News | March 1, 2019

DLA director visits DLA Aviation, learns activity is on track to meet operating plan goals

By Cathy Hopkins DLA Aviation Public Affairs

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Defense Logistics Agency Aviation Commander Air Force Brig. Gen. Linda Hurry hosted DLA Director Army Lt Gen. Darrell Williams Feb. 19 during his review of the activity’s dynamic operating plan.

During the visit, Williams toured the new DLA Aviation Operations Center where he stopped in for a white board session with DLA Aviation employees. White board sessions focus on critical assets impacting platform readiness. Discussions involve aviation employees from multiple disciplines from pre- to post-award actions to material planners and detail the status of actions being taken to improve stock posture.

On this visit, Williams said he particularly enjoyed the white board session. He felt the session was exceptional in the simplicity and he didn’t doubt the impact would be seen on the readiness and performance slides he would see later in the day.

During the five-hour visit, Aviation senior leaders covered a lot of ground with the director to include the agency’s five lines of effort as outlined in our strategic plan.

Hurry began discussions by talking about improved material availability, 86 to 89.28 percent; and backorder reductions from 160,000 to 139,000 against our annual target of 90 percent MA and 133,000 backorders.

“Aviation is on track to meet enterprise objectives,” she said.

Warfighter support was discussed across multiple weapon systems and locations within DLA Aviation, as well as the activity’s material availability campaign plan.  Steve Kinskie, Aviation’s operations officer and Planning Process director, discussed the activity’s comprehensive efforts focused on identification of the right target, focused execution, proactive elevation and uniform prioritization

The group discussed recent risk investments, their results and potential financial concerns later in the fiscal year. Williams complimented the group on the incredible work on backorders and material availability against very specific weapon systems and asked that they keep a close watch on decreases as well as increases in demand forecasts. He stressed the need for audit readiness support and indicated the agency wouldn’t be able to achieve a clean audit report without Aviation support.

Air Force Col. John Waggoner, director, Customer Operations, highlighted the ground-breaking work being done in the Aviation’s Marine Corps Customer Facing Division collaborating with customers to help determine and shape demand. 

“When you talk readiness, you can’t divorce DLA from the services,” Williams said and told leaders that he would love to showcase the Marine success at DLA Aviation to the services as a means to encourage them to place more noncommissioned and warrant officer service billets within DLA.

Directors highlighted the activity’s global posture through its interactions with the DLA Support Teams around the world and its strong partnerships with its strategic suppliers.

Aviation Acquisition Executive Cathy Contreras briefed Aviation results from last year’s DLA enterprise supplier survey.

“This was the first time a survey of suppliers was performed within the enterprise, she said. “It is good to get this feedback and it will provide a baseline for additional surveys as we move forward.” 

She briefed that 679 Aviation suppliers responded and results generally aligned with overarching enterprise themes. Suppliers see DLA as being very trustworthy and feel valued by the enterprise.

There are three areas that rose to the top as far as improvement opportunities: communications, access to technical information and innovation. To improve in these areas, Contreras said we are looking at reinforcing best customer service practices, expediting technical issues when possible, and focusing on longer-term systems modernization.

DLA Aviation Chief of Staff Tanya Hill closed the briefing with a discussion of the activity’s 2018 culture survey results, highlighting specific action plans since the 2016 survey that contributed to improve results in 2018.

“Great job on the survey results.  It is clear you had effective action plans from the last survey,” Williams said. “You should be very proud of the improvement you saw around the wheel.”

Williams thanked senior leaders for hosting him and said he always learns something new when he visits DLA Aviation that can be applied across the agency.