DLA director talks Better Buying Power with medical industry partners

By Dena Selkow DLA Troop Support

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The Defense Department’s Better Buying Power 3.0 initiative applies to every DLA supply chain and the vendors they work with, the Defense Logistics Agency’s director told medical industry and military service partners May 12 in Philadelphia.

BBP focuses on innovation and continuous process improvement, Air Force Lt. Gen. Andy Busch said during the Medical supply chain’s Captains of Industry meeting at DLA Troop Support. He encouraged industry leaders to look for ways to incorporate CPI and innovation into their business practices with DLA.

“I want to get to know you and the areas where we can make the processes better,” he said.

DLA Troop Support Commander Army Brig. Gen. Steven Shapiro said he understands that Medical is a small, but important share of the business for many of the vendors present. He also said communication is essential.

“We need to know what you need (from us),” he said. “The services are buying more medical stuff from DLA, and we see the future growing in Medical.”

Shapiro and Army Col. Alex Zotomayor, Medical director, hosted breakout sessions with individual vendors to talk about their respective concerns.

The vendors also received updates on actions from previous Captains of Industry meetings. Medical completed a review of reverse auctions for national pharmaceutical contracts and developed a decision matrix for use in future awards, Geneva Polini, Medical deputy director, said.

Polini also said Medical remains committed to growing its partnership with the Defense Health Agency. DHA was formed in October 2013 to standardize the military health system.

Navy Captain James Poindexter, acting director of DHA’s medical logistics division, works closely with Polini and the Medical staff. He said that DHA, DLA and the services share a common vision for DoD medical logistics.

“We know where we want to go. We think we know how to get there. And we have the buy-in and the (determination) to take those steps to get there,” Poindexter said. “We want to bring one voice to the industry and operate as a health system.”

Editor’s note: This is part of a series of articles that DLA will highlight on BBP 3.0 called "Better Buying Power in Focus."