14 Mar 02. The MoD has announced the suspension of the Defence Stores Management Solution programme following the completion of the latest study phase with contractor IBM-INDUS and a General Budgetary Review at the DLO. DSMS which was still in an incremental development stage using IBM-INDUS software was suspended following budgetary concerns after a spends of £120m (See Parliamentary Questions below).
The DSMS programme had reached a natural gap in the study phase and it will now be up to Ministers to agree on the next stage following a submission to EAC in the summer.
Jason Impey, Communications Manager for the DLO told BATTLESPACE, “One of the requirements for DSMS was the replacement of a number of existing stores management systems. The study revealed that an existing aircraft parts storage system (We assume the IBM LITS system), proved more robust than previously planned and the system will continue in service until further notice.”
The DLO statement is in stark contrast to that of INDUS, who issued a statement with regard to the provisions for DSMs (See INDUS ANNOUNCE RESULTS).
The DSMS decision does not impinge on other systems such as DLO Requirement for Unit Management (DRUM) and the BOWMAN Logistic Information System (BLIS), which is managed by General Dynamics (UK) Ltd. The role of DRUM is to manage the land assets for all three services. Although still in the development stage, the funding for DRUM is in place until the end of this month and will also be the subject of a review. One possibility being examined is the possibility that some part so DRUM could meet the DSMS requirement. In essence the result of the review should be a wholesale rationalisation and streamlining of information systems within the MoD.
BATTLESPACE asked Simon Dowler, managing Director of BAE SYSTEMS-IFS for any comments about the effect this would have on his business and he said, “The DSMS decision does not impinge on any of our existing defence projects, as far as we are concerned at BAE it is business as usual. We believe that IFS offers a system which would meet a number of the MoD’s requirements and we await the next stage following the review.”
IFS has proved to be the fastest growing software application in the world over a 24 month period. IFS now has 3500 customers including GE, BMW and Mitsubishi. The system is a fully three-tiered open-layered COTS system developed over a 10 year period. BAE-IFS takes a number of key modules and develops them for specific defence applications. The system has already been chosen for Eurofighter, JSF and BLIS.
There are a number of logistic solutions that can be bought off the shelf from such companies as Invensys with Baan, SEP and Oracle and these systems may be looked at as part of the overall review.