Transparency, cost-saving approaches discussed at 13th Cost Summit

By Dianne Ryder DLA Public Affairs

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Cost transparency and efficiencies were key discussion topics of the Defense Logistics Agency’s Cost Summit at the McNamara Headquarters Complex Jan. 30.

The meeting, held twice annually, provides senior leaders from logistics and financial management communities a forum to share information on cost-related issues.

Co-hosts Guy Beougher, deputy director of DLA Logistics Operations, and Art Hagler, DLA Finance director, have both attended previous cost summits in different capacities.

“I think everybody is already aware that 2019 was a very traumatic year from a business operations perspective. It’s something we’re working hard not to repeat,” Hagler said. “Rest assured that we as a DLA team are doing everything we can to mitigate any impact to the services from a financial or readiness perspective.”

Hagler added that through a program budget decision, the Office of the Secretary of Defense comptroller directed DLA to synchronize its budget.

“OSD’s perspective is to the extent we can better synchronize workload with customer provider relationships, it will help mitigate cash problems going forward. We’ll need to do a data call through OSD Acquisition and Sustainment and the OSD comptroller once services have a better understanding of what we might be funding for fiscal 2022.”

Beougher expressed enthusiasm for the opportunity to unite logisticians and budget officials to generate cross-discussions between the two functional areas.

“DLA’s had the highest material availability and lowest non-mission capable supply that we’ve had in a decade,” he said. “The reason we have that is because of investments we made two or three years ago.”

Both leaders talked about “levers” to help lower costs and help DLA maintain a positive cash position.

“That means we’re going to look at what we have on the shelf, what we need on the shelf, what you’ve said you need on the shelf,” Beougher said.

Jan Mulligan, deputy assistant secretary of defense for supply chain integration, provided an OSD update and DLA’s special assistant to the director, Marty Binder, briefed on the Defense-Wide Review.

Other topics included DLA’s financial status, including impacts to operating costs; military services financial status and perspective on driving down costs; and G-Invoicing, which will be used for intra-governmental agreements with trading partners.

Beougher provided closing remarks, reinforcing DLA’s role in supporting service readiness.

“If you take nothing else away from this, know that DLA is on your side,” he said. “We’re all one team, we just have different parts to play.”