Things you should know about TVS Supply Chain Solutions and Defence…

Ancient History:
TVS used to be part of Leyland Trucks, founded 1896. We have supported military vehicles since the “RAF Type” 2 ton truck in 1919. During WWII the company built the Cromwell, Comet and Crusader tanks, and we supported the Leyland engine for the Chieftain tank into the 1980’s. In the 1980’s, the company supplied and supported the British Army’s main workhorse vehicle, the Leyland DAF 4X4 tonne truck, as well as the Scammell “DROPS” ammunition carriers.

Recent History:
Our first Defence contract as a service provider was the Challenger 2 Innovative Spares Provisioning contract – CRISP. We were actually the subcontractor to Vickers Defence Systems who built the Challenger 2. Vickers became Alvis who became BAe Systems
We bought and supplied all the consumable spares for the British Army’s main battle tank.

More importantly, we took over the demand forecasting and storage of those items. This was pretty big stuff since it meant the Army had to trust somebody else to hold all the inventory of their main battle winning equipment.

Good thing they chose us:
We claim to be able to improve people’s availability while reducing their inventory. For the Challenger 2, we increased parts availability by 27% and reduced their inventory by 89%. We also delivered direct to Armoured Regiments, so they could get their spares in 3 days instead of 28.

CRISP had a sister contract, the Challenger 2 Base Inspection and Repair (BIR). Again working for BAE Systems, we delivered spares kits into the Army’s workshops – making sure we delivered exactly the right set of spares for each vehicle: the Challenger 2 went through a lot of build changes during production, so there was a lot of variation in the parts used to build each one.

CRISP ran from 2000 to 2009, BIR from 2001 to 2008. These two contracts really established us as a serious service provider for the UK military.

TVS Defence Contracts:
2000 to 2009 CRISP: The first time the Army had trusted industry to look after battle winning equipment. 2,500 items (NATO Stock Numbers, NSNs)

2001 to 2008: BIR

2002 to today: General Engineering Hardware – supplying bearings, valves, hoses, tubes and pipes into Army depots, Air bases and Naval dockyards. The first inventory contract to go live on the MOD’s Purchase To Payment electronic ordering system (P2P). 35,000 NSNS

2003 – 2008: The Rapier Direct Exchange Repairables Scheme (TRADERS). As sub-contractor to MBDA UK, we held all of the spares, consumables and repairables for the Rapier Air Defence Weapon System (missiles to you and me) Replaced in 2008 by ADAPT. 11,000 NSNS

2004 – 2006 BOWMAN: The Army’s new battlefield communications system (at least it was new then). We supported General Dynamics (GD) through the first 2 years from initial Operational Field Trials through to deployment into active service in Iraq. By then, GD had developed their own IT systems and took support back in house. We took just 3 months from the first meeting with GD to making our first delivery of spares, and designed and managed a very rigorous process to hand all the inventory back to GD at the end of the contract. 2,000 NSNS

2005 to today C Vehicles: Our client ALC won a 16 year contract to support the MOD’s global fleet of construction vehicles, field engineering plant and rough terrain mechanical handling equipment (officially the C Vehicles Capability PFI contract), and we won the contract to provide their spares support. A fleet of 2,500 very diverse equipments (average “fleet size” of around 12!) which have been operating in a combat zone (“In Theatre”) in Iraq and then Afghanistan since the contract started.

To prove that CRISP wasn’t a fluke, we nearly doubled MOD’s availability of C Vehicles spares (to 95%) while reducing the inventory by 70% – while they were being used in a very hostile environment.

As well as the great improvements in inventory, the Procurement team have made some fantastic savings in the purchase price of the parts we buy.

For high priority C Vehicle demands (Standard Priority Code 01, SPC01), we have to pick, pack and deliver (to the Military Hub known as “Purple Gate”), within 2 hours of receipt. At any time of the day or night, on any day of the year, including Christmas Day. 90,000 NSNs.

2008 to today ADAPT: The Air Defence Availability Project. The successor to TRADERS supporting Rapier. Have a small team embedded within MOD North Luffenham in Rutland – home of 16 Regiment Royal Artillery – who look after £140 million of MOD-owned inventory – all of the spares and repairable items there will ever be to keep Rapier going throughout the rest of its service life.

The Regiment are about to move from North Luffenham (near Peterborough) to Thorney Island (near Portsmouth), and we’re waiting to hear whether we’re moving with them, or supporting them from where we are. 11,000 NSNS

2009 to today: HASP, the Heavy Armour Spares Provisioning contract was the successor to CRISP, and we hold this contract direct with MOD. We have maintained the low inventory and high availability from CRISP, but now we are able to negotiate direct with suppliers (previously BAe Systems insisted on doing that), so the Procurement team have again made some fantastic savings in the purchase price of the parts we buy, and we have developed a slick process for getting MOD’s approval of new sources of supply.
We have a separate contract with MOD’s Defence Support Group (DSG) for a different range of armoured vehicle spares where we just deliver into their stores on a price and lead time basis.

2010 to 2014: Enhanced Combat Body Armour (ECBA ) testing. Belgian clothing and armour manufacturer, Seyntex (pronounced “sane-tecs”), developed a way of testing used body armour (ceramic plates worn in a tunic) for cracks. An intact plate will stop a bullet, a cracked one won’t. It’s important to know the difference. The Americans X-ray theirs and use software to (hopefully) spot any cracks. Seyntex measure the resonant frequency of the plate (attach an acoustic probe and tap it with a rubber hammer) to detect even hairline cracks which wouldn’t show on X-ray. As subcontractor to Seyntex, we tested 199,775 used plates over 3 ½ years. 1 NSN.

2010 to date: High Mobility Engineering Excavator (HMEE, pronounced “hemmie”). We supply DSG with the spares for this beefed-up JCB back hoe loader, used in Afghanistan to accompany logistics patrols and deal with “obstacles”.

2011 to date: Titan and Trojan (T2). We supply the DSG with the spares for MOD’s new generation of Combat Engineering Vehicles – image a tank with a bulldozer blade on its nose or a deploy-able bridge on its back instead of a gun turret!

2013 to date: DSG General Support. DSG have an on-going programme of one-off purchases to clear their back-orders (“dues out” in military parlance) across a very diverse range of items (we supplied 23,000 Army watches last year), and we have been highly successful in against these lists. Supplied into DSG stores against price and lead time

2013 to date: Operational Field Catering Consumable Spares. Contract with DSG to supply all of the consumable items that go with their field catering system, ranging from thermal mugs to gas valves to large storage containers.

2013 to date: Land Rover Spares.Contract with DSG to supply all of the spares for the MOD’s fleet of Land Rovers.

The future:
We are bidding on several commodity supply contracts with different branches of MOD, and we are in a team lead by US company Leidos working on the MOD’s Logistic Commodity Service (Transformation) – one of two bidders. LCS(T) will be a 13-year contract worth £ billions and will take over the storage and distribution of a large proportion of MOD’s inventory. Our role will be to take over the procurement of all Clothing, Packaged Fuel, Food, Medical Equipment, Medical Consumables, Pharmaceuticals and General Supplies items. Negotiations are on-going, with a decision due by the end of this year.