FORT BELVOIR, Va. –
The third Global Customer-Facing Summit brought together over 200 Defense Logistics Agency employees April 19-20 at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, for presentations and panel discussions geared toward enhancing customer support.
“Each and every one of you is so critically important to understanding what our most important customers need, when they need it and when things are changing,” DLA Director Navy Vice Adm. Michelle Skubic told attendees. “You are our voice, eyes and ears on the ground.”
DLA’s customer-facing team is spread throughout the world and includes customer and warfighter support representatives, disposal service representatives, liaison officers, customer logistics site specialists, forward logistics specialists, customer account specialists and planners.
Topics included FedMall, G-Invoicing, and the broad range of DLA supplies and services. Dan Strausbaugh, program manager for customer relationship management, briefed the results of DLA's Customer Satisfaction survey, which ran May 21 to June 25, 2021.
The survey helps measure military customers’ opinions of the agency and was distributed to those who work with DLA on an annual or more frequent basis. Of the 670 who participated, 62% said they were somewhat or extremely satisfied with DLA's services and support, and 79% said food is the supply they most procured from DLA.
Kristin French, deputy director DLA Logistics Operations, said many DLA senior leaders were surprised by some of the results. She cited the breakout of the services’ responses to being either somewhat or extremely satisfied with DLA's overall service. The Army was at 76%, the Navy 63%, the Marines 65% and the Air Force 49%.
“DLA has over 26,000 people but there are only a few hundred of you,” she said. “We are one DLA and need to work together to stay informed and improve our support to the customers. Think about where you are located and how we can better inform the customers of what we are doing.”
Results of the 34-question survey have prompted the agency to renew its focus on three areas: systems and tools like FedMall, financial transparency, and customer service elements such as communication and resolving issues.
Patrick Kelleher, DLA Logistics Operations’ deputy of operations and sustainment, challenged attendees to be innovative in solving customer service problems.
“Don’t be satisfied with the status quo. Network and talk to each other to learn new ways to do your job. Try to walk out of here with a few more tools in your toolkit,” he said.
Army Command Sgt. Maj. Tomeka O'Neal, DLA senior enlisted leader, added that she’s never seen another agency like DLA in her 31 years as a sustainer.
“Today, there is an evolution of change going on about the future of sustainment. You should be extremely proud of what you do,” she said.
Army Lt. Gen. Charles Hamilton, former DLA Troop Support commander, and Air Force Maj. Gen. Linda Hurry, former DLA Aviation commander, also spoke to the group.
The event was last held in 2018 and cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19.