NEW CUMBERLAND, Pa. –
Better Buying Power is the implementation of best practices to strengthen the Defense Department's buying power, improve industry productivity, and provide an affordable, value-added military capability to the warfighter. While the Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act already requires acquisition specialists to complete trainings for their career certifications, individuals are now also required to complete 80-credit learning points within a 24-month period. As a result, DLA Distribution Acquisition Operations director Gene Surmacz has established a standard commitment, “Our Team is First,” which is designed to provide opportunities for professional and personal growth while establishing an environment for success.
“Team members are our most valuable resource; professional acquisition employees cannot be mass produced,” explains Surmacz. The same idea is also raised in Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Frank Kendall’s “Better Buying Power Principle #5,” which states “ People matter most; we can never be too professional or too competent.”
With the ever changing push to learn more, achieve an advanced education and multi task, it seems difficult to believe that acquisition specialists have the desire to want to surpass their required training. Recognizing this, DLA Distribution Acquisition offers every opportunity for individuals to reach beyond the fundamentals and realize their business cravings. Some of the recent training offerings that have been provided are developmental-operations cross training, COR training, Lunch and Learn events and in-house training.
“When we take the time and effort to educate our workforce, we will develop individuals who will be empowered to get us where we need to be,” said Surmacz.
In addition to training opportunities, one DLA Distribution Acquisition’s employee has completed a rotational assignment at the Pentagon under the Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy Exchange Program, while another employee is currently participating in a program that provides regional awareness by interacting with other DLA distribution centers. Opportunities like these strengthen the workforce and allow DLA to retain individuals that understand the extent of the agency and Better Buying Power.
“The original goal of Better Buying Power, which was to do more without more, remains our overriding focus,” explains Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work.