News | Jan. 28, 2022

Employee Spotlight: Tierra Williams

DLA Aviation Public Affairs Office

Employee spotlight regularly features outstanding non-supervisory personnel from throughout the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation and other DLA employees on Defense Supply Center Richmond, Virginia. Organizational directors may submit names of employees they wish to feature in this column to DLA Aviation Public Affairs. For more information, call (804) 279-3139. 

Name: Tierra Williams

Organization: DLA Aviation at Jacksonville, Florida

Years of Service: Six years with DLA Aviation, 20+ years total government service

What is your job title, and what do you do, specifically? I’m a business process and supply systems analyst. I spend a great deal of time monitoring inventory movement and balance transactions between the DLA enterprise business and distribution standard systems, and the Fleet Readiness Center Southeast Naval Air Systems Command’s depot maintenance system/concept of operations. I provide assistance to the resolution specialists located at the retail level and at times, across all three Navy Fleet Readiness Centers. I work closely with DLA Distribution to ensure inventory accuracy between systems and across the Navy retail sites for wholesale and retail levels and material designated as protected for the FRCs. I review and elevate suggestions regarding policy and or process changes that are necessary for retail operations, review and write job aids and desk guides applicable to retail operations, work closely with other system process area business process analysts due to the need for cross-process knowledge needed to support retail operations since this is the lowest level and faces directly to the customer that repairs and returns aircrafts or components to the service branches.

What do you like most about your job? Being that I am a DLA Aviation Richmond employee assigned to support Jacksonville, I love that my position is forward facing with the Navy customer to include their systems team and our teammates at DLA Distribution here at Jacksonville. In my position, I learn a great deal about internal cross-processes, but I’ve gained a lot from learning how customer and other major subordinate command’s systems communicate into and out of to the systems and transactions that I monitor. I also like that at the retail level, I must be knowledgeable in all the processes that fall under inventory management. I also like that while working cross-processes with the other BPAs and demand analysts, we’ve been able to make huge accomplishments as a collective BA team supporting the site in addition to the individual achievements.

What is your fondest memory of working for DLA Aviation? My fondest memory would be when I was asked to speak at the DLA Aviation at Jacksonville virtual Women’s History Month event in 2020. It meant so much to me that I was asked. I really poured my heart into my speech. Another fond memory I have is participating in the annual Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month event. I love sharing my culture and representing who I am or supporting the different special emphasis programs.

What kind(s) of training and education helps your work performance in your current role? Obtaining my Life Cycle Logistics Level 3 certification was a huge goal for me because it was not required for my position and I had some challenges achieving it. All of this is great, but what has helped me the most is taking courses for other processes like tech quality, procurement, business office, industry, etc.,  because it helps me to understand how my processes fit into or impacts the other process. This knowledge improves my ability to communicate and understand the varying terminology with the other process areas when I am trying to resolve issues or when I am providing training in the classroom. I can give students better insight and it gives me the big picture view to see how all the pieces of the puzzle truly fit together. It also allows me to know what questions to ask and at what time it is appropriate to ask another process area to get involved, saving everyone time and energy. I also learned a lot from the DLA Aviation Tier II Mentorship Training Program and although I have graduated, I keep in contact with my mentor on a regular basis.

What would you say has been your major contributions to your organization this year in your job? Answering this question is difficult for me because it is hard to narrow down what I think was a major contribution on a personal level. I feel as though my role is more behind-the-scenes support for the local retail site in Jacksonville, which usually only the management team here in JAX or my teammates at DLA Aviation in Richmond or at the two other retail locations are aware of the things I try to or do accomplish. What I’ve seen is that it is rare to see inventory management personnel being recognized even though IM is usually involved in most projects, operations, process reviews, etc. I think it is just the nature of our job and that our work and support is not highly visible regardless of how vital it is.

I also pride myself on the quality of my documentation of system issues for elevation and at times this documentation that I have created will make it all the way beyond Aviation HQ to DLA HQ in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, for review. In other cases, the documentation has supported system tickets and newly identified major system errors that are impacting retail and will help resolve those assigned to resolve the system ticket identify the issue quickly because of the items captured in my documents.

In general, I’m very big on sharing knowledge and training with others no matter the stage they are in their career. If anyone is interested, I will share what I know. I believe we are stronger together and I never want to be a person who holds back information from anyone else who is interested in learning.

Lastly, I take pride in my knowledge growth for process cycle management and audit compliance, ensuring that I help to keep DLA at Jacksonville location audit compliant while resolving difficult issues or situations.

What aspect(s) of your current job gives you the most personal satisfaction and why? When you have an inventory system issue, this can cause major delays in supporting the customer which is a vital piece to returning aircraft or components back to the service branch and warfighter. At Navy retail this can and often mean the FRC’s production and repair line comes to a work stoppage and the production line misses the target date to be returned. Inventory issues can be through lack of receipt, receipting errors, block stock, or blocked stock that is outside of the protection or material Re-ID allotted timeframe, inventory imbalances, excess material, errors with remnant material, parent and child national stock number issues, Local Stock Number inventory issues, misidentified inventory, etc. I’m excited that FRCSE was able to achieve their FY21 production goal of 106 and that all the DLA Aviation at Jacksonville personnel had a hand in making that happen.

I find resolving inventory issues satisfying because I enjoy problem solving and in inventory management which honestly feels more like the group who gets roped into just about every issue…it just means that I have no shortage of puzzles to solve. Somedays are harder than others, the work is demanding and we have no shortage of projects, but overall, when you solve big issues or complete those hard projects, the feeling you get from solving it is amazing!

If you could speak directly to the warfighters you support, what would you tell them? I would tell the warfighters that I understand the importance of the support that they need because I used to be a warfighter myself not that long ago and my husband is still currently a warfighter in the US Navy. I would extend my gratitude for what they do every day and for the safety and security that all the service branches provide to me and my family. I understand how essential it is to have the items they need when they need them in order to continue performing their duties and it is because of that need, that I will continue to do my best to support them through my daily work or my outside of work in my various volunteer efforts.

What was your first job? I worked at two fast food jobs, one in Enchanted Lakes, Kailua Hawai’i and the other on Kaneohe Marine Corps Base in Kaneohe, Hawai’i, once I turned 15 and was eligible to work with a permit.

What advice would you have given yourself 10 years ago? I would tell myself that the next few years are going to go by in a blink of an eye, so take more time to enjoy the memories you are making each day, embracing those moments since it is impossible to turn back the hands of time.

Do you have an unfulfilled wish? My unfulfilled wish is to win the lottery and own a mansion…If I’m making a wish, why not wish big!

What are some of your passions outside of work? My husband and my kids are my passions outside of work! My husband works so hard for all of us and does his best to encourage and support everyone in our home. I also love watching my three children flourish and achieve their own goals. They all accelerate in academics, play sports year-round and excel socially. Their activities usually take up much of my off time, but I love every second of it! Amazingly, I am able to find some free time to myself and when I do, I like spending it building wood furniture and volunteering with local community events, such as Feeding Northeast Florida.

If you could pick a personal motto, what would it be? My personal motto is to work hard and achieve as much as you can, but never forget where you came from and to make sure you elevate and be grateful to those along the way that helped you. Always remember that nothing is ever truly achieved alone.

What type of music do you most enjoy? I love hip hop and 80’s and 90’s, and some early 2000s, rhythm and blues.