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DLA looks to IT industry to help cut operating costs 
By Beth Reece 

The information technology industry will have a major influence on how the Defense Logistics Agency meets its goal of reducing operating costs by 20 percent, DLA Director Navy Vice Adm. Mark Harnitchek said during the first-ever DLA Information Operations Captains of Industry meeting April 7.


The agency has already lowered its operating costs by reducing inventory and infrastructure, but officials are now seeking savings by standardizing IT services and partnering with industry.


“Help us figure this out. You see where we spend money; you see things we do that perhaps you don’t agree with that incur a lot of costs. Tell us about that,” Harnitchek said to an audience that included representatives from the Defense Information Systems Agency and such vendors as SAP, Oracle, IBM, Accenture and General Dynamics.  


Cradle-to-grave application management and standardization of IT tools and processes are some of the areas in which the agency expects to achieve efficiencies and savings, said DLA Chief Information Officer Kathy Cutler. Leveraging existing capabilities and investments is another.


“This is an area where you all can help us, where we already have certain licenses and certain applications in house that we’re not fully using. We need you to help us see where we’re not taking full advantage of existing resources,” she said.


The event gave IT representatives a chance to share their ideas on how they could help the agency reduce costs and outline services they’re providing to other customers that could also work for DLA. The group will meet again in six months to further develop ideas.


“I know that all of you are ferocious competitors, so I’m not asking you to give away the company store here; I’m not asking you to divulge any company secrets. But there are themes and issues here that collectively affect us all,” Harnitchek said.


Photo: Harnitchek speaks to a group
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DLA Director Navy Vice Adm. Mark Harnitchek describes the agency’s mission to representatives from the information technology industry and asks for their help to reduce operating costs. Photo by Teodora Mocanu