Supplier reps attend largest Industry Days event to date

By Natalie Skelton Public Affairs Office

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Defense Logistics Agency Aviation Commander Air Force Brig. Gen. Linda Hurry opened the first day of DLA Aviation Supplier Industry Days at the Frank B. Lotts Conference Center on Defense Supply Center Richmond, Virginia. The event held over two-days, May 29 – 30, invites industry business leaders and representatives to collaborate with DLA representatives on meeting warfighter needs

Over 250 representatives from a number of defense suppliers attended the event, which has been held for six years.

Air Force Col. John Waggoner, director, Customer Operations, DLA Aviation, took to the podium to address high-level challenges for the armed services.

Waggoner said weapon systems readiness has improved thanks to the cooperation of the supplier community, but 10,000 delinquent orders are still hindering readiness.  With greater communication between DLA and its suppliers, he believes readiness will continue to improve.

John Henley, associate director, Small Business Programs Division, Command Support Directorate, DLA Aviation, launched the presentations with an overview of the DLA small business programs and their performance over the past year.

“DLA Aviation’s greatest small business program assets are our robust small business industrial base and our excellent acquisition workforce that maximize utilization of small business to meet the warfighter’s needs,” said Henley. “Aviation’s senior executive support and our small business program managers complete execution of our small business plan.”

DLA and DLA Aviation perform at peak levels when suppliers deliver products and services on time. Bart Stewart, operations research analyst, Sustainment Group, Defense Contract Management Agency, reviewed the On-Time Delivery Indicator and its functions with attendees.

On-time delivery, according to the OTD Indicator, is a measure of a supplier’s ability to deliver prior to, or on the contractual date for delivery. Stewart noted that the current metric calls for at least 80% of schedules to be delivered on time.

After morning briefings, attendees participated in afternoon breakout sessions that addressed Casting and Forging, What’s New in Small Business, Formal Acquisitions, Bearings, and DLA Internet Bid Board System Quoting and Post Award Request Overview.

The Casting and Forging Session was presented by Aviation Forging and Casting Assistance Team Program Manager John Wilson, Forgings Application Engineer Walker George, and Castings Application Engineer Keith Sturgill. The AFCAT team provides sourcing solutions for challenges presented by military aviation requirements, and assists contractors requesting information on tooling for cast or forged items.

Tours of the Replenishment Parts Purchase or Borrow Room were given following the breakout sessions. Ed Lilly, lead general engineer, Engineering and Technology Division, Engineering Directorate, DLA Aviation, said, “The tour focused on showing attendees its [the room’s] contents and educated them on processes they can follow to obtain samples of these items, as well as others, for reverse engineering purposes.”

The ultimate goal is to enhance competition on DLA-managed items to reduce costs as well as lead times via these efforts,” said Lilly.

The person who continues to coordinate these events, Pamela Frederick, training liaison, Career Development Branch, Command Support Directorate, DLA Aviation says “Putting on a large event like this takes an enormous amount of planning and coordination.  This event would not be successful without the help of my dedicated committee.  A big thank you goes out to them.”