News | Sept. 30, 2021

Looking inside the Disposition Services warehouse in Columbus, Ohio

By Jason Shamberger DLA Disposition Services

Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Services provides the disposal of excess property through reutilization, transfer and demilitarization. For the DLA Disposition Services site in Columbus, Ohio, the recent field office realignment now gives the location additional geographic areas and responsibilities to take care of.

“Columbus is becoming one of the largest Disposition Services facilities and operations in the continental United States,” said Ken Mayle, the site’s operations manager. “We cover Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois, parts of Indiana and are in the process of absorbing additional [disposition] sites.”

With such high volume, it takes a team of knowledgeable members to ensure everyone is doing their part and meeting the needs of the customers. The warehouse staff is currently made up of roughly 18 (ME&I) materials examiner and identifiers.

Crouched man writes on a box label
Doug Priest, a materials examiner and identifier at Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Services works to get property on record at the Columbus, Ohio warehouse.
Crouched man writes on a box label
Workload increases at Disposition Services in Columbus, Ohio
Doug Priest, a materials examiner and identifier at Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Services works to get property on record at the Columbus, Ohio warehouse.
Photo By: DLA Disposition Services
VIRIN: 210903-D-AU600-202

These individuals are integral to the disposal and turn-in process. Their work begins the moment delivery trucks arrive onsite to offload property. The tasks involved are numerous and can at times be tedious, such as counting individual pieces of property to ensure accurate reporting of quantities. Precision is always important and there are multiple steps in place to achieve the most accurate results possible.  

“All DEMIL that comes in here must have a two-man count, so there is a lot of labor involved. If the customer [makes a mistake], we’ve got to catch it on our end. We have several processes in place to assist with that,” said Mayle.

Occasionally, the team must go the extra step to ensure property is disposed of correctly and follows all necessary procedures. In the event customers turn in property without following established protocols, this team must catch these mistakes and make adjustments and or corrections prior to placing on inventory.

“What we do for laptops is we have to open them up,” explained Doug Priest, one of the Columbus materials examiner and identifiers, “We go through each laptop and make sure they don’t have classified markings on them. We [also] have to make sure the customer has removed all hard drives,” he said.

With multiple moving parts within the warehouse operations this requires everyone to know their role and be interchangeable no matter which part of the process or warehouse they happen to be working at the moment.

Man drives a forklift
Wage Grade Supervisor Brian Decarlo operates the forklift at a Disposition Services Columbus, Ohio warehouse.
Man drives a forklift
Workload increases at Disposition Services in Columbus, Ohio
Wage Grade Supervisor Brian Decarlo operates the forklift at a Disposition Services Columbus, Ohio warehouse.
Photo By: DLA Disposition Services
VIRIN: 210903-D-AU600-207

“All of the processes are the same all the way through no matter what site you go to because of the [standard operating procedures],” explained Wage Supervisor Austin Henry. “You have your blanket process and then you can have your pinpoint specific processes. Your area manager and supervisors can adjust little things within each site, but the complete overall process is going to be the same at every site.”

The full field office realignment is expected to reach completion by the end of fiscal year 2022. At that point, Columbus can expect to have taken on its’ full range of added responsibilities. To better meet the increasing workload, the warehouse is expecting to grow its workforce to approximately 30 employees over the upcoming months.