News | Nov. 9, 2017

Legacy of financial transparency continues with ninth cost summit

By Dianne Ryder

Twice a year, the Defense Logistics Agency’s Finance and Logistics Operations leaders gather to discuss financial issues with internal and external customers and partners. Gretchen Anderson co-hosted her first Cost Summit as DLA’s Finance director alongside DLA Logistics Operations Deputy Director, Mike Scott at the McNamara Headquarters Complex on Nov. 6.

In the ninth iteration of the forum, Anderson expressed her appreciation to the group’s effort over the years.

“I think we’ve seen some genuine engagement across the whole community and I hope this particular cost summit will have the same impact,” she said.  

Anderson also said she is happy to work with the DLA team to address customer issues and “see if we can find common solutions.”

Scott welcomed Jan Mulligan, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Supply Chain Integration, and other distinguished leaders who attended the summit in person as well as via video teleconference.

Much discussion focused on the increased defense budget: specifically, how increases to individual military service budgets would be spent and if funding might result in increased sales for DLA. Understanding increases in various areas of operations such as flying hours, steaming hours and increased troop levels helps DLA project workload and pricing.

The group also discussed recurring issues such as second destination transportation, return on investment to services and market basket approach, which aligns customer rates with level of effort. Other topics included OSD studies, serialization cost drivers and costs related to DLA’s ongoing support to recent hurricane victims.

After the summit, Navy Rear Adm. Peter Stamatopoulos, Director of Supply, Ordnance and Logistics Operations Division, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, thanked Scott and Anderson for hosting the Cost Summit, which he said exceeded his expectations.

“We achieve a better common understanding when we cross share,” Stamatopoulos said. “We have a lot of good things to share; these [summits] seem to provide a great opportunity.”

Scott said Cost Summit IX was one of the best they’d had and noted there was a great deal of dynamic conversation with attendees that he hoped would continue in future meetings. He recommended regular cross-service meetings to discuss and share information.    

Anderson agreed the cost summits should continue and encouraged attendees to bring all topics of interest to the table in future meetings.

“It is so important that [finance and logistics] talk to each other,” she said. “We all need this constant flow of information.”