SOLEtter – October 2020 (V7N17)

SOLE(ロジステックエンジニアリングソサエティ)のメンバーに配布されるニュースレターです。ILS(Integrated Logistic Service) 関連情報へのアクセスポイントが、記載されています。ご参考まで

Subject: SOLEtter – October 2020 (V7N17)

SOLE – The International Society of Logistics Members & Friends:


From Dr. Joanne Stone-Wyman: SOLE H&DR logistic coordinator:

Hurricane season is upon us here in the United States, and we are breaking records for the number of named tropical storms. As of September 21st, the National Weather Service is up to naming tropical storm "Beta", with a bit to go to the official end of the hurricane season. Meanwhile, wildfires once again are plaguing the western states. So it's fitting that the US Government has designated September as emergency preparedness month. The designation focuses our attention on having plans in place for both seasonal and non-seasonal hazards. Preparedness planning, however, is not a once and done activity. It's an ongoing, sustained effort to be ready whether we need to evacuate or shelter in place, whether we're at home, at work, or on the road. Do we have essential equipment and supplies? Are they in working condition and unexpired? Scrambling for necessities at the last minute is not a plan especially in a COVID-19 environment. Here are some resources to help you get started on a new plan or improve an existing one:

Department of Homeland Security - &
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -  
Occupational Health & Safety Administration -  
Small Business Administration -
Red Cross -

The sky in several Western states is an eerie, Armageddon orange from unprecedented, massive wildfires. Although fires in California, Oregon, and Washington have been in the spotlight, there are 87 active fires that have burned nearly 5 million acres across 10 states. At least 35 people have died so far and thousands of people have lost their homes. Many communities have been wiped out entirely. Portland, Seattle, and San Francisco now have the worst air quality records of any major city in the world, and the contaminated air is drifting eastward across the country. Prepare for wildfires in advance, just as you would prepare for hurricanes, earthquakes or other calamities. Know which items you'll take if ordered to evacuate, and have ample amounts of requisite supplies for evacuation as well as sheltering in place. If fire threatens, local authorities will issue evacuation orders. Go as directed; do not stay behind to try to protect your property. Even if you're not threatened by an active wildfire, it may affect you with power outages, contaminated air, or other hazards. Here are some resources for preparing now in order to keep you and your family safe during and after wildfires are:

Official website of the Department of Homeland Security -
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CALFIRE)  -
American Red Cross -
Small Business Administration - 

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According to Greg Parker, DML & Theologistician: “If Hamlet was a Loggie, he would have said: "to break-down or not to break-down, this is the question."

How does a person or organization determine scheduled maintenance intervals? Some of us just take our vehicles to the local quickie lube when the light comes on. Some loggies I asked said: "as little as possible", while others said, "as much as possible". In the aircraft business, we often use the Maintenance Steering Group conference (MSG-3) instructions to help us. It was developed with the advent of the Boeing 747 series airplanes. A series of questions begin the analysis. The thought behind reliability centered maintenance (RCM) is:

     Few complex items exhibit wear out
     Reliability is improved by modification
     Needless tasks can introduce human error
     Maintenance is only effective if task applicable
     No improvement in reliability by excessive maintenance
     Monitoring is generally more effective than hard-time overhaul
     Maintenance may not be needed if failure is cheaper [the subject of this article…]

But for the average equipment owner/operator/maintainer, how much scheduled maintenance is enough? How much is too little or too much? We will assume that “run to failure” isn’t meeting our production objectives, nor improving our boss’s temperament. Economics can be a major player in our decision making process just like an economic level of repair analysis (LORA). It is possible to prove that scheduled maintenance may be costing us way more than it’s worth. Or not. Every situation is different.

Cost of over maintaining: Excessive downtime, early fastener wear-out, cost, etc.
Cost of under maintaining: Unpredictable downtime, inconvenient maintenance times, cost, safety, etc.

There are different types of preventive maintenance performed during scheduled usage (miles, operating hours, etc.) or calendar opportunities (days, months, years). They can include preventive, predictive, and proactive maintenance events. Included are routine servicing, before & after use, and totally random / unpredictable) inspections following an unusual operating event (back-fire, hard landing, over stress, etc.).

There may be opportunistic times to perform scheduled maintenance during unscheduled maintenance when the item is forced out of service anyway. We can intentionally defer scheduled maintenance until after a reliably predicted unscheduled maintenance event - wait for it to break and THEN swap out worn parts. Or we can fix broken items during scheduled maintenance events. But modeling that would give me a huge logistics headache.

Preventive maintenance may not always restore the condition of the system to `as good as new' [See Imperfect Maintenance V7N3]. We must determine when it is optimal to perform preventive maintenance and when maintenance should be performed when an opportunity arises. This should be done in advance during the maintenance planning phase. This is why maintenance engineering is a science backed up by a lot of crystal ball gazing and hocus-pocus.

So now what? I did what my kids would do and looked on-line. I found a heuristic (rule of thumb for you CPL & CML candidates) ratio of preventive maintenance to corrective maintenance. While not a “one-size-fits-all,” it is a starting point. A reference we can utilize to get our arms around this elephant. A benchmark. A line in the sand, etc. The recipe is 6 parts scheduled maintenance to 1 part inherent failures. 6:1. So how do we use it in practice?

     CM = Corrective (unscheduled) maintenance
     PM = Preventive (scheduled) maintenance

Let’s envision a ‘machine’ that makes ‘things’. We need it to operate continuously all year. Since there are 8,760 hours in most years, that’s our planned operating time. However, we know that all mechanical objects with moving parts have the potential of eventually breaking down. Hypothetical Reliability experts predicted that our hypothetical machine will have a mechanical issue that will stop it on average, every 973 hours (MTBF). That means it will be down for 8,760 / 973 = 9 times a year (or so). If it takes an average of 8 hours to repair it each time, the machine will be out of service 9 x 8 = 72 hours a year. That’s 3 full days!

By performing preventive maintenance, our machine is still breaking down, but hopefully less often and with less downtime. Scheduled maintenance often costs fractions less than corrective maintenance. But in order to achieve this technological wizardry, we have to stop the machine more often than it breaks down – around six times more often. By factoring in the life cycle costs (LCC), it is possible that run-to-failure is still a viable alternative. Intrinsic values such as the possibility of losing contracts in the future or potential safety issues may also factor in. Just how important is this ‘thing’ we make anyway? If safety is involved in the product or manufacturing process, economics may take a back seat.

We can spend a ton of time and money to get a more accurate scheduled maintenance interval estimate. Or we can use the “Wella” method. “Well’a, let’s reduce PM by 1 or 2 events per year and see what happens. And if that doesn’t work, we’ll increase it by 1 or 2 and see what that does.” You don’t have to wait until the end of the year to measure failure statistics, but it helps to have a decent statistical sample before making any huge jumps in PM intervals.

There can be situations when the PM solution that provides the least amount of downtime causes a higher cost, and vice versa. This is because the cost of performing average CM & PM tasks usually differ considerably. PM doesn’t always cost less than CM. Also, with a heuristic 6:1 ratio, we already know that the machine will be taken out of service about six times more than the actual number of failures. So what we have to do is add together all of the costs involved with scheduled maintenance and then comparing them to all of the costs associated with run-to-failure. The lowest cost is usually the best option. I did this in a spreadsheet model and was able to tweak the inputs to show how PM intervals affect both cost & downtime. [Ask for my model if you want to compare it to yours.]

The input variables I used were:
Run-To-Failure: CM repair cost per event; MTBF; time to repair
Preventive Maintenance: PM maintenance cost per event; events/year; time to maintain
Plus: planned operate time/year;the cost of downtime

The outputs I derived were:
Run-To-Failure: Total CM maintenance costs
Preventive Maintenance: Total PM maintenance costs
Plus: Operational Availability (Ao); failure rate; number of failure events, predicted downtime, the least cost solution and by how much (graphed)

According to the sample data in my spreadsheet, I show the direction downtime vs. cost takes with any CM to PM ratio. If the MTBF doesn’t change [unrealistic], we can increase/decrease the number of scheduled maintenance events in the model to see what that does to downtime and the cost of maintenance. We can adjust it for predicted or actual MTBFs, and the costs associated with downtime and maintenance to see what affects that has on total maintenance costs. Now we can go into decision making meetings with educated and modeled “what-if” analysis results that justify our recommendations.

Just because a solution nets the greatest amount of uptime, it may be the worst economic solution. It all depends on what you value most; uptime, cost avoidance, or both (the optimal solution). Now that the costs are laid out in front of us, we can decide if it is worth performing PM activities, or just let the machine break-down and have a repair company on speed-dial. Scheduled maintenance is costing us a whole lot more than ya think. But from a mission success or safety perspective, it can be the difference between life, death, success, or failure. – Logistics in Action


Reliability Centered Maintenance Guide for Facilities and Collateral Equipment:
Evolution of MSG-3 (Maintenance Steering Group Logic-3):

Interesting scheduled maintenance statistics:



“I have a big diesel truck, so I have a good scheduled maintenance program: oil change, fuel filters...on a 4 month schedule. My motorcycle gets pre/post flight every sortie. My house gets washed twice a year; internal air filters changed every month, and other than write-ups from the crew chief....those go onto a priority list (honey-do) for phased (Saturday) maintenance...” – Jeff Benner, DML

“If the cost of redesigning the equipment to eliminate the need for scheduled maintenance is less than the cost of all the scheduled maintenance required to keep the device safe and operational … Or if you never get to use the equipment because it is always undergoing scheduled maintenance … Or if over half your parking lot is allocated to the company that does your scheduled maintenance and they start showing up in Rolls Royce service vehicles, you might be doing too much scheduled maintenance.” – John Buhner

"How do we account for "scheduled maintenance" in spares modeling? We were finding roughly 10% Not Mission Capable (NMC) due to the scheduled maintenance, so if the customer wants 65% Ao, we use the Service Planning and Optimization (SPO) modeling software at 75%. ...And roughly 10% when they have 1 shift, 5 days a week maintenance." - Amber J Corcoran

“I have seen scheduled maintenance pushed from 100hr inspection to 150hr. This was not an arbitrary push, it was based on hard core maintenance data. Plus the manufacturer (OEM) never took into consideration the wear & tear of blowing the equipment apart to inspect it or perform scheduled maintenance.” – Greg Groves

 “If you have the resources to take a piece of equipment offline without disruption to process or mission, time, parts and personnel to accomplish the maintenance, it shouldn't be a negative. Provides training on the equipment for new folks, and insight into the condition of the equipment.” - Martin Lanasky

“Let’s say - Baskin Robbins. Winter is the off season, so downtime on a freezer that costs me four hours + the cost of restocking the ice cream (but business is slow) is tolerable. But in the summer season, and near a major attraction with thousands of people nearby and peak demand with kids everywhere, four hours is quite expensive.” And... “The military aspect of this work mandates more scheduled maintenance than you might have in a purely commercial world… But because of the "down and dirty" cost of the planning, documentation, and scheduled maintenance versus the cost of the failure, hardship, and repair at time of need; mission critical items probably get more pampering. If you were in Antarctica, a failure of the "warming equipment" would be catastrophic and if you were in space, a failure of the "oxygen equipment" would also be catastrophic.” – Greg Parker, DML

[Editor - So there may be better seasonal or production times than others for machines to be down, complicating our models even further. Prioritize your mission critical items and analyze those separately from the economic considerations.]

“I think scheduled maintenance is a balance. Too much and you end up doing more work & spending more than if you let it break and you take a chance on breaking something while doing the scheduled maintenance. Not enough scheduled maintenance may allow a catastrophe failure with high cost and long lead time, when it may have been a replacement of an inexpensive part to avoid the catastrophe. The amount of scheduled maintenance to perform should not be too much or too little [Editor: The Goldilocks ratio of “Just right”]. For example, my husband used to never do lawnmower maintenance, so we bought a new one about every few years. Then he started regularly maintaining it and we have not bought one in 10 years. It’s all about balance, Grasshopper.”  – Joan Zahoran

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The following are local Logistics & Transportation Clubs that have postponed current events because of COVID19. But at least you can contact them for further information regarding future events. Some of these clubs have been in existence for almost a century. The common denominator appears to be networking, happy hours, dinner meetings, golf outings, and holding benevolent/charity events.

Columbus Logistics Breakfast Club:
Denver Transportation Club:
Fresno Transportation Club:
Harbor Transportation Club (LA/Long Beach):
Los Angeles Transportation Club:
North Carolina League of Transportation and Logistics:
The Milwaukee Logistics Council:
The Traffic Club of New York:
The Transportation Club of Detroit:
The Transportation Club of Memphis:
The Transportation Club of Nashville:
The Transportation Club of Seattle:
The World Trade Association of Philadelphia:
Traffic and Transportation Club of Greater New Orleans:
Traffic Club of Baltimore:
Traffic Club of Chicago:
Traffic Club of Lehigh Valley:
Traffic Club of Pittsburgh:
Transportation and Logistics Club of Mobile:
Transportation Club of Central New York:
Transportation Club of Dallas/Fort Worth:
Transportation Club of Houston:
Transportation Club of Jacksonville:
Transportation Club of Peoria:
Transportation Club of St. Louis:
Transportation Club of Tacoma:
West Michigan Transportation Club:

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I'm going to explore prepositioning on a military scale. It’s a little too late for us during this pandemic, but this may come in handy for future missions/events. I talked about this before [RE: Supporting a Mission to Mars V7N7]. It is advantageous to have the support waiting for us, than us having to wait for the support to arrive. I’d like to hear any experiences you may be experiencing utilizing previously prepositioned supplies.

First, some definitions:

     ROS: Reduced Operating Status (numeral indicates number of days required for mobilization).
     MPF: Marine Prepositioning Force (Marine Corps prepositioning)
     CPF: Combat Prepositioning Force (Army prepositioning)
     LPS: Logistics Prepositioning Ships (USN field hospital, USAF ammunition, general-use fuels)
     RRF: Ready Reserve Force (numeral indicates number of days required for mobilization).

Ship Types: Expeditionary Sea Base, Expeditionary Transfer Dock, Maritime Prepositioning Force ships, Offshore Petroleum Distribution System (OPDS).

     Maritime Prepositioning Ships: Let the adventure begin:
     Strategic Sealift:
     Sealift and military prepositioning ships:
     Logistics Prepositioning Ships:
US Air Force (USAF) Sponsored PREPO Logistics Prepositioning Ships, US Navy (USN) Sponsored PREPO Logistics Prepositioning Ships, Defense Fuel Supply Center (DFSC) Logistics Prepositioning Ships:  [Editor: Includes COVID19 Updates]

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From Ken Smith: “After 15 years at sea, Navy logistics support ship returns to its new home”:

US Army Direct Unit Maintenance Operations and Unit Level Logistics System (ULLS)::
The US Library of congress has books on logistics that may be downloaded for free:
The Logistics Handbook – A Practical Guide for Supply Chain Managers in Family Planning and Health Programs:
NATO Logistics Handbook (2012):

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The US Library of congress has videos on logistics that may be viewed for free:



“If there is one thing I’ve learned during the COVID quarantine, it’s not to judge a book by its cover, but instead by its availability.” – Leah Richmond

“It will not suffice merely to make a specialist of the logistician, for logistics is part of the exercise of command…the record of the Second World War suggests that the naval commander must be indoctrinated in the problems of providing as well as making use of the means of warfare.” -- Duncan S. Ballantine

“Logistics [is] … in the broadest sense, the three big M’s of warfare—material, movement, and maintenance. If international politics is the art of the possible, and war is its instrument, logistics is the art of defining and extending the possible. It provides the substance that physically permits an army to live and move and have its being.” - James A. Huston



Logistics Super Heroes

“I am lost without my Boswell” – Sherlock Holmes referring to Dr. Watson in “A Scandal in Bohemia.” Other famous assistants are: Robin, Kato, Tonto, and Mini-Me. WWII officers sometimes had orderlies or ‘batmen’ to assist with their horses and other personal duties.

When I worked with Morris Grumbine, CPL, he called me his “sycophant”; something he defined as: “Someone who sucks up to the boss even though there is no hope of a raise or promotion.” If you find yourself in a personal personnel support role: Be an extension of your boss (not a copy), Don't become a scapegoat, Understand what you bring to the job, Make the boss look good, Prioritize/Time Management, Be Organized, Think Ahead (be one step ahead of your boss), Work Smarter (Not Harder). If you are the one being assisted: Be the kind of boss you'd be excited to have, Be specific about the job requirements and working environment, Create a work environment of trust and possibility, Don't take assistants for granted. Praise them for good work and reward them for outstanding work.

So where would Batman & Robin be without Alfred? When Spiderman's web juice runs out or Superman needs his cape dry cleaned and pressed, who takes care of their support needs? It’s time that the World discovers the truth behind Loggie-Man! “L-M” (for short) submits proposals early in each crime fighter’s career and then begins contracting for Superhero logistics support before the evil doers do evil. Without Loggie-Man, the Evil Logistics Empire would soon put a halt to all incoming Superhero supplies shipped from the Superhero Home Shopping Network (S-HSN).

So when you see someone glare at you and make the sign of the "L" on their forehead with their RH thumb & forefinger, they are secretly telling you that they are one of Loggie-Man’s faithful Logistics Support staff helpers. At least that’s what my coworkers tell me it means!

Related ‘Batman’ QUOTES

“Your anger gives you great power. But if you let it, it will destroy you…”
“Our greatest glory is not in ever falling, but in rising every time we fall.”
“Why do we fall? So that we can learn to pick ourselves back up.”
 “It's not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.”
 “Everything’s impossible until somebody does it.”
 “I have one power. I never give up.”

“I’m not saying that I’m Batman. But I am saying that no one has ever seen Batman and me together in the same room.” – Every seven year old in a Batman costume

- Phil

Please reply back with anything I can share.  To receive the SOLEtter electronically from SOLE – The International Society of Logistics, just send an email to with 'SUBSCRIBE” in the subject. If you want to cancel just put “UNSUBSCRIBE” in a reply and I’ll remove you from this list. Websites:, Email: