During his first trip to DLA Distribution headquarters in 2018, DLA Director Army Lt. Gen. Darrell Williams sat down with the organization’s commander, Army Brig. Gen. John Laskodi, to discuss DLA Distribution’s 2018 Dynamic Operating Plan.
The purpose of the plan- which is aligned with the director’s Agency-wide Strategic Plan and its five lines of effort- is to outline a way forward for DLA Distribution to continue to build on its existing Storage and Distribution capabilities, leverage strategic and industry partners, and capitalize on the innovation and talent of its diverse workforce.
Laskodi began with the first Line of Effort discussed in the organization’s DOP, Warfighter First, describing to Williams how DLA Distribution plans to continue to delivering Distribution’s core services to the customer while optimizing transportation and improving metrics through standardized processes, standards, and expectations. Specifically, DLA Distribution is looking to achieve green performance in at least 90 percent of assigned performance indicators.
“Our number one priority is the Warfighter,” said Laskodi. “We do today’s work today, ensuring the Warfighter has the right things, at the right place, at the right time.”
The second LOE discussed was Global Posture. Laskodi explained how the organization is focusing on service readiness by continuously reassessing its strategic positioning around the globe. “We’re postured to support today with our CONUS and OCONUS distribution network and improving our ability to transition to war with our expeditionary capability,” said Laskodi.
In Fiscal Year 2017, the organization opened its first enduring distribution center on the continent of Africa, DLA Distribution Djibouti, in response to a request from Commander, United States Africa Command, as well as a site in Iwakuni, Japan, in support of the significantly expanded Marine Corps footprint on board Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni.
“As we look to the future, we have Theater Consolidation and Shipping Points planned for Okinawa [Japan] and Sigonella [Italy] to allow us to better support OCONUS units,” he said.
Laskodi also highlighted the recent efforts of the organization’s Expeditionary Team, which is pending an increase in size with the addition of a fourth team location in Oklahoma City. The team, which currently has members located in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania, San Joaquin, California and Red River, Texas, serves as an agile, flexible, resourced joint expeditionary capability ready to rapidly respond with Distribution capabilities supporting emerging Combatant Command, Military Service, and Whole of Government requirements.
Williams expressed his gratitude for the team, adding that it’s because of the team that DLA was able to provide the requested support to FEMA in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
Strong Partnerships, the plan’s third LOE, focuses on customer and industry engagement as well as modernization efforts.
According to Laskodi, DLA Distribution is looking to grow through Public/Private Partnerships. “We are working to expand partnerships with government Program Managers and create new partnerships with Industry for weapons system support by educating customers on benefits of leveraging DLA’s storage and distribution network.”
The organization is also looking to modernize its technology, particularly through the use of a Commercial Off the Shelf warehousing management system for real-time performance reporting. The team highlighted the upcoming pilot, which, if successful, would be implemented at all of its sites with an aim to increase productivity at a reduced cost.
In support of the fourth LOE, Whole of Government, Laskodi told Williams that DLA Distribution will continue to provide timely support to its Whole of Government partners, such as FEMA and the US Department of Agriculture’s Forestry Service.
With regard to the last LOE, Always Accountable, Laskodi said, “We will sustain our FY17 audit progress and mitigate findings for inventory, real property, and information technology general controls in FY18 toward the objective of an unmodified financial audit opinion in FY20.”
The organization has just completed a full financial audit and continues to improve processes across the network.
Williams expressed his confidence in the Major Subordinate Command’s ability to meet this goal, stating that the journey has made the Agency as a whole better- more efficient and effective.
The overarching theme throughout the LOEs, both in the HQ and Distribution plan, is People and Culture. When Williams stated that investing in leadership leads an organization to become more dynamic, Laskodi explained that Distribution is developing its leaders through a new talent management program that will “enhance leadership and management competencies to sustain and improve our high performing culture.”
In closing, Williams stated that he was pleased with the plan, saying that Distribution is the DLA MSC which most significantly touches upon all of the LOEs in the DLA Strategic Plan.