NEWS | April 6, 2021

New DLA Strategic Plan outlines goals for 2021-2026

By Beth Reece

Building tailored logistics solutions that support military readiness and fostering a whole-of-government approach to national security are among top priorities in the Defense Logistics Agency’s new 2021-2026 Strategic Plan

The 16-page document outlines five lines of effort, each with its own set of objectives, that represent areas where the agency can have the greatest impact amid new security threats and global challenges, said DLA Director Navy Vice Adm. Michelle Skubic. 

“The world is evolving at an ever-faster pace. We all recognize the uncertainties, challenges and threats our country faces,” she said in a video announcing the plan. “As we look to the future, we must be ready to provide the exceptional global logistics solutions that our customers demand whenever and wherever they need it.” 

The lines of effort are:

•    Warfighter Always – Tailored solutions to drive readiness
•    Support to the Nation – Deliberate approach, without tradeoff to the warfighter
•    Trusted Mission Partner – Transparency and accountability to our customers
•    Modernized Acquisition and Supply Chain Management – Leading in logistics to deliver best value and manage risk
•    Future of Work – Adapting to new ways of working

Objectives under Warfighter Always, which has been a cornerstone for DLA since its inception 60 years ago, include partnering with customers at wholesale and retail levels to address service-specific challenges on slow-moving parts and modernizing the Defense Department’s nuclear and space enterprises. 

Under Support to the Nation, DLA will share its surge capabilities and expertise in acquisition, storage and distribution with other federal agencies in support of efforts ranging from disaster relief and humanitarian support to the current pandemic. 

Greater financial transparency and the use of customer-centric performance metrics are goals in the Trusted Mission Partner line of effort. New customer feedback mechanisms and improved customer service tools are also expected.

“DLA will improve trust and transparency by enhancing customer-facing tools and software, formalizing customer feedback and increasing collaboration at all levels,” the document reads. “We will align performance metrics and targets to ensure we are accountable to our customers.” 

The fourth line of effort, Modernize Acquisition and Supply Chain Management, addresses changes in global logistics. Objectives include developing market intelligence to manage supply chain risks and enhancing acquisition strategies to improve customers’ ability to respond to increasing global contingencies. Strengthening the agency’s partnerships with suppliers is expected to aid those efforts and ensure a diverse, resilient and modernized defense industrial base. 

Future of Work priorities include redefining virtual work models and assessing the footprint of DLA facilities in the Continental United States.

“The workplace is increasingly virtual, reducing the need for a large physical footprint,” according to the plan. “Ongoing modernization efforts such as the use of mobile tablets, voice technology, autonomous guided vehicles and other advances to optimize warehouse operations all impact the future of work.”

The document also outlines three critical capabilities that support all five lines of effort: People and Culture, Fiscal Stewardship and Digital Business Transformation. Goals in these areas range from developing a skilled workforce and continuing to establish DLA’s auditability to adopting advanced analytics and automation tools. 

The new plan was shaped by DLA senior leaders and feedback from over 100 military and federal customers that was collected during interviews by an independent consulting firm. 

“I am supremely confident that we, DLA’s world-class workforce, will translate this plan into real results together as one team,” the director said in the video. “We will ensure that the nation’s combat logistics support agency remains innovative, adaptable, agile and accountable, focused on the warfighter always.”