News | Feb. 18, 2016

Land and Maritime highlights components of workplace culture

By Deanna Vitantonio DLA Maritime Norfolk

DLA Land and Maritime’s dedication to warfighter logistics excellence is evident in the work of its employees. Their goal is to provide logistical support that supplies the right item at the right time, in the right place, for the right price — to enable the nation’s warfighters to complete their mission.

Norfolk Naval Shipyard’s mission is to repair U.S. Navy warships to technical standards, on time and at cost. This requires superior warfighter support — a critical component of executing of the NNSY mission and the DLA Land and Maritime Way.

A single NNSY warship repair entails more than 50,000 requisitions. For the DLA Maritime Norfolk team to its material metrics, it must have at least 95 percent of requisitions on station before a ship’s arrival — a huge task even more impressive when one considers most support requisitions are placed in the last few weeks before a ship is to arrive. Valerie Lee, a DLA Maritime Norfolk material expediting and customer service supervisor, is one of the outstanding Norfolk team leaders who help guarantee that NNSY meets its metrics.

In Fiscal Year 2015, Lee and her 23-member team of experts expedited and managed over 170,000 material orders in support of the Maritime Norfolk team mission. Lee’s unit  includes customer-service representatives, expeditors and project managers.

In her more than 34 years working at the shipyard, Lee has served the customer in various capacities. Tracy Fisher, the Maritime Norfolk team's work stoppage coordinator, said, “Valerie is a tireless professional who has engineered a team that operates like a well-oiled machine.”

Long before the ship is pier-side, Lee reviews and, in most cases, directs additional expediting actions for each requisition; performs countless “deep dives” of outstanding requisition reviews; speaks frequently with the customer; and orchestrates creative solutions to ensure the parts are in place when needed.

“Working with the customer is what I like most about being a part of the DLA Maritime Norfolk team,” Fisher said. “But we know Valerie better than anyone, and we understand that the motivation that drives her includes much more than just working with customers. She develops a relationship, a bond with them. They trust her to do the right thing for them, to look after their best interest, to be their advocate and negotiator.”

Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of articles highlighting the recently revised tenets of the Land and Maritime Way and the DLA employees who exemplify them to help Land and Maritime continue its commitment to warfighter support.