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News | Dec. 29, 2015

Distribution’s Knight honored as DLA Leader of the Year

By Jessica Roman DLA Distribution Public Affairs

Perry Knight, chief integration officer at Defense Logistics Agency Distribution, was honored as Leader of the Year at the 48th annual employee recognition ceremony Dec. 10 for his work leading a diverse workforce of 10,000 civilian, military, and contract personnel with a $1.8 billion budget in supporting department goals on a global scale. 

DLA director Air Force Lt. Gen. Andy Busch, along with Distribution’s commander Army Brig. Gen. Richard Dix were on hand to present the award.

“Mr. Knight’s inspiring leadership and tireless effort resulted in substantial and enduring contributions to the national security of the United States and the readiness of our armed forces,” said Twila Gonzales, Senior Executive Service, Distribution’s deputy commander and Knight’s supervisor.

Over the last six years, Knight directed numerous humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts, including Operating Tomodachi, following the devastating March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.  Over 1,000 tons of Distribution shipments of food, water, medical and general supplies were delivered, even as family members of DLA personnel were safely evacuated, sensitive assets were protected, and logistics support was provided to regional customers. 

Knight provided mission critical support to deployed naval forces, such as heliborne operations from the Rota, Spain, detachment of DLA Distribution Sigonella, Italy, where Distribution moved 78 containers in 63 helicopter missions to meet a restricted ship’s schedule.  Another task required DLA Distribution Guam to process 23 Air Force pallets of general cargo for a special assignment airlift mission to Sigonella to resupply the carrier USS Nimitz as it was operating in the Mediterranean.  “Agile, responsive logistics, unconstrained by combatant command boundaries are the norm under Mr. Knight’s leadership,” said Gonzales.

Cementing Distribution’s position as the premier distribution provider to America’s warfighters, Knight directed process documentation to align workload staffing.  This timely effort is the foundation for audit success for DLA Distribution.  While standardization efforts are still ongoing, significant strides have been made to ensure operational compliance.  More than 30 Process Control Memoranda were developed or validated, and formal quality control and quality assurance methods and associated standard operating procedures were implemented across the network.  Working together with Human Resources, quality and audit readiness principles were integrated across all business cycles, including professional training in fiscal year 2014. 

“The innovations and advances DLA Distribution has accomplished in the last six years are a direct result of Mr. Knight’s dedication to excellence,” said Gonzales.  “His initiatives have elevated DLA Distribution to the next level of performance while simultaneously reducing costs and improving readiness.”  

Knight designed and implemented a "deep dive" review process that correlated key performance indicators at all 24 distribution centers with key support components that impact overall performance, including personnel and equipment resources, financials, facility support, inventory accountability, compliance reviews, safety, and training.  As a result, overall performance increased 20 percent while denial rates decreased below .3 percent on $98 billion of inventory. 

Similarly, he instituted an equipment deep dive process that linked requirements to resources down to the individual facility level, resulting in a reduction of 500 pieces of material handling equipment (15 percent of the equipment inventory), producing an annual cost avoidance of over $2.5 million. 

Knight orchestrated the final implementation of the 2005 Base Closure and Realignment Commission recommendations, effectively transforming wholesale and retail storage distribution capabilities by reconfiguring the distribution network.  This resulted in the divesture of 15.4 million gross square feet of warehouse space, greatly reducing overhead costs and streamlining the inventory.  “Mr. Knight’s expert management of the process, obtained through his insistence on cooperation and transparent communication among all DLA stakeholders, contributed greatly to the estimated $2.9 billion in savings,” said Gonzales.

Knight integrated DLA Distribution into combatant command operational plans, as well as DLA support plans.  “His vision placed distribution planners at the beginning of the deliberate planning process so that the Services could fully leverage the command’s capabilities,” said Gonzales.  Starting in the Pacific Command Area of Responsibility, work began on the distribution support plan for the Korean peninsula.  Hundreds of man-hours of work resulted in a new document that captured all essential distribution tasks and responsibilities as well as identified critical logistics, manpower, infrastructure, and support relationships.     

Ever-aware of technology, Knight created the Distribution Standard System Access Team.  Under his leadership, the team succeeded in training and revalidating all DLA Distribution employees that require access to DSS.  Despite the many changes and challenges the team faced with system access and cyber security procedures, they were able to train every distribution center on the new DSS Account Management and Provisioning System Roles.  Upon training completion, the users submitted for new roles via AMPS and the DSS Systems Access Team validated every user.  The team also implemented a Role Based Access Control System for DSS.

 “His astonishing breadth of knowledge of supply and distribution operations, combined with his unique leadership skills, led our network to provide exceptional logistics support,” said Gonzales.  “He has few peers in strategic planning, critical thinking, and logistics expertise; he is constantly sought out for his technical knowledge and leadership development experience.  Above all, his demonstrated devotion to our personnel and to our institution makes him a truly indispensable asset to DLA Distribution and to the Defense Logistics Agency.”