently implementing an £800 million contract with Boeing Defence for a more streamlined, agile, and effective logistics support chain.”