Diminishing Manufacturing Sources and Material Shortages (DMSMS) is the loss of resources and material needed to build, maintain and operate warfighting equipment.  DMSMS may endanger the life-cycle support and viability of the weapon system or equipment. It’s defined by the DoD as “…loss or impending loss of the last known manufacturer or supplier of raw material, production parts, or repair parts,” and by industry as the “…loss or impending loss of the original manufacturer or supplier of raw material, production parts or repair parts.” An obsolete device is part of a larger system that is no longer manufactured by the original manufacturer.

Guidebook: SD-22, Department of Defense (DoD) “Diminishing Manufacturing Sources and Material Shortages (DMSMS) (Aug 22): A Guidebook of Best Practices and Tools for Implementing a DMSMS Management Program.” 

Compared with the commercial electronics sector, the DoD is a minor consumer of electrical and electronic devices. While the electronic device industry abandons low-demand, older technology products, DoD seeks to prolong the life of weapon systems. These conflicting trends cause DMSMS problems as repair parts or materials disappear before the end of the weapon system life cycle. While electronics are most likely to be discontinued, obsolescence of non-electronic and Commercial off-the-Shelf (COTS) items also poses a significant problem to weapon systems. In short, DMSMS is a threat to system supportability. [1]

Solving DMSMS is complex, data intensive, and expensive. The Program Manager (PM) has only two approaches to solving DMSMS in a system: (1) reactive (address DMSMS problems after they surface) and (2) proactive (identify and take steps to mitigate impending DMSMS problems). DoD policy prescribes the proactive approach. [1]

An effective DMSMS program does the following: [1]

  • Ensures that all parts and material to produce or repair the system or equipment are available
  • Reduces, or controls, Total Ownership Cost (TOC)
  • Minimizes Total Life-Cycle Systems Management (TLCSM) cost
  • Eliminates, or at least minimizes, reactive DMSMS actions
  • Evaluates design alternatives
  • Provides for risk mitigation as it applies to DMSMS
  • Evaluates more than one approach to resolve DMSMS issues
  • Collects metrics to monitor program effectiveness.

While DMSMS can have a huge impact on total life-cycle cost, parts management is a strategy for mitigation or avoiding DMSMS problems. The Systems Engineering Plan (SEP) should include a robust section on parts management.

DoD has designated Government-Industry Data Exchange Program (GIDEP) as DoD’s DMSMS centralized database for sharing DMSMS information among DoD and Industry groups. Funded by the U.S. and Canadian governments, GIDEP membership is open and free to U.S./Canadian government agencies and their industry partners.  Proper utilization of GIDEP data can materially improve the total quality and reliability of systems and components during the acquisition and logistics phases of the life cycle and reduce costs in the development and manufacture of complex systems and equipment.

AcqLinks and References:

Updated: 7/20/2017

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