Integrated logistics support is a concept that was first used by the military, and which now is commonly used in the commercial sector as well. This concept is based on the idea that logistics and support concerns are designed as integral parts of equipment and systems. Likewise, support and logistical concerns are taken into account throughout the lifespan of equipment and systems. In other words, practitioners of integrated logistics support believe that factors such as testing, training, and improvement are primary concerns for professionals who wish to benefit most from equipment and engage in the most cost effective practices.
An important principle of integrated logistics support is that all equipment is kept highly functional. In traditional business models, for example, managers might consider factors such as cost of repairs and benefits of saving money in the short term. Individuals who use principles of integrated logistics, however, believe that a system is most cost effective when it is in optimal condition and capable of completing all designated tasks.
Maintenance is an essential component of integrated logistics support. Instead of scheduling repairs and updates only when needed, proponents of integrated logistics believe that maintenance should be an ongoing process. As a matter of fact, professionals who work within this model tend to consider maintenance upon acquisition of equipment. They might plan schedules and procedures for testing to ensure that all equipment and systems remain in optimal condition at all times.
Manpower is also considered in integrated logistics support. Managers might match individuals with certain skills and responsibilities with certain kinds of equipment. In order to determine the best fit, management might distribute proficiency exams or personality tests that allow them to learn about workers' strengths, weaknesses, and preferences. Ideally, management might create the most effective work models that require the smallest numbers of laborers in order to increase efficiency and reduce cost.
To ensure that all maintenance and usage practices are performed correctly, training is an important part of integrated logistics support. All professionals responsible for using and testing equipment might undergo continual instruction, which is followed up with assessments that allow them to demonstrate understanding of material. Guidelines and instruction manuals often are updated to reflect new standards and goals dictated by management.
The collection and organization of data is another important aspect of integrated logistics support. In order to assess performance of equipment, professionals compare productivity rates in different time periods. When professionals observe problems in processes, they might perform analysis that enables them to locate causes for problems.