BATTLE CREEK, Mich. –
Slow down and operate deliberately and safely.
That mentality was a major 2022 focal point for the Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Services North East, according to Region Director Beth Ford. The team of property disposal specialists covering the entire Northeast quadrant of the continental U.S. faced the same COVID-19-related challenges as everyone else, Ford said, and they wanted to work on improving workplace safety culture despite pandemic stresses.
“Our awesome leadership teams refined their receiving processes to achieve effectiveness and efficiencies ratings that were previously unattainable,” Ford said. “2022 was the first year where the majority of DSD North-East sites were processing ‘today’s property today,’ which resulted in decreased customer wait times and vastly improved ‘on-the-shelf’ rates.”
Those improvements increased property reuse metrics and increased revenue for the agency, Ford said. The region also provided a team to support DLA’s Warehouse Management System fielding team, which will be the command’s top priority for 2023.
“The team has a laser focus on the upcoming systems fielding and are looking forward to the improvements in system functionality and how it will address previous audit findings,” Ford added.
Another noteworthy region accomplishment for the year was the disposal of 660,000 lbs. of paper maps. Area Manager Raymond Johnson, out of the command’s Richmond, Virginia, office, said the maps came from a co-located DLA Distribution warehouse that had accumulated for nearly five years.
Johnson said there were initial operational security concerns about the content of the maps, and it took both DLA Disposition Services and DLA Distribution personnel working together to ensure that the maps were disposed of properly and could not find their way into the wrong hands. He said the team at DLA Distribution was excited to see the maps go. Not only did disposal clear up space, but it also removed an eyesore from the warehouse.
In Pennsylvania, Area Manager Brock Hall at the agency’s Susquehanna property disposal site said his location kicked off a series of projects that will help modernize the warehouse and improve working conditions there.
“We have several projects going on right now,” Hall said. “One of them is constructing enclosed loading ramps for buildings 205 and 206. Currently, we are using portable ramps and we have been for the past twenty-some years.”
He said installation engineers have drawn up plans that have been sent up to DLA Installation Support in Battle Creek for review and that the improvement should eliminate a safety concern. When raining, the operators are going up and down wet ramps, Hall said. The new enclosed ramps with eliminate this problem.
Another project is a much-needed breakroom renovation, Hall said. The employee breakroom has been closed for “going on 18 months” due to funding. All the site’s 75 employees are using a single breakroom in a separate building which gets crowded.
“We did fund it; the problem is the price increased by $30,000 due to price of material and labor going up,” Hall said. The contract had to be re-let but is now back on track.