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News | May 30, 2018

DDC’s first commanding general honored with Hall of Fame induction

DLA Distribution Public Affairs

Inside the DLA Distribution Headquarters building bearing his name, Retired Maj. Gen. Kenneth L. Privratsky, first commander of Defense Distribution Center, was formally inducted into the organization’s Hall of Fame on May 11.

Prior to unveiling the bronze bust officially marking Privatsky’s place in the Hall of Fame, DLA Distribution commanding general Army Brig. Gen. John Laskodi described Privatsky as “revolutionary” and said, “Total dedication to process improvement, insistence upon excellence, and commitment to customer service and fiscal responsibility are the hallmarks of [General Privratsky’s] leadership.  The significant business process improvements that occurred under his leadership, as well as the increased forward presence of the agency, make him truly deserving of a place in the Distribution Hall of Fame.”

When Privratsky joined the organization in 1996, it was designated as DLA’s Defense Distribution Center Region East.  When DLA consolidated its East and West sites in 1997, the command was officially named Defense Distribution Center (and is now known as DLA Distribution). 

In his two years with the organization, Privratsky revolutionized distribution operations and customer service, leading DDC to embark upon a new era of excellence in materiel distribution, said Laskodi. 

Privratsky’s “Raising the Bar” initiative set a new standard – same day service – for requisitions and procurement processing making DDC competitive with best business practices.  His initiative reduced distribution center processing times by as much as 63 percent. 

His close interaction with Army led to improved customer support.  Response and delivery times declined from seven days to just under two days, producing satisfied customers and improving readiness throughout the Army. 

Specifically, Central Receiving at Fort Hood, Texas, received a “one freight, all freight” daily dedicated truck from the Pennsylvania primary distribution site in just two days.  This supply pipeline reduction netted the Army a one-time savings of $28 million for both material and repair costs. 

In another success story, the 101st Airborne Division reduced their authorized stockage level from $19.3 million to $9.4 million because of the time-definite deliveries.  Similar partnerships with the Air Force and Navy began to address and resolve distribution issues with comparable savings potential.

“Improved productivity and customer support were a direct result of General Privratsky’s forward-thinking leadership style,” said Laskodi. 

Privratsky also successfully guided the organization through significant Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) activity.  He managed the movement of nearly 240,000 National Stock Numbers while closing Defense Distribution Depot Memphis on time and in accordance with all BRAC and environmental guidelines. 

At Defense Distribution Depot Columbus, he orchestrated an 86 percent reduction in personnel, an 87 percent reduction in workload, and a complete realignment of stock from active to inactive as the depot prepared for its BRAC-directed role as a war reserve site for slow moving stock.

Privratsky led his centers through a continual process of improved facilities usage by questioning storage practices and policies, reviewing inactive stock, and repositioning stock.  These actions freed up buildings at many sites and enabled their return to their hosts.  In total, DDC achieved a 30 percent reduction in infrastructure in just 2.5 years.

Despite the challenges of BRAC, improvements to productivity and customer support were achieved at reduced costs to the taxpaying public.  In fiscal year 1997, the headquarters instituted budget restrictions reducing discretionary costs by nearly $10 million.  Staffing levels were also reduced by 2,400 personnel between FY96 and FY97, generating an additional $40 million in future savings.  This reduction resulted in only 4.5 percent of employees being involuntarily separated as the result of the BRAC process at two depots.

“General Privratsky not only built the DDC but he laid the foundation for who we are today,” said Laskodi.  

“We are truly indebted to him for his exceptional leadership, his extraordinary strategic vision and his enduring devoted support throughout the years.”