You're missing a huge part of the picture. You have to consider it from a supply chain management point of view. Yes, in terms of labor, it can sometimes be cheaper to have an E-2/E-3 to do the grunt work....although with medical, retirement, training, etc. all added in, this isn't neccessarily the case. The problem is that labor is only a small part of the issue. You have to consider management practices, materials, MIS, and a plethora of other components of the business. The government isn't anywhere near as efficient as a private specialized company. The military has A LOT more redtape to dance around and doesn't have the management professionals to increase efficency and cut costs. There was an absolute revolution in distributions/business in the 1980s/90s (around the time KP duty disappeared) where businesses became significantly more efficent because of distribution channels, MIS, technology, and much better management techniques. There's a reason contractors are used; it's cheaper. The military can't be an expert at fighting wars, AND supplying equipment, providing medical care, food, construction, design etc. Small specialized firms who have ironed out every inefficency over decades can do it much more cheaply. They may pay their employees twice as much as soldiers, but they MORE than make up the difference in other operational areas.
Originally Posted by Mushroom
Labor is only one part of the total cost. Sysco isn't chosen because we lack the bodies to scrub pots, its chosen because it has the distribution and procurement channels, the management expertise, and economy of scale to provide food more cheaply.
Last edited by IgnoranceisBliss; Jul 02 2012 at 11:21 AM.
I have no joy in strife,
Peace is my great desire;
Yet God forbid I lose my life
Through fear to face the fire. -Henry Van Dyke