Distribution agency review scores high marks/identifies efficiencies to improve overall agency productivity

By Dawn Bonsell, DLA Distribution PAO

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Defense Logistics Agency subject matter experts completed an intensive, week long comprehensive internal review at Defense Logistics Agency Distribution to evaluate compliance and identify best practices to apply across the agency Feb. 3-7.

The enterprise wide initiative is a program led by DLA Logistics Policy and Strategic Programs and covers multiple disciplines that allow headquarters senior leaders to identify areas of vulnerability to improve overall program and operational performance. The program looks at every major subordinate command within DLA—covering operations across several functional areas, including human resources, readiness, finance, training, acquisition management, strategic planning and others.

George Atwood, executive director, Logistics Policy and Strategic Programs, DLA Logistics Operations opened the week-long review by thanking Navy Rear Adm. Kevin M. Jones, commanding officer, DLA Distribution, for hosting the Agency Management Review at Distribution. “I look forward to the dialogue and I’ve said before—these are for headquarters to make Distribution more effective for the agency.”

Distribution agency review scores high marks/identifies efficiencies to improve overall agency productivity
Defense Logistics Agency Distribution Commanding Officer Navy Rear Adm. Kevin M. Jones and DLA Distribution Acting Deputy Commander Perry Knight, meet with DLA Chief of Staff Kristin French at DLA Distribution headquarters Feb. 6 when she arrives to join the contingent of DLA Distribution senior leadership taking part in the 2020 DLA Distribution Agency Management Review. Photo by Matthew Mahoney
Distribution agency review scores high marks/identifies efficiencies to improve overall agency productivity
Distribution agency review scores high marks/identifies efficiencies to improve overall agency productivity
Defense Logistics Agency Distribution Commanding Officer Navy Rear Adm. Kevin M. Jones and DLA Distribution Acting Deputy Commander Perry Knight, meet with DLA Chief of Staff Kristin French at DLA Distribution headquarters Feb. 6 when she arrives to join the contingent of DLA Distribution senior leadership taking part in the 2020 DLA Distribution Agency Management Review. Photo by Matthew Mahoney
Photo By: Matthew Mahoney, DLA Distribution
VIRIN: 200211-D-VQ057-8935

This year’s AMR marks the third year of the DLA Headquarters implemented, enterprise-wide initiative and the second bi-annual review for DLA Distribution. Additionally, the AMR is designed to isolate trends and identify best practices across the agency while strengthening DLA’s overall performance. The review provides a mechanism for DLA to isolate and respond to critical operational concerns to ensure sustained auditability.

The reviews are beneficial to the agency in a number of ways that align with DLA’s strategic mission. They contribute to process excellence by identifying the best qualities of each MSC, followed by the implementation of those practices across the enterprise when applicable.
Throughout the week Esther Wade, Process Integration Division chief and AMR program lead worked closely with DLA Distribution leadership to ensure information was shared in a collaborative spirit emphasizing the importance of both DLA Distribution and DLA Headquarters role in ensuring compliance with established policies and procedures.

According to Carolyn Green, DLA AMR program manager, this was “a really good review with great cooperation.” DLA leadership draws on AMR conclusions to improve its focus on people and culture by identifying areas where training can be strengthened.

Several Distribution “star performer” employees were recognized at the AMR exit conference. Green noted that Distribution’s AMR produced the most star performers DLA has seen yet.

“We did really well,” commented Jones. “There are some administrative areas we need to tighten up and we’ll get after that.” Jones also commended Patty Myers for her dedication to the AMR process.

Distribution agency review scores high marks/identifies efficiencies to improve overall agency productivity
Kristin French, Defense Logistics Agency chief of staff (center) and Navy Rear Adm. Kevin M. Jones, commanding officer, DLA Distribution recognize a record number of DLA Distribution headquarters employees for being “Star Performers” during the week-long DLA Agency Management Review. Teammates recognized include (left to right) Joe Eby, Dave Firlik, Lourdes Delong, Christopher Milewski, Michelle Phelps, Gomati Poonai, Tracy Birch, Patty Myers, Donna Kautz, Ron Bell and Faith Pfeiffer. Missing from the photo were Jada Weaver, Robin Hoffman and Kylie Borkowski. Photo by Matthew Mahoney
Distribution agency review scores high marks/identifies efficiencies to improve overall agency productivity
Distribution agency review scores high marks/identifies efficiencies to improve overall agency productivity
Kristin French, Defense Logistics Agency chief of staff (center) and Navy Rear Adm. Kevin M. Jones, commanding officer, DLA Distribution recognize a record number of DLA Distribution headquarters employees for being “Star Performers” during the week-long DLA Agency Management Review. Teammates recognized include (left to right) Joe Eby, Dave Firlik, Lourdes Delong, Christopher Milewski, Michelle Phelps, Gomati Poonai, Tracy Birch, Patty Myers, Donna Kautz, Ron Bell and Faith Pfeiffer. Missing from the photo were Jada Weaver, Robin Hoffman and Kylie Borkowski. Photo by Matthew Mahoney
Photo By: Matthew Mahoney, DLA Distribution PAO
VIRIN: 200211-D-VQ057-9060

In concluding the week-long management review, Kristin French, DLA chief of staff, noted that, “The Agency Management Review has really morphed over the past two years. I’m glad the other J codes are getting involved. The audit is so critical in today’s environment that we need to keep the balance in every area.”  French continued that, “we always take back lessons learned.”

DLA headquarters will take back several commendable best practices from various DLA Distribution directorates. DLA Distribution Acquisition Director, Gene Surmacz, received high praise for passing every topic in the AMR—a first for a DLA major subordinate command--and was also recognized for creating a culture of high achievement.

Jones told the DLA headquarters review team he appreciated their input during the review and flexibility throughout the busy work week. “Great dialogue and we certainly appreciated your presence. Big thanks for your constructive observations and excellent discussion. This process allows us to strengthen our processes and improve the way we conduct business. Appreciate everyone’s efforts,” Jones said.