August 30, 2019
The recent news item on the US Navy’s award to Amazon Web Services (AWS) for its supply chain to meet the Navy’s requirements to unify the movement and documentation of some $70 billion worth of parts and goods into one accessible space, where the information can be shared, analyzed and protected in a more uniform fashion is significant. The Navy’s acquisition, logistics, and back office data will be moved to the cloud over the next two years.
While the contract is for IT cloud services, it is also significant in that it focuses on Supply Chain for parts and goods for Navy flight operations. So a good question is, will this lead to a ‘two for one’ win for Amazon; i.e., will Amazon’s ever growing logistics operations have an in on the transportation and delivery piece of the parts and goods business, offering full integration for both the shipments, and the information about the shipments? Amazon’s HQ2 will be the Pentagon’s next door neighbor starting in 2020 (one Metro stop away), and closer to the Pentagon than Boeing’s Crystal City campus.
And who else might be in the wings for the logistics piece of the business? In the late 1970’s the US Postal Service won a multi-million dollar, multi-year contract with the USAF to handle the exact same type of shipments for restock and repair parts and supplies for aircraft. Shipments, outbound and inbound were carried via the eponymous US Postal Service “Express Mail Customized Designed Service”, every routing leg was individually designed and programed by time of day for PUDO on a 24/7/365 day schedule for the Air Force, with full en-route tracking.
Today USPS ® Priority Mail Express ® service is a shadow of its former glory. However, another contender may very well be FedEx® Aerospace Solutions, possibly one of the reasons FedEx Express® cancelled its Amazon contract.