Organised by the MoD’s Defence Procurement Agency (DPA) and the Defence Logistic Organisation (DLO), DVD 2005 is one of Europe’s largest exhibitions of specialist vehicles, showcasing the latest emergency and military products static displays and on and off-road conditions.
Co-ordinated by the Specialist and Utility Vehicle Integrated Project Team (SUV IPT) the theme of this year’s show was ‘Driving Solutions Through Life’.
Organising the event was Nigel Gilhead.
In January he took over the post of integrated project team leader for SUV IPT for the acquisition, support and disposal of military light vehicles across the MoD.
He has taken on what would seem on paper a remarkably different role from his previous job where he was in charge of choosing 66 heavy armoured vehicles for the Royal Engineers, the Alvis Vickers Trojan and Titan, to support front line operations.
But he brings with him experience of vehicle management that is now a crucial element to the SUV IPT, which is tasked with the management of vehicles through acquisition to disposal by a single department.
In 2003 the three teams that had managed stages of a vehicle’s life cycle were combined into two and have been relocated from two sites Bristol and Andover to one. The benefits have been a greater understanding of the performance of vehicles across their lifecycle and a pool of knowledge and experience that can be shared readily with end-users.
Gilhead said: ‘The cornerstone of the change was the combining of the two offices in Andover. It ended the fundamental drawback of the previous arrangement where one department would handle the acquisition of a vehicle and then pass it over to another department to manage it. ‘When the acquisition team came to replace it they lacked the intimate knowledge of the vehicles strengths and weaknesses that the management team had.’
Now, the combination of strengths is providing a much clearer picture of a vehicle life in the services.
He added: ‘If someone wants to buy a certain vehicle I can more easily judge it on its cost – whether we have the funds to not only buy it, but maintain it – and its suitability because the expertise is shared more easily now we are working together.’
The importance the MoD is placing on the whole life management was put across to suppliers via a new addition to the DVD programme – a seminar for suppliers.