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News | June 25, 2018

DLA Distribution pilots new Warehouse and Transportation Management System at Corpus Christi site

By Joe Murphy DLA Distribution Corpus Christi, Texas

DLA Distribution Corpus Christi, Texas, has launched a commercial, off-the-shelf Warehouse Management System- the first of its kind within the network.  The system is designed to offer flexible, automated support for processing various goods movements and for managing stocks within the distribution center. 

According to DLA Distribution Corpus Christi deputy commander Jeremy Beckwith, the workforce at DLA Distribution Corpus Christi was eager and ready for both the challenges and opportunities that come with representing DLA and taking on the initiative.  Speaking to the workforce, Beckwith said “We were selected for this incredible moment for one primary reason….YOU!  You make the difference each day, working to standard, and finding better ways of doing business.”

DLA Distribution’s sites across the globe currently utilize the Distribution Standard System (DSS) to manage and process all transactions coming into and going out of their facilities.

Over its 24 years in service to DLA, DSS has added over 10 million lines of code to support customer requirements. However, the coding it uses (called COBOL) was released in 1959 and is now considered obsolete and is not supported by current operating systems or technology.

For many years, DLA has endeavored to replace DSS with a new warehouse management system that aligns with current industry standards, streamlines processes, reduces redundant systems and improves reporting capabilities and communication between DLA and its customers.

With the increasing pressure for DLA to meet Audit Readiness requirements, the time was now to find and implement a solution.

The WMS is that solution for DLA.  Features of the system include storage bin management and optimization, improved movement and tracking of goods, work center personalization, enhanced physical inventory processed, extensive planning and monitoring functions, real-time reporting and visualization of metrics, connectivity and interface capabilities to external systems like Enterprise Business System and service-used logistics systems like the Army’s Logistics Modernization Program.

Seeking to capitalize on the capabilities that come with WMS and leveraging the resilience and expertise of its workforce, DLA Distribution Corpus Christi, Texas, requested to pilot this new system.

Teams from DLA headquarters, DLA Distribution headquarters and DLA Distribution Corpus Christi integrated to refine the system requirements and develop an execution plan for implementation. After just a few months of development and testing, the new system attained senior DLA leadership approval to go live on June 11, 2018.

For the initial release of WMS, the receipt, stow and pick process were tested for a specific population of material. Through several future releases, WMS will continue to expand capabilities and processes for DLA. In coordination with system developers and aligned with the progression of WMS, DLA headquarters teams continue to develop and refine training packages, system updates and standard operating procedures.

Throughout the implementation process, the workforce at DLA Distribution Corpus Christi will continue to test and provide a quality control from an end-user’s perspective to ensure WMS meets the requirements that DLA expects and that the Warfighter deserves.