Disposition reps share ideas, training

By Jake Joy DLA Disposition Services

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The DLA Disposition Services 2018 Disposal Service Representative Workshop kicked off in Battle Creek, Michigan, May 15, offering a packed schedule to more than 50 front-line agency reps from all around the world.

The disposal reps, known within the agency as DSRs, inhabit a unique role in DLA’s reverse logistics stream. They typically interact with the junior logisticians and lower-ranking service members who are often tasked with ridding a unit of its excess or unneeded equipment. Figuring out how to do that requires learning about new disposal processes, rules and regulations. Agency DSRs serve as the teachers and process guides for units. And once troops get a good feel for the process, they transfer to another billet and the unit’s training need begins anew.

“That’s not going to change. The turnover will always continue. That’s why we have you,” said Customer Support Division Chief Sherry Low. “We’re here to give you the tools to make sure you have the information to train the next guy.”

Among the new generation of tools that are generating the most interest and enthusiasm from DSRs – the Digital DSR application and the almost-ready-to-field mobile workstation.

“I am always pushing the Digital DSR and the website … if we can increase knowledge on it, it’s a great tool,” said Robert Eckenrode, a DSR from the Pendleton site in California. He said he’d like to see the tool simplified even further for young service members who seem to have an affinity for their devices. Others encouraged the development of even more apps, to try and allow customers and DSRs to do more away from their desks.

The mobile workstation concept promises to dramatically reduce the amount of time and number of trips reps must make to visit customers and properly receive their items quickly, and many at the workshop said how eager they were to field the product.

The workshop covers a host of customer support topics, including sales and demilitarization, e-recycling and environmental regulations, receipt in place, transportation and special programs, among others. DSRs were encouraged to share all ideas and best practices that align with standard operating procedure.  

“With all the knowledge right here in this room, I think we can learn from each other,” said Edward Forbes, a DSR from the Gimcheon site in South Korea.

The workshop has built in question and answer periods, time for interaction with headquarters staff, and opportunities to hear from Deputy Director Army Col. Wayne Bondy.

“This conference has great potential for us to share and learn from each other,” said Massimo Marongiu, a DSR from DLA’s disposition site in Aviano, Italy. He said that he has worked for DLA since 1992, but it was his first visit to command headquarters in Michigan and his first DSR workshop.

Every attendee had the chance to share their expectations and hopes for what they’d take away from the conference. Barbara Johnson, a DSR from Eglin Air Force Base with 34 years of agency service, said she wanted to leave with a closer line of communication between her and fellow reps. Dan Files, from the Hill site in Utah, wanted to “get an idea of the recent changes and how my fellow DSRs are handling them.”

The workshop concludes May 17.