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News | June 7, 2021

Demand planners meeting warfighter needs while saving taxpayers tens of millions of dollars

By Leon Moore DLA Aviation Public Affairs Office

The nine demand planners working within the Planning and Integration Branch of Defense Logistics Agency Aviation at Ogden on Hill Air Force Base, Utah, have a daunting task.

The group continually reviews and adjusts demand signals on over 1,600 collaborative national stock numbers and monitors 80,000 total NSNs supporting the maintenance, repair and overhaul of aircraft, electronic components, commodities, missiles and software.

The Ogden demand planners validate requests from local material planners prior to high dollar purchase requests, such as crown jewel requisitions, being awarded to contract. They also work alerts from local DLA supportability specialists when they see a surge in material ordering that could potentially cause a stock-out condition. They then meet with their Air Force demand consensus team members to recommend collaborative actions to optimize the demand signal. 

Tom Pollok, a senior demand planner, said the proper forecast results in the mission being properly supported and our tax dollars being well spent. Through diligence and attention to detail, the team, with more than 100 years of combined DLA Aviation service, saved more than $22 million dollars in over-forecasting costs during the second quarter of fiscal 2021.

Branch Chief Linda Osiek said it’s vital the customer gets the parts they need, when they need them, in the right quantities and the demand planners who work for her are a vital cog in the DLA machine that keeps material flowing, maintenance operating and jets flying.

“Having such a highly trained, specialized group of demand planners allows me to focus the majority of my time on the supervisory aspects of my job; clearing obstacles, handling administrative functions and maintaining their ability to focus on the mission,” Osiek said.

Anthony Duncan, a retired Air Force supply systems analyst, came to DLA Aviation at Ogden in 2010. He’s been a demand planner the last four years.

He’s now the collaborative demand planner working hand-in-hand with depot forecasters and supply chain management officials to align their demand plans based on current and future requirements through demand consensus meetings and other means ensuring the demand plans are accurate without over procuring.

“As a former warfighter of 21 years it makes me extremely proud to support the next generation of warfighters, ensuring they get what they need on time,” he said.

Early on in 2020, when the DLA Enterprise went to maximum telework due to COVID-19, Osiek said team members were able to utilize Microsoft Teams meetings, emails and phone calls to stay in touch with their Air Force demand consensus team members. There was no loss of continuity and the telework was transparent to the maintenance customer.”

“The cohesiveness of our team is what really makes us a success in working toward that common goal of give our warfighters 100% each and every day,” Duncan said.

One of Duncan’s teammates, Sugaree Spruill, echoed his sentiments.

“Without good communication between DLA demand planning and our Air Force customers, we could not be successful,” she said.

Spruill said she uses both statistical and judgment forecasting techniques to develop the most intelligent forecast to drive the supply chain. She also collaborates with the customers to acquire their true requirements, ensuring their requirements align with the DLA forecast.

“I’m very proud to be a part of this team here at Hill. I love DLA’s desire to continuously improve support to the warfighter around the world. We must triumph in our no fail mission!” she said.