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News | July 13, 2022

Disposition Services through the Years: 1993-2002

By Jason Shamberger DLA Disposition Services

As the 1990’s progressed, technology – specifically the personal computer – became more advanced and user friendly. The Defense Logistics Agency took advantage of this increased technological capability and made its own innovations to aid the workforce.

Aerial photo of people in front of building.
Disposition Services through the Years: 1993-2002
A look at Disposition Services employees outside of the Hart-Dole-Inouye Federal Center in 1983.
Photo By: DLA Disposition Services
VIRIN: 220713-D-D0441-201
In 1993, the Disposition Services Automated Information System, or DAISY, fully deployed across the field. This innovation provided the workforce with an accurate method for accessing real-time information regarding property in the disposition process. DAISY laid the foundation for the current Distribution Standard System , DSS, which is now in the midst of transitioning to the Warehouse Management System across the agency over the course of the next few years.

“Prior to DAISY, everything with our inventory system was done with paper and punch machines and with a mainframe,” said retired Disposition Services employee Rod Moskun. “There was no interactive system or live inventory, so our inventory printouts were around a month old, if not older, by the time we mailed them out.”

Moskun began his career at DLA in 1985 and retired from Disposition Services in 2019 as the statistical area supervisor. Beginning as a cataloguer, over his time with the agency he witnessed the transition towards a more technology friendly agency firsthand.

“Personal computers were just coming out and people weren’t used to using technology on a day-to-day basis,” said Moskun. “It was an interesting change. The same time DAISY rolled out, we rolled out email to every employee. It was a big change because you could instantly send people messages and let people know what’s going on.”

Integrating more technological solutions allowed the agency to increase efficiencies and in 1994 the first Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office, better known as DRMO, website went live. This gave customers the ability to not only view inventory items but to also make requests through Reutilization, Transfer and Donation.

Not only was changing technology impacting the world but so too was conflict. Bosnia-Herzegovina saw a violent conflict within Yugoslavia as its republics took part in a multi-year civil war. More than two million people were directly affected by this war lasting from 1992 - 1995.

DLA’s Contingency Support Team was deployed to Hungary as it coordinated the delivery of supplies from the agency providing aid to the region. These much-needed supplies helped to ensure the success of the operation and provide peacekeeping forces to oversee the NATO organized ceasefire.

In 1997 the National Defense Authorization Act created the Law-Enforcement Support Office. This program fell under DLA and with that the LESO program was established. About a decade later, the program was transferred to Defense Reutilization and Marketing Services from the agency headquarters where it remains today under Disposition Services. The LESO program has provided law enforcement agencies across the country with Defense Department excess equipment at no cost to the agency.

Nearly 8,800 law enforcement agencies are currently enrolled in the program, and since its inception, LESO has transferred more than $7.6 billion worth of equipment to participants. Among items transferred have been clothing, office supplies, tools, rescue equipment and vehicles.

The city of Battle Creek, Michigan – home to Disposition Services – saw a mission shift in 1997 when the process to consolidate Defense Department cataloguing to the Hart-Dole-Inouye Federal Center began. This would save millions of dollars annually – according to the DoD – and also streamline cataloguing operations. The process of transitioning each group of cataloguers to Battle Creek was completed in January of 2000 and the site continues to provide this vital function to its customers in a more cost-effective and efficient way than before this consolidation effort.

One of the five lines of effort driving the Agency is adapting to new ways of working. The workforce of Disposition Services did just that through the 90’s as new programs and initiatives developed. The Disposition Services team was forced to adapt and evolve in order to meet the ever-changing mission and evolving methods of doing business that changes in technology brought.

“It was impressive to see how we changed from having virtually no technology to bringing all of this new technology in – using barcode equipment and setting up one of the first 500 websites in the world (DRMS),” said Moskun.

During the period of 1993 - 2002, DLA took advantage of multiple technological innovations to provide global supply chain solutions. From providing humanitarian aid and pioneering new ways to support our warfighters, Disposition Services has progressed over the years into the DoD’s reverse logistics center of excellence.

“It is really interesting to see the evolution of Disposition Services,” said Roxanne Banks, deputy director of the Defense Logistics Agency Acquisition during a recent visit to Battle Creek. “The events that have occurred over the last 50 years are really amazing and frankly I have a new appreciation of Disposition Services’ mission after coming to DLA.”