Defence Logistics, and the management of the defence supply chain, faces many challenges over the next decade. Whilst the operational theatre remains unpredictable, defence logistics demands greater agility and improved performance and, at the same time, reduced cost and logistic footprint. In addition, there are the challenges of managing legacy systems alongside the latest technologies, meeting increasingly challenging environmental requirements and countering the threats posed by counterfeit spares entering the supply chain.

However, a number of new technologies are now coming into commercial use, threatening to disrupt traditional ways of doing business. These include greater use of cloud computing and storage, a focus on big data and analytics, introduction of drones and autonomous systems and the opportunities presented by additive manufacturing.

In this workshop we will examine the opportunities and benefits that these ‘disruptive’ technologies could bring to defence logistics and discuss further the challenges and issues of transitioning these ideas from the commercial world into the military. By the end of the workshop delegates will be able to assess where the greatest benefits could be obtained and start to formulate strategies for their assessment and potential implementation.


1330-1430 Registration and Coffee
1430-1445 Opening Remarks – Objectives and Challenges
1445-1530 Session 1: The potential of disruptive technologies to make the supply chain more efficient
1530-1600 Group Discussion
1600-1630 Coffee Break
1630-1715 Session 2: Integrating new technologies within legacy systems
1715-1745 Group Discussion
1745-1800 Closing Remarks: Summary and Recommendations

What will you learn?

  • Understand how to apply new technologies to your supply chain in order to improve performance
  • Learn how disruptive technologies can be used to lessen the logistical footprint, making the supply chain lighter and more versatile
  • Be aware of the risks of the proliferation of data within the supply chain, in order to avoid threats to security

About the workshop leader
Stuart Young MSc, CEng, MIMechE, FIMarEST, FCMI
Head of the Centre for Defence Acquisition
Cranfield Defence and Security
Cranfield University

After a career in the Royal Navy as an Engineer Officer, including operational appointments at sea, a period as a liaison officer with the US Department of Defence in Washington and various programme management roles in procurement and logistics, Stuart Young joined Cranfield University in 2008. He is now head of Cranfield’s Centre for Defence Acquisition, collocated with the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom at Shrivenham. He is responsible for the delivery of a range of acquisition-related courses and MSc programmes . His research interests include the MOD-Industry relationship across the Supply Chain, the management of complex programmes and decision-making.