Working together to deliver better warfigher support while reducing costs was discussed by senior leaders from the Defense Logistics Agency, DLA Land and Maritime, and industry partners during a Captains of Industry roundtable focusing on support to land systems Nov. 20 at the McNamara Headquarters Complex.
Maj. Gen. Ken Dowd, DLA Director of Logistics Operations, thanked those in the room who were engaged in providing support to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Hurricane Sandy relief effort.
“You’ve provided great support out there and we appreciate the support,” he said.
The Captains of Industry meetings gather DLA senior leaders as well as those from major manufacturing companies from particular supply chains to discuss topics of interest and challenges ahead that could affect partnerships. The roundtables are part of DLA Director Navy Vice Adm. Mark Harnitchek’s efforts to meet Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s directive to coordinate with industries that support the Department of Defense.
“DLA was given a directive to ‘Go talk to industry.’ That’s why you (industry leaders) are all here,” Harnitchek said.
He discussed the importance of working together to find solutions that will be fiscally responsible and will support the warfighter in the best way possible going forward.
“They (the warfighters) have never been better trained and better equipped than they are right now, thanks to you,” Harnitchek said. “Everything we’ve asked you to do, you’ve done superbly.”
Meeting the challenge to significantly improve support performance to warfighters while dramatically reducing cost involves collaboration, compromise, strategy and continued strong relationships with industry leaders in all supply chains, DLA leaders stressed.
Harnitchek said that because of strong relationships with industry, DLA was able to arrange for support quickly and effectively when it was needed in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. The relationships allowed support to move into New York and New Jersey quickly to provide critical support to first responders, hospitals and power companies, among others.
Roundtable attendees discussed the coming budget challenges.
Harnitchek said the road ahead would not be easy, but superior support to future warfighters is achievable through discussions and making the necessary changes to meet future goals.
“The reason you are here is to help us get through all of this,” Harnitchek said. “I know in my experience, when I have a problem, I go to the experts to.”
Harnitchek said several industry representatives at the meeting were competitors, but that everyone present was there to responsibly supply warfighters in today’s challenging fiscal environment.
Topics discussed during the meeting included ways to collaborate to reduce administrative and production lead times, reducing the cost of supply support, better use of partnerships to reduce costs, and establishing communication and strategies to deal with adjustments in budgets and force structure.
The next roundtable industry meeting is scheduled to be held in December and will involve leaders from DLA Troop Support’s clothing and textiles supply chain.