Home exam (40%)
3000 -4000 words (including reference list and cover page).

– Font size 12pts Times New Roman, 1.5 line spacing.

Select any organization of your choice that is part of a supply network and explore what IT solutions it deploys and to what extent such solution(s) has helped the organization streamline its operations and cost containment initiatives.

Interview Guide

1.Name of the organization.
Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency, Material Department, Material Data and Codification Office

2.Key contact person for the organization:

3.What does the organization do?
Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency is responsible for the procurement, management, and disposal of materials for the Norwegian Defense on a resource-efficient and sustainable basis. The organization also handles industrial cooperation and international material cooperation. Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency’s main task is to ensure that the Defense and other agencies have access to cost-effective and secure equipment in line with approved long-term plans, so that the Defense’s operational capability is maintained. The organization manages materials effectively throughout their entire lifespan and is responsible for the technical expertise of material in the defense sector. Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency provides expert advice on material procurement and management in the defense sector, and provides professional advice to the Ministry of Defense and agency heads in the sector to further develop material capabilities within resource constraints.A selection of materials acquired in recent years:
52 Lockheed Martin F35 fighter jets
3 Coast Guard vessels
24 K9 Thunder artillery vehicles and 6 associated K10 ammunition vehicles
54 Leopard 2 tanks

A selection of materials disposed of in recent years:
– 32 Lockheed Martin F16 sold to Romania
– 4000 M72 anti-tank weapons donated to Ukraine
– 8 Leopard tanks donated to Ukraine
– 22 M109 artillery vehicles donated to Ukraine

4.Where does the organization secure its supplies (i.e., raw materials or consumables) from?
When the Ministry of Defense decides to make a new acquisition, planning for the management and maintenance of new materials throughout their lifespan is initiated. During this phase, different models and concepts of supply and maintenance are assessed, and the possibility of international cooperation is explored. The organization also investigates what suppliers and industry recommend and are capable of delivering, and examines what is available off the shelf.

In the acquisition phase, Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency goes out to the market to find out what the industry can provide for supply and maintenance solutions before the final solution is decided. Technical and management approvals are given at this stage, both for the system as a whole and for each unit, such as an F-35 fighter jet. These approvals detail how the system should be maintained throughout its lifespan, how often and how maintenance should be carried out, and what tools and competencies are required.

Acquisitions for the Defense are subject to the Public Procurement Act of June 17, 2016, no. 73 (LOA), with accompanying regulations on public procurement and regulations on defense and security procurement (FOSA). Some of the acquisitions are exempt from these rules, and this mainly applies to war material and material that is essential for defense purposes. The defense sector also adheres to internal regulations for procurement activities. Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency aims to tender all acquisitions as far as possible. Acquisitions to be announced are found on Doffin and Tenders Electronic Daily (TED). Some of the Defense’s acquisitions are security graded (in accordance with the Security Act), or for other reasons, will not be announced. In such cases, the Defense contacts relevant suppliers directly. Ethics in defense procurement are essential. All employees of Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency are responsible for maintaining integrity and creating a working environment that is open and transparent, where all suppliers are treated equally. Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency also expects suppliers to have their own ethical guidelines in their organization.

5.Who are the customers of the organization?
The Norwegian Defense, internal departments, and allied nations.

6.How are the business processes above mapped in the organization’s information system?
The organization has a self-developed management system on its intranet that covers the organization’s overarching vision and values, governing documents, business management, main processes and areas of expertise, support processes, and organization. SAP is used as the main ERP system, with numerous sub and support systems within all degrees.

7. How are the business processes above mapped in the organization’s information system?
The organization has a self-developed management system on its intranet that covers the organization’s overarching vision and values, governing documents, business management, main processes and areas of expertise, support processes, and organization. SAP is used as the main ERP system, with numerous sub and support systems within all degrees.

8.How does the organization interact with its customers and suppliers?
Internal communication within the defense sector is mainly done behind a secure firewall, while external communication is mainly done through the Defense Sector’s Office 365 solution (FO365). This is a work tool for the production, sharing, and storage of unclassified official information. FO365 is used for unclassified official case processing, collaboration, and administrative tasks. By logging into FO365, one gains access to applications such as Teams, Outlook (email), calendar, OneDrive storage, and the Office suite.

9.What is the nature of operations of the organization?
Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency manages over 200 procurement projects at any given time and oversees more than 450 contracts. Each project can include multiple contracts with different suppliers. For particularly extensive and complex material investments, multiple related projects are conducted in parallel. These large investments are referred to as programs.

Through small and large procurements, Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency contributes daily to equipping the Norwegian military. The largest projects include submarines, new F-35 fighter jets, new coast guard vessels, tanks, the Joint Strike Missile, a common Nordic uniform solution, and new helicopters. The organization works closely with the military, other actors in the defense sector (the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment, the Norwegian National Security Authority, and the Norwegian Defense Estates Agency), as well as national and international suppliers to fulfill its mission.

10.Does your organization have any branch (-es) or subsidiary (-ies)? If yes, how are decisions made overall? What IT systems aid the organization in decision-making?
The organization has many sub-departments and sections, but in the Materiel Department and the Materiel Information Section, we find, among other things, the Norwegian Codification Bureau (NCB Norway).

NCB Norway is the expert authority for NATO codification in Norway. NCB Norway is located in the Materiel Department of Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency. All supply articles used by the Norwegian military must be NATO-codified and given a unique NATO Stock Number (NSN).

All new supply contracts must contain terms for NATO codification. See the Procurement Regulations for the Defense Sector (ARF) §15. The overarching Codification Clause (Form 5004) and the form for data collection – part identification form (Form 5006) can be found at the bottom of this page.

NATO’s codification system (NCS) is a system where materials and components are given a standardized name, classified, and described according to standardized methods. A NATO Stock Number (NSN) is also given. These numbers, along with associated material descriptions, are used in procurement catalogs and parts lists as key identifiers within logistics and information systems. Through NATO’s codification system, military personnel on missions receive the right materials to complete their missions effectively.

NCS is used by all 29 NATO countries and in 34 Partnership for Peace countries. The Norwegian defense has used NCS since 1959. The system works well as a common language in an international environment and allows our forces to operate effectively in national and international operations. It promotes standardization, reduces the risk of duplicates, allows interchangeability, promotes standardization, and maximizes logistics support in an economical manner. NCS manages and provides information on:
– 20 million supply articles
– More than 34 million part/article numbers
– 3 million producers and suppliers (NCAGE codes and contact information)

11. On a scale of 1 to 10, to what extent does the deployment of IT solutions help your organization manage operating costs?
Defence organizations heavily rely on IT solutions to manage operating costs, and the scale of their operations demands a high level of effectiveness in this regard. On a scale of 1 to 10, the deployment of IT solutions can be rated at 9 or higher. The deployment of IT solutions in defence organizations is crucial for the efficient management of resources, including personnel, equipment, and facilities. IT solutions also help defense organizations streamline their procurement and supply chain processes, which can reduce costs and increase efficiency. Moreover, IT solutions play a vital role in enhancing situational awareness and enabling effective decision-making in complex and fast-paced operational environments, which can have a direct impact on operating costs.

12. How applicable is information system to the organization
Information systems are of paramount importance to defense organizations, as they provide critical support for a wide range of operational, administrative, and strategic functions. The nature of the defence industry requires constant vigilance against potential threats, both from physical and cyber-attacks. Information systems help protect against these threats by providing secure access controls, encryption, and other security measures to safeguard sensitive information. Additionally, information systems enable effective communication and collaboration between different units and levels of the organization, which is essential for coordination and decision-making. In terms of administrative functions, information systems provide the tools for managing resources, including personnel, finances, and procurement. Overall, information systems are highly applicable to defence organizations and are essential for maintaining readiness, effectiveness, and security in an increasingly complex and dynamic operational environment.

13. How does the organization ensure the security of its information systems?
The organization uses a variety of methods to ensure the security of its information systems, including:
Access control: The organization uses access control mechanisms to ensure that only authorized personnel can access its information systems. This includes the use of usernames, passwords, biometrics, and other forms of authentication.
Encryption: The organization uses encryption to protect sensitive information, such as personal data and financial information, from unauthorized access. This includes the use of secure protocols for data transmission and the use of encryption for data storage.
Firewalls and intrusion detection/prevention systems: The organization uses firewalls and intrusion detection/prevention systems to protect its networks from unauthorized access and attacks. These systems monitor network traffic and block suspicious activity.
Anti-virus and anti-malware software: The organization uses anti-virus and anti-malware software to protect its systems from malicious software, such as viruses, trojans, and spyware.
Regular software updates and patches: The organization regularly updates its software and applies security patches to ensure that its systems are protected against known vulnerabilities.
Security awareness training: The organization provides security awareness training to its employees to ensure that they are aware of security risks and understand how to protect the organization’s information assets.

14 . What are the key performance indicators (KPIs) that the organization uses to measure its success?
The key performance indicators that the organization uses to measure its success include:
– Cost-effectiveness: The organization aims to provide cost-effective solutions for the acquisition, management, and disposal of defense equipment and supplies.
– Operational effectiveness: The organization aims to ensure that the Norwegian Armed Forces have access to the equipment and supplies they need to carry out their missions effectively.
– Customer satisfaction: The organization aims to meet the needs and expectations of its customers, including the Norwegian Armed Forces and allied nations.
– Industry collaboration: The organization aims to collaborate with industry partners to develop innovative solutions for defense equipment and supplies.
– Compliance: The organization aims to comply with all relevant laws, regulations, and standards, including those related to procurement, security, and safety.
– Employee engagement: The organization aims to engage and develop its employees to ensure that they have the knowledge, skills, and motivation to carry out their tasks effectively.
15 .What are the major challenges facing the organization?
Some of the major challenges facing the organization include:
Budget constraints: The organization operates within a limited budget, which can make it difficult to acquire and maintain the equipment and supplies needed to support the Norwegian Armed Forces.
Technological change: The organization needs to keep pace with rapidly evolving technologies in the defense industry, which can require significant investments in research and development.
Security threats: The organization needs to protect its information systems and equipment from a range of security threats, including cyber attacks, espionage,insiders and sabotage.
International cooperation: The organization needs to balance its domestic obligations with its responsibilities to NATO and other international partners, which can require complex negotiations and coordination.
Supply chain management: The organization needs to manage complex supply chains to ensure that equipment and supplies are available when and where they are needed.

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