Industrial Hardware’s ‘PR Madness’ brings team together, enhances mission support

By John Dwyer III DLA Troop Support Public Affairs

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Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support Industrial Hardware employees kept the madness of March alive, even after college basketball’s championship series ended, closing out a month-long competition April 19.

In a twist on college basketball’s March Madness, IH leaders developed point values for different categories of acquisitions to create and execute “PR Madness,” a teambuilding competition with an acquisition focus, where employees are awarded points for properly fulfilling purchase requests, or PRs.

Awarding points based on acquisition types such as items deemed critical for safety, high dollar-value buys, and items coded for support of the nuclear enterprise, IH’s spin on the college tournament spurred on another year of “superior effort” in warfighter support and teambuilding within all facets of IH, according to Traditional Acquisition Division Chief Michael Tarkett.

“The efforts during this competition were outstanding, and the results speak for themselves,” Tarkett said.

During the tournament, 16 teams with creative names such as “PRs, I Love You” and “Warrior Madness” paired contracting officers, acquisition specialists and interns that worked with other IH divisions to reach higher-than-average production rates in the spirit of friendly competition.

Winning coach and IH Supervisory Contracting Officer Richard Gervasi was proud of the buyers on his first and third place teams, “Rags to Riches” and “Hardware’s Last Stand” respectively, as well as the support from other IH divisions like supply and tech/quality.

“[We had] great leadership in Ryan Cunningham, one of our team captains, right from the start,” Gervasi said. “The whole team shared pointers on workload management, every person produced and encouragement was shared in emails along the way.”

First-time coach of “Acquiring Minds” and supervisory contracting officer Eric Milanowicz said that the competition boosted the energy in the office.

“PR Madness gets the competitive juices flowing and everyone gives extra effort over and above the quality work they do every day outside of March,” Milanowicz said.

Tarkett hopes the trends of increased production and improved teamwork continue throughout the year.

“[Traditional Acquisition] goes nowhere without the support and assistance of coworkers in the Technical and Supply divisions – all of our IH teammates, really,” he said.