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News | Oct. 8, 2015

DLA Aviation signs retail supply manual, improving Air Force industrial support

By Cathy Hopkins

An idea formed 22 months ago was formalized on Defense Supply Center Richmond, Virginia, Sept. 17 when Defense Logistics Agency Aviation Air Force Brig. Gen. Allan Day signed volume one of DLA’s retail supply manual. The manual outlines enterprise-wide operational policies and procedures improving Air Force industrial retail support.

“This is really a new beginning, a step forward in our standardization process,” said Day. “It is the culmination of a lot of work with more to come.”

Volume one, formally known as DLA Manual 4140.08-M-VI Retail Supply Chain Materiel Management Procedures: Air Force Supply Storage and Distribution, supports the agency’s strategic relationships with the Air Force and by collaboration provides increased retail support when and where it’s needed.

The idea originated in 2013 as DLA Aviation realized a need for standardization in retail support across the agency, and for greater obligation authority and flexibility at the activity’s industrial support sites.

According to Air Force Lt. Col. Greg Ogorek, chief, Air Force Weapons System Supply Chain Integration, DLA Aviation Customer Operations Directorate’s Air Force Customer Facing Division, increased authority included the ability to define enterprise business system performance settings, ability to make local procurements, and to determine what national stock numbers to stock and the funding to support those authorities.

Throughout 2014 a series of retail supply summits were held with DLA Aviation’s industrial support activity site commanders supporting Air Force Logistics Complexes and Navy Fleet Readiness Centers, as well as subject matter experts from DLA Headquarters and the agency’s primary-level field activities.

Summit team members came to the conclusion the manual required a separate policy document to serve as the base authority and developed an enterprise DLA Retail Supply Chain Materiel Management Policy. The policy was signed into effective in March.

Navy Capt. Ronald Carr, DLA Headquarters, Logistics Operations, is the agency’s Retail Operations Division chief and retail supply process owner.

Carr described the policy document as a strategic instruction that lays a long-term foundation and institutionalizes DLA’s retail responsibility.

“The policy provides overarching strategic guidance covering the agency’s business processes,” Carr said.” Whereas volume one of the RSM, gets into the day-to-day actions needed for DLA to provide excellence in Air Force retail supply operations.”

The team also decided that separate volumes of the RSM are required for the military services based on their requirements and interaction with DLA.

According to Navy Lt. Cmdr. John Tipton, who works in DLA Aviation’s Navy Customer Facing Division, the Navy has different engineering requirements and uses Navy-specific work flow software. He said DLA Aviation even uses a different language when referencing work-in-progress at Navy Fleet Readiness Centers than it does at Air Force Logistics Complexes.

Tipton said the Navy is still in the process of stabilizing retail operations and moving toward “achieving retail excellence.”   “We should have a new draft of Volume 2 of the RSM, addressing Navy retail ready for signing in early 2016,” he said.

Carr said the agency wants to continue to build momentum in standardizing retail processes and will host the first Total Retail Sustainment Review in Oklahoma City on Oct. 27-28.