Everyone in the industry knows there is a whole range of opportunities to manufacture textile products for the military, but there’s also a lot of frustration around how to do it. Central Michigan University and Maureen MacGillivray, Ph.D., among others, are taking part in a military initiative to help level the playing field so companies, no matter what their size, can respond. This program is third in a series of MUST (Military Uniform System Technology) R&D programs sponsored by The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) in an effort to improve the R&D and procurement process through all of the supply chain segments. It’s aimed at building a knowledge base of product specifications using a common language.
MUST will reverse the usual procurement process, giving manufacturers the opportunity to get into the DLA supply pipeline before contracts and specifications are issued. By giving the military access to information about the most up-to-date and innovative products available, the new system is designed to shorten the time between design and fulfillment by up to 12-18 months. It should also reduce the number of competing specs between the services, create new synergy between the military and the specialty fabrics industry, and ensure that troops will be outfitted with the best gear quickly and efficiently.