DLA Aviation Supplier Operations Directorates’ Contract Administration team enjoying record year

By Leon Moore DLA Aviation Public Affairs

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Rob Baker and Shirley Quaye, contract administration division chiefs for Defense Logistics Agency Aviation’s Supplier Operations Directorates have a great reason to be upbeat.  Both division chiefs are proud of the combined effort from the 185 contract administrators’ who are the reason the two divisions within the directorates had a great fiscal 2015.

“The past two years our focus has been putting the right people and processes in place and we are now seeing positive results from those actions,” said Baker.

Baker is referring to the hard work the 16 post-award teams within the two divisions have done in decreasing the number of delinquent purchase order and unfilled order lines with delinquent purchase orders.  

The two divisions administer approximately 100,000 open purchase orders/contracts valued at $2.9 billion across the aviation supply chain.  For fiscal 2014, there were 11,854 delinquent PO lines. So far this year, they have improved by 27 percent, down to 8,694. Baker says the goal is to get this number down to roughly 5,000 in fiscal 2016. UFO lines with delinquent POs were at 13,344 last fiscal year. To date, they have improved by 11 percent down to 11,895. The goal is to get this number down to 6,429 in fiscal16.

“In addition to our overall reduction in delinquent purchase orders, we are also going faster, our turnaround times for processing actions has improved by 38 percent this year ... all of these efforts equate to material getting to warfighters when they need it,” said Baker.

Quaye said those new processes put in place included implementing performance standards to measure and track all post award processes, creating and implementing an elevation process, and implementing a formalized training program for the 60 contract administrators the directorate hired.

“About a year ago, we had general service grade 11 administrators responsible for roughly 1,700 PO lines. With these 60 additional people, we’ve been able to reduce the volume of workload per administrator by an average of about 40 percent,” said Baker.

Quaye pointed out, “All the process improvements are collaborative and were created in conjunction with employees and management.  The internal post-award training program development was led by Angela Hall, a first-line contract specialist supervisor. The program now contains 25 curriculum topics, taught by 15 different subject matter experts from within the divisions.”

To improve culture, Quaye says the directorates have also been utilizing performance-based incentives and established internal recognition programs to improve employee morale.

Baker stated, “We try to have a challenge quarterly to keep it fun…, we did a March Madness competition in the spring where teams advanced to the next round based on percentage improvements in their metrics and we just completed an Olympic-style competition where teams won points based on metrics and nominating their employees for awards.”

Quaye says the directorates also recognize employees weekly within the divisions and established the Contract Administrator of the Quarter Award in addition to hosting picnics and ice cream socials to keep it fun.

Original Equipment Manufacturer Contract Administrator Maria Ryan is one of the new administrators hired earlier this year.

“It motivates you, not just for the recognition, but also to come in here every day and give 100 percent. We’re here for the warfighter,” said Ryan.

Newly promoted Contract Specialist Supervisor Tracey Anderson likes Ryan’s attitude. “It’s all about engaging, being positive, and thinking outside the box.” said Anderson.

“We have set the bar pretty high and Rob and I don’t want to go backwards. We want to keep people excited; we want to keep them wanting to come to work and supporting the warfighter,” said Quaye.