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News | Feb. 19, 2020

DLA Information Operations program executive officer discusses teaming effort to support DLA Distribution’s modernization journey

By Dawn Bonsell DLA Distribution

Navy Rear Adm. Kevin M. Jones, commanding officer, Defense Logistics Agency Distribution and his leadership team met with DLA Information Operations program executive officer, Adarryl Roberts, senior executive service, Feb. 11 to discuss modernization efforts throughout the agency. Roberts is responsible for the management and oversight of DLA’s major automated information systems programs and special interest programs.

Jones highlighted the essential teaming effort DLA Distribution and DLA Information Technology need to establish to implement and sustain the modernization journey he has outlined in his campaign plan. The plan, focused on transformational change to improve warfighter support, focuses on driving the innovation, technological advances, and constant transformation required to meet warfighter needs in an ever-changing storage and distribution environment.

Scott Rosbaugh, DLA Distribution Future Plans director, kicked off the discussion by commenting on Distribution’s reliance on information technology, “IT touches us every hour of every day.” Following the general overview of DLA Distribution operations, the leadership team went into describing the goals of implementing and sustaining modernization. The goals are to simplify processes, reduce costs and increase productivity and quality while increasing warfighter readiness and accuracy, realizing reform savings and improving industry partnerships and best practices.

The DLA Distribution team will implement a goods to man strategy, maximizing the use of wireless and mobile technologies coupled with industry standard and audit ready processes inherent to a new warehouse management system. The warehouse management system pilot was initiated in June 2018 at DLA Distribution Corpus Christi, Texas. The effort will save the agency an estimated $107 million with a return on investment in 4.3 years. Autonomous/semi-autonomous vehicles automating material movement, Voice technology, tablets, printers and a Real Time Location System are all part of the robust modernization plan to bring the Distribution warehouses into the 21st century. The initial rollout of the various modernization concepts will focus on eight distribution centers with over 1 million transactions per year as appropriate to meet mission requirements. The DLA information technology team is focusing on issues surrounding cybersecurity as they relate to the new technology, as well as the costs to both implement and sustain the modernization strategy.

Steve Bitner, DLA Distribution Current Operations, discussed specific tools such as Qlik®, which could improve Distribution’s processing, tracking and overall quality of work. “This will revolutionize productivity for us. This is transformational,” said Perry Knight, acting DLA Distribution deputy commander.

The team highlighted that all efforts are geared toward improving readiness in support of the warfighter and that information technology is essential to the implementation. Specifically, a Wi-Fi backbone is essential to the realization of efficiencies to help achieve DLA’s defense reform commitment and the continual goal of an unmodified audit opinion in 2026.