Associates relish “huge responsibility” in systems branch

By Michael L. Jones DLA Land and Maritime Public Affairs

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Across the Defense Logistics Agency acquisition processes and the systems that support the mission have continually evolved. Maintaining maximum efficiency in these procurement actions is a shared responsibility, but at Land and Maritime much of the workload falls to those who work in its Systems Branch.

“It’s a huge responsibility because all of our buyers use these procurement systems and there are so many areas that require review during the process,” said Jamie Carnevale, Land and Maritime Procurement Business Procurement Analyst. 

After migrating to Columbus, Ohio from Dayton in 1996, Carnevale has worked both sides of the procurement process as a buyer for Land and Maritime for more than 18 years. Her extensive work experience provided many opportunities to expand her systems knowledge base, which is one of the key capabilities she freely shares with her customers. 

“I was a floor buyer when I joined DLA Land and Maritime and eventually got the opportunity to help facilitate the introduction of the eProcurement System. It was a new system that changed our procurement procedures, a totally different way of doing things, so we literally hit the floor running as the system was introduced,” Carnevale explained. EProcurement was a new purchasing system introduced in 2011 with the intended purpose of improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the procurement process.

Carnevale was one of the first people who worked with new users of EProcurement during its rollout.  She and eight other Systems Branch team members provided support by working rotating shifts as they walked the floor helping associates work through system issues. The team ensured all Land and Maritime users were fully operational within a year of system rollout. 

“We knew going in that we’d have a large learning curve in figuring out the bugs in the system and then rapidly translate those solutions to our users. So many times we were handling a user inquiry while simultaneously trouble shooting their solution,” said Carnevale. “We focus on truly helping each user by walking them through the solution steps and helping them successfully navigate system issues, rather than just providing them the answer.”

According to Carnevale, an additional challenge in providing assistance to users is the requirement to maintain a corporate knowledge of multiple systems being used, like the Enterprise Business System (EBS) and EProcurement. Many users still rely on both systems to work procurement actions, so having dual expertise is extremely important in trouble shooting system solutions. 

Carnevale has worked in the Long Term Contract (LTC) Help Desk since 2012 and said she really enjoys the challenges. She explained that some of the LTC procurement actions can get quite complicated because of the complexities involved in the procurement process, but that’s where the LTC help desk really provides critical support. 
“Sometimes it can take half a day answering just one question because the solution for the user isn’t simple,” Carnevale said.

Supporting LTCs can be more challenging because they often incorporate multiple line items and fulfilling their procurement requirements can demand additional time and attention. Carnevale and her Help Desk teammates are the only resource available to Land and Maritime users when they encounter system problems while working LTCs. Carnevale said there have been times when she’s worked more than 20 issues from the same user where they’ve gone back and forth to work solutions to system issues that were preventing purchasing actions.

System users echoed Carnevale’s assessment of the system improvements and complexities involved in working procurements. One user used the superhero analogy by likening Carnevale to the Wonder Woman character because she’s always there every time you need her and never gives up on the problem.

System user George Riedmiller worked regularly with Carnevale and spoke appreciatively of her sincere attention to rapidly solving his system issues. “As a supervisor, I often work late on pressing issues that have short suspenses that have to be worked until they’re done.  Many evenings I’ve called or emailed Jamie to fix a problem and she’s never let me down,” said George Riedmiller. 
 
“When I got this job I felt like this is where I truly belong,” Carnevale said. “I can really focus now, everything we do here involves figuring out what the system issues are and correcting them so our users can get their work done. Working system solutions is how we support the Land and Maritime mission.

“I like my work, I’m just very thankful to have a job. DLA Land and Maritime is a great place to work! 

Editor’s note: This is the next in a series of articles featuring a Land and Maritime associate who personifies the DLA Land and Maritime Way Tenet of Accountability.