Industrial Hardware closes 'March Madness' with surge of contract awards

By Agneta Murnan DLA Troop Support Pubilc Affairs

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College basketball was not the only competition heating up during the month of March.

The Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support Industrial Hardware supply chain held its own “March Madness” competition in which employees rallied to complete 2,716 purchase requests with backorders. They also put on a full court press to award 97 first-article test contracts.

Looking for a way to power through volumes of both challenging and simpler contract awards, Joanne Anello and Mike Tarkett, the chiefs of IH’s two traditional acquisition divisions, formed 16 teams of seven to 10 employees each. The duo mixed employees from across the divisions to encourage new interactions.

Anello and Tarkett then weighted numeric point values for contract award actions so that employees scored higher points when completing more complex work.

Tarkett noted the contest seemed to “bring out another gear” in employees. “People really get into it,” he said.

While sports spectators were watching college basketball tournaments throughout the month, IH teams also tuned into Tarkett’s weekly standings updates and competition commentary email.

Part of the excitement revolved around the volatility of team rankings as they changed week to week, said Anello. As soon as Anello neared the scoreboard, employees converged to ask for updates.

The top three teams were the “Award Rabbits” in first place, the “Samockinators” (formed from team member’s name Ed Samocki) in second place, and the “PR All Stars” in third place.

The Award Rabbits comprised Ken Price, Luke Peeling, Charmaine Ford, Kiriroth Lor, Donald Barrella, Michelle Gemmell and John Logan. Coach of both the Award Rabbits and the PR All Star teams was Yasmin Dossa, acquisition branch supervisor.

The top five individual scorers were Ken Price, Linda Cioppa-Pape, Maria Rooney, Mike Small and Ajay Asundi.

To be honest, my only goal was to be on the March Madness winning team, and being the top scorer was only a by-product of that,” said Price, a purchasing agent who awarded 226 purchase requests during the competition and was named most valuable player.

“It feels great that the Award Rabbits took the championship. I think we surprised a lot of people,” Price said. “There were a lot of great teams and any one of six teams could have won in the end. What no one has mentioned is that as a team, the Award Rabbits scored an incredible 515 points in the final week to seal the victory ... I feel that my biggest contribution was convincing our team to believe that we could win it all.”

“In the final week of IH's PR March Madness contest, traditional acquisition divisions saw a surge of 777 manual awards completed, by far the highest production week of the year,” said IH Deputy Director Tina Piotrowski.

As part of the larger Industrial Hardware supply chain, Anello recognized that PR teams from the traditional acquisition divisions relied heavily on the IH supply, technical and engineering divisions for support, such as resolving system errors, reviewing surplus data and evaluating alternative offers.

The employees who performed the highest number of support actions were Ryan Trebisovsky, Nancy Fisher, Vanessa Chmielewski, Norvell Brown, Daniel Young, Makhram Budhoo, Thomas Jordan, Brieanne Moody, Matthew Giacobbe, Tina Dormer, Eric Williams, Roberta Mckenzie-Hill and Regina Connors.

Winning participants will be awarded a combination of time-off and monetary performance awards.