Logistics & Supply Management

Support Concept

The Support Concept defines the overall logistics end state in achieving Product Support. The Program Manager (PM) establishes logistics support concepts (e.g., organic, two-level, three-level, contractor, partnering, etc.) early in the program, and refines the concepts throughout program development.  In developing the support concept, each program should develop an affordable strategy that: [1]

  • Positions and delivers material to satisfy highly variable readiness and combat sustainment needs in a variety of unique and demanding environments.
  • Meets all material management and maintenance statutory requirements.
  • Supports rapid power projection.
  • Improves readiness through performance-based sustainment strategies.
  • Establishes end-to-end processes focused on outcomes.
  • Implements contemporary business systems and practices that enable the integration of people, information, and processes.
  • Protects critical program information including as it moves through the supply chain, as required in DoD Instruction 5200.39 “Critical Program Information in the DoD” – 28 Dec 2010.

Support concepts for all systems should be structured to provide cost-effective, total life-cycle logistics support. Key Support Concept sub-elements that should be considered in developing the support concept include the following: [1]

  • Embedded Diagnostics/Testing and Prognostics,
  • Embedded Training and Technical/Maintenance Data,
  • Serialized Item Management supported by Automatic Identification Technology and Item Unique Identification technology,
  • Reliability Centered Maintenance / Condition Based Maintenance Plus (CBM+)
  • Standard Data Syntax and Semantics,
  • Iterative Technology Refreshment,
  • Public-Private Partnerships, and
  • End-to-End Supply Chain Management System.

The support concept has to address the hardware and its associated software (including Commercial off-the-Shelf (COTS) software) since the 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. [1]

The completion of the Alternative Systems Review (ASR) in the Materiel Solutions Analysis (MSA) Phase should provide an agreement on the proposed support concept to take forward into the milestone decision and subsequent Technology Maturation & Risk Reduction (TD) Phase.


  • Logisticians must be prepared to defend the logistics support concepts and supportability design requirements that they propose, not only from the logistics community’s point of view but also from the engineering point of view. [2]

AcqLinks and References:

Updated: 7/22/2021

Rank: G1

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