News | Feb. 27, 2019

DLA transforms print services to save agency, warfighter dollars

By Amber McSherry

Defense Logistics Agency Information Operations is one step closer to changing the way Document Services meets customers’ printing needs.

In early February, DLA’s Fort Benning, Georgia, production facility was closed and returned to installation officials for reuse. It was one of 13 remaining closures as DLA reduces its 112 production facilities within the continental United States to 36 by the end of March.

DLA customer relations specialists will continue to support customers at the closed locations by leveraging in-house production at the remaining sites or with commercial vendors the agency has agreements with.

The new service-delivery model frees Department of Defense resources and saves warfighters’ money, said Strategic Data Services Deputy Director Richard TeBeau.

“In the end, the less brick-and-mortar facilities we pay for will result in actual cost savings on each [print] order, so they can use that funding to focus on their core mission,” he said.

Employees have spent the past year closing selected facilities and preparing for their new role as customer relations specialists. Bill Swentowsky, an electronic duplicating system operator, helped prepare, pack, and palletize production equipment and supplies at Fort Benning.

“It didn’t happen overnight, obviously. We used a backward planning process interjected with dates of certain things to happen.” Swentowsky said. “Every day was focused on something – a task to be completed.”

Employees shredded documents that couldn’t simply be thrown out or that had personally identifiable information. They also cleaned out cabinets and prepared equipment that could be used at other production facilities for shipment to DLA Disposition Services. Swentowsky’s supervisor and employees from other facilities helped.

“I would not have been able to do all of this without their assistance and guidance,” Swentowsky said.

Customer relations specialists will continue assisting customers by recommending materials and determining the source of supply that yields savings without sacrificing quality.

Customers can also place their print orders online at https://dso.dla.mil with a government credit card or Military Interdepartmental Purchase Request. A CRS will review the order, evaluate special requirements or deadlines, and work directly with each customer to meet their needs.

“We are in the 21st century and working to leverage online technology to better serve the warfighter globally, 24/7,” TeBeau said.

Document Services uses CRSs to educate new and existing customers on the agency’s printing services and to work closely with military units and print vendors around the world. Over 400 civilian employees are spread across the globe to provide maps, CD/DVDs, posters, banners, decals, business cards, books, manuals, stock forms and more. If it gets printed, they can provide it.