Sept. 24, 2020 —
Name: Alan Closson
Organization: J67A, Analytics Center of Excellence
Years of Service: 35 years of total federal service
What is your job title, and what do you do, specifically?
Operations research analysts examine the effectiveness of the Defense Logistics Agency’s business processes and provide guidance to functional areas to assist with implementing policies and processes. Currently, I’m working on three predictive analytics efforts. One is predicting supplier delinquencies, and two are research and development teams centered around predicting unfilled orders and additive manufacturing. I also support DLA reform efforts for supply chain and cost areas as needed. Previously, I analyzed vendor, customer, and procurement data for business case analyses on strategic acquisitions to configure the supply chain for maximum support to customers.
What is your background, including experience and credentials? How does your background help you be successful in your current role?
I was fortunate enough to choose jobs in the Air Force that gave me a well-rounded view of the Department of Defense supply chain. I was an officer for 20 years; ten in supply/fuels and ten in procurement. After earning my master’s degree in logistics management, I became a Society of Logistics Engineers Certified Professional Logistician and obtained a level III Acquisition Professional Development Program certification in life cycle logistics.
What aspect(s) of your current job gives you the most personal satisfaction? Why?
I get to influence DLA policies, am on the forefront of R&D efforts and work with great professionals across the agency. I also take the initiative to, and enjoy, developing training material for agency analysts. I’ve developed materials including a 70-page BCA guidebook that became the agency’s guideline for all BCAs and a 90-minute tutorial on SAS Studio which is a new enterprise analytic system.
What are some of your passions outside of work?
I’ve been a yoga instructor for 15 years and have taught in other countries for each of those years. I’m also active in the Columbus Ski and Sports Club participating in numerous sports and social activities.
What advice do you have for DLA employees?
Look for gaps in policies, processes and training where you believe you can make the most impact to the agency and try to fill the gap through self-initiated efforts. By doing this, you will gain the experience and skills that will lead you to excel in your current role and you’ll get the satisfaction of providing better support to the warfighter. I also recommend well-rounded experience across disciplines and professional credentials to help you get increasingly challenging and satisfying jobs.
What other self-initiated efforts have you worked on?
As the chief of business analysis at the Aeronautical Systems Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, I developed a website for acquisition program managers to train them and provide useful links, guidance and documentation on how to perform the following functions: inventory management, technical support, pre-award and post-award acquisition, and quality assurance. I sold this idea to the Defense Acquisition University, which built the current ACQuipedia knowledge website based on our initial effort.