News | Nov. 21, 2019

Document of the Month: MOFAST

By Dr. Colin Williams DLA Historian

The Defense Logistics Agency spent almost a decade designing and implementing the Standard Automated Materiel Management System. Computers didn’t have the processing power to accomplish the tasks DLA expected of them in the 1960s. Even with standard formats, technology couldn’t overcome the differences inherent to DLA’s supply chains.

Unfortunately, DLA suffered from the same problem in its next automation project. Also designed in the 1960s, the Mechanization of Freight and Shipping Terminal, or MOFAST, expedited the processing of material in and out of supply depots by converting data into bills of lading and shipping labels. Like SAMMS, it took the better part of a decade to design, test and install. It also prompted similar complaints. As seen in November’s “Document of the Month,” users appreciated the efficiencies it introduced but were frustrated by its inflexibility.

DLA has been at the forefront of data management since its creation. Over the years, it has saved the Defense Department hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars using machines to do what was once was done by humans. That automation continues today.

After 24 years, DLA Distribution is replacing its legacy software with the Warehouse Management System. Robotic process automation is also saving time on high volume, mundane and repetitive tasks. These projects are proof that DLA continues to transform its processes and systems to meet customers’ evolving needs.

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