DLA Cost Summit discussions focus on transparency, lowering costs

By Amanda Neumann

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Being transparent in the way the Defense Logistics Agency does business can help both the agency and its military customers keep costs low, DLA senior leaders said at Cost Summit IV Nov. 9 at the McNamara Headquarters Complex.

The cost summit is the fourth meeting between senior finance and logistics personnel in DLA and the Defense Department since December 2014. Co-chaired by DLA Finance Director Tony Poleo and Mike Scott, deputy director of DLA Logistics Operations, the summit’s purpose is to educate customers on DLA’s pricing strategies.

“We’ve been on a journey with these events,” Scott said. “To me, we’ve gone from high-level rules at the end of our last cost summit to opening up the veil … in terms of the bills and invoices you get from DLA.”

As an open forum, the summit gives military customers a chance to point out areas where they would like to see improvements that can benefit them and their budgets, Scott said.

“We’ve purposely made the agenda today to start with our service customers—to hear a little bit from you both what’s on the way ahead and what’s in the current environment for you from a cost perspective and things that would be important for DLA to hear about.”

With the federal budget tightening, it’s more important than ever for the departments to work together, be transparent and focus on mutual topics of interest, Poleo said.

“We want to work with you, to go after things that have either some improved performance or some return on investment, so we can do business at less cost,” he said.

Afterward, representatives from the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps gave overviews, and representatives from DLA’s field activities briefed the audience on performance-based logistics strategies, as well as initiatives on fuel pricing and continuous process improvement.