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News | May 10, 2023

Collaborating to bring WMS online

By Jason Shamberger DLA Disposition Services

The Defense Logistics Agency’s transition to the Warehouse Management System is fully underway at DLA Disposition Services field sites worldwide.

The agency is rolling out WMS on a site-by-site basis – making sure each site is spun up on proper operations of the system. The modernization started in San Antonio, Texas, and is currently implemented at six sites.

This undertaking requires multiple Disposition Services collaborating to aid the transition process. As each location goes online there is a specialized team sent to teach and train the site’s workforce on WMS operations.

“From an information technology perspective – we have our software folks from J6 [information technology],” said Liberty Moore, a line of effort owner with the WMS team.  “We also have J6 hardware folks that are helping us with the new technology of the tablets and the scanners and the new printers. We have our training folks that have been embedded with us since we began this project which is great because they’ve learned the system right along with us and they are the expert teachers.”

Having technical support on-hand as each site goes online benefits the users on the ground and makes it easier for them to get immediate assistance in the event issues come up during this training period. 

“We can help onsite with anything technical,” said Carol Hemker, a Disposition Services IT specialist from Battle Creek, Michigan. “If for some reason the receipt you’re trying to print didn’t go through we have to find out if it got caught up somewhere. So, what we have to look at is making sure the interfaces are working together properly.”

Having reinforcements co-located with those learning WMS operations for the first time is proving to create a smooth and seamless transition from the Distribution Standard Service to WMS according to some who have experienced previous operational changes in the agency.

“I think that this has been a better transition – in my opinion – than all the ones I’ve witnessed before,” said DSD West Director, Kathy Atkins-Nunez, who has been with the agency for 39 years. “I’ve never seen it where the J6 and J1 [training] teams that are needed are coming to the field. I think it’s very important that it was done in this manner. I think it is the best transition I’ve seen in the agency.

DLA continues to bring WMS online, as each Disposition Services and Distribution field site is scheduled to operate under the new system by 2025.

The Susquehanna and Barstow field sites are the next Disposition Services sites that can expect to make the transition.