Virginia governor announces formation of Commonwealth Center for Advanced Logistics Systems

Collaborative partnership brings business and government experience together with university expertise to transform logistics operations.
By Modern Materials Handling Staff
February 12, 2013 - MMH Editorial

Governor Bob McDonnell today announced the formation of Virginia’s newest collaboration between industry and Virginia universities: the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Logistics Systems (CCALS). Modeled after the successful Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM), CCALS offers businesses and government agencies with significant logistics operations a new, unique and collaborative R&D method that promises to cut costs, accelerate new discoveries and deliver transformative results to the technology, transportation, human and other systems that enable logistics.

At CCALS, business and government members will join with university experts to explore and solve logistics challenges. Studies show that between 20% and 50% of costs are tied up in logistics. A collaborative environment that brings multiple perspectives and talents to bear on shared logistics challenges can unlock this value, streamlining and strengthening operations and improving products and services.

University partners in CCALS include Longwood University, the University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University and Virginia State University. Each institution brings logistics research expertise to the collaborative, offering business and government members depth of knowledge and capability to tackle pressing challenges.

“Virginia’s universities represent a powerful economic development engine for the Commonwealth, especially when they come together in collaborative support of industry objectives,” said Governor McDonnell. “CCALS capitalizes on an emerging logistics hub in central Virginia that includes Fort Lee and a transportation infrastructure that connects to the world. Breakthrough research at CCALS will raise the region’s profile further, bringing new businesses, new jobs and new opportunities.”

A combination of funding from the Commonwealth of Virginia and member universities established CCALS. Annual membership fees, contracts and grants obtained from federal and state government agencies will fund the organization’s research and development activities going forward.

CCALS’ first industry members include two Virginia logistics specialists, Prince George-based Logistics Management Resources (LMR) and McLean-based LMI. The companies have signed letters of intent and are working through final membership details.

LMR specializes in worldwide federal government logistics services, supporting installation operations at home and overseas, as well as agency management and business functions. It provides information technology services, project management, logistics support, training and human resources services worldwide. At Fort Lee in Central Virginia, home of the U.S. Army’s Logistics University, the company provides logistics training support.

“We want to provide logistics support services at home and abroad that are cost efficient and operationally effective,” said Michael Williams, chief operating officer at LMR. “CCALS provides the forum for exchanging ideas and a toolbox for solving problems that will improve how we serve our government and commercial clients.”

LMI, CCALS’s other charter industry member, is a government consulting firm committed to helping government leaders and managers reach decisions that make a difference. LMI draws on its 50 years of experience as a pioneer in logistics by applying its knowledge of people, processes, and assets to a variety of sectors, including defense, intelligence, healthcare, energy and environment, homeland security, and civil government. As a not-for-profit organization, LMI is a trusted advisor to the government—free from commercial or political bias and dedicated to the mission of advancing government management. Today, LMI supports more than 40 federal agencies and all branches of the military and intelligence community.

“LMI is committed to supporting the growth of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s workforce, especially in Central Virginia, where we have an opportunity to leverage the area’s wealth of functional and academic expertise to create new solutions in logistics for both the public and private sectors,” LMI president and CEO Nelson M. Ford said.

In addition to transformational business benefits, CCALS promises workforce development opportunities. Top technology, engineering, logistics and math students, for example, will find unique internship opportunities through CCALS’ university affiliates. CCALS industry members also will have unprecedented access to the region’s logistics workforce, anchored by operations at Fort Lee and the major local presence of Amazon.com, UPS and other logistics-related businesses.

“Think tanks like Richmond’s Future, CCALS member universities, the Virginia Port Authority, Fort Lee and others recognize the value and opportunity of the growing logistics presence in Central Virginia,” said Mark Manasco, CCALS president and executive director. “We are gratified by the support of Governor McDonnell and the Commonwealth, excited by the possibilities our members foresee and ready to begin delivering on CCALS’ transformative promise.”

For more information about CCALS, visit www.ccals.com.



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About the Author

Josh Bond, Associate Editor
Josh Bond is an associate editor to Modern. Josh was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and contributing editor, has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce. Contact Josh Bond

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