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News | March 30, 2021

DLA sees supplier favorability rise in 3 of 4 categories in 2020 survey

By Beth Reece

Early results of a 2020 survey that measures suppliers’ experience doing business with the Defense Logistics Agency during contract solicitation and post-award processes show positive improvements in attitudes in three of four overarching areas. 

The DLA Supplier Survey measures 17 factors in four categories: communications, effectiveness, supplier relationships, and growth and profit potential. 

“Our trends are up from the 2018 survey in all areas except growth and profit potential, which measures how suppliers see us as a business opportunity,” DLA Ombudsman Tim Stark said. “The slight dip there can probably be attributed to some of the challenges we’ve had in the past year with the funding environment and pandemic.”

The biggest improvement was seen in innovation followed by timeliness. Over 8,100 suppliers were invited Nov. 12 to complete the anonymous survey, which closed March 18. The response rate was 34% compared to 38% in 2018, with 81% of participants being small businesses; 16%, large businesses and 3%, non-profits. The demographics closely match those of the previous survey and allows for close comparison between the two, Stark said.

DLA Acquisition officials at DLA Headquarters are breaking down results by supply chain to share with major subordinate commands in the next couple weeks. Results will be used to drive improvements like those made following the 2018 survey. DLA Aviation invested more resources in post-award reporting, for example, and DLA Energy recently debuted an industry newsletter that features upcoming procurement opportunities and demand information planning. 

Modernizing acquisition and supply chain management is one of five lines of effort featured in the upcoming DLA Strategic Plan for 2021-2026, Stark added. Strengthening supplier relationships is expected to aid those efforts and ensure a diverse industrial base. 

DLA will also present survey results to suppliers in a May 5 webinar with industry leaders.