COLUMBUS, Ohio, Sept. 9, 2019 —
Defense Logistics Agency Director Army Lt. Gen. Darrell Williams visited DLA Land and Maritime Sept. 5 through Sept. 6 to get an in-person update on the business operations and how they’ve been integrated into DLA’s Strategic Plan. He also presided over the Sept. 6 retirement ceremony of Navy Rear Adm. Deborah Haven, Director of the DLA Joint Reserve Force, before leaving Columbus, Ohio.
Williams regularly visits DLA’s major subordinate commands to ensure the Agency is focused on the lines of effort and objectives identified in DLA’s Strategic Plan and how it directly supports the nation’s warfighters.
Before the meeting began, Williams presented seven “Ya Done Good” awards to Land and Maritime associates at detached operations. Three associates were from the Depot Level Reparable detachments and four were from Maritime Shipyard detachments.
Following brief introductions, Williams offered performance accolades as well as a few challenges to the Land and Maritime team. He specifically mentioned the impressive efforts supporting the nuclear enterprise mission, notable increases in material availability, significant back order reduction, the global tire contract and Land and Maritime’s work in progress burn down successes at its detachments.
“Over the last 18 months, we’ve watched MA take a big turnaround in both Land and Maritime supply chains,” Williams said. “Your strong focus and management of those items and the wonderful job you’ve done in identifying true readiness drivers that impact large numbers of systems are impressive.”
Williams mentioned the upcoming DLA leadership offsite and connected the need and timeliness of it with the significant leadership changes within the Agency. He previewed updated focus areas for the upcoming fiscal year and said five new areas will be shared in detail during the upcoming leadership offsite, so all DLA leaders are operating from the same playbook.
For four hours, Land and Maritime Commander Navy Rear Adm. John Palmer, supported by his senior leaders and selected subject matter experts, poured over program metrics and new operational initiatives in various stages of execution.
Palmer outlined a Land and Maritime continuous process improvement initiative that reduced suspended stock inventory by approximately 38%. Packaging issues were identified as a major factor impacting those suspended stock levels and Williams suggested DLA could incorporate this CPI effort across the agency because of the positive results.
Palmer also highlighted the 80% reduction in purchase requests achieved by the Mechanicsburg and Warren detachments. Additional initiatives to drive down work in progress metrics at other Land and Maritime detachments were also highlighted.
The need for more precision in demand planning accuracy for all of the services was examined in detail, with the understanding that improvements in this area will directly improve availability.
That discussion dovetailed directly into Land and Maritime’s efforts to better understand service needs and balance those needs against its procurement capacity. To that end, Palmer shared Land and Maritime’s continual focus on identifying active business and readiness drivers and the benefits of placing them on long term contracts to help improve readiness metrics across several weapon systems.
Williams encouraged Land and Maritime to redouble their efforts on developing a culture action plan of sorts for the supplier community. “Improving the supplier survey results is a change in our culture, all the way down to the individual people who are interfacing with suppliers, it’s not just one person. This effort will improve warfighter readiness and on time delivery among other things,” Williams said.
Auditability, process improvement, protecting the supply chain, leadership development, and the summarization of Land and Maritime’s culture initiatives rounded out discussion topics.
After soliciting comments from the group, Williams summarized his assessment of Land and Maritime’s operational efforts and provided a few areas for consideration in future operations. Those areas included: are we getting any better at achieving tangible results from DLA’s demand planning efforts, clarifying Code 500 arrangements with the shipyards and the culture action plan for suppliers.
Williams implored the group to institutionalize the DLA Director’s Dashboard for use as an Agencywide analytical tool to assist in making business decisions.
As a last action, Williams called up Dr. Robert Boggs, Land and Maritime director of People and Culture, to acknowledge his pending retirement after more than 11 years of service to Land and Maritime.