Product Support is the application of the package [called Product Support Package (PSP)] of integrated logistics elements and support functions necessary to sustain the readiness and operational capability of a system. It includes the logistics elements of manpower and personnel, technical data, facilities, maintenance planning, supply support, and computer resource support. They must be integrated because they impact each other and Materiel Availability. During the Acquisition Process the focus is on influencing the design for supportability and by fielding the Support Concept to satisfy user-specified requirements for sustaining system performance at the lowest ownership cost. This applies to each increment of the capability to be developed and is detailed in the Product Support Strategy.

 

Guidebook: DoD Product Support Manager Guidebook – June 2016

 

Features of Product Support include: [1]

  • Availability of support to meet Warfighter specified levels of combat and peacetime performance;
  • Logistics support that sustains both short and long term readiness;
  • Management of Life-Cycle Cost (LCC) through analysis and decision prioritization;
  • Maintenance Concepts to integrate the logistics elements and optimize readiness while drawing upon both organic and industry sources;
  • Data management and Configuration Management (CM) that facilitates cost-effective product support throughout the system life cycle;
  • A Diminishing Manufacturing Sources and Material Shortages Management Process (DMSMS) that ensures effective, affordable, and operationally reliable systems;
  • Operator and maintainer training to encompass the full capability of the system.

 

The Support Concept has to address the hardware and its associated software (including Commercial off-the-Shelf (COTS) software) since software can be a major sustainment issue as systems become more software intensive. Programs need to plan for technology refreshment and maintaining the software after production. This includes how changes (for obsolescence/ technology refreshment and maintaining the software) will be budgeted and executed along with the necessary technical data required to sustain the software throughout the system life. In addition to sustaining the software, aspects such as customer support, systems administration help desk support, etc. need to be considered. [1]

 

Achieving the support concept and sustaining operational capability requires the involvement of the logistics, engineering, testing, program management, contracts, supply chain, and financial management experts. The overall support strategy, documented in the Life-Cycle Sustainment Plan (LCSP), should include life-cycle support planning and address actions to assure sustainment and continually improve product affordability for programs in initial procurement, re-procurement, and post-production support. A performance-based product support process will be used to align the support activities necessary to meet these objectives.

 

AcqLinks and References:

Updated: 7/19/2017

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