DLA acquisition director encourages Philly workforce to be resilient

By Jason Kaneshiro DLA Troop Support Public Affairs

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The Defense Logistics Agency’s senior acquisition executive declared in Philadelphia June 10 that procurement is a team sport and it takes the whole acquisition workforce to meet warfighters’ needs.

DLA Acquisition Director Matthew Beebe spoke to the DLA Troop Support acquisition workforce during a town hall about his expectations of them to provide support solutions. He said it was important for them to continue to align their work with Better Buying Power and the DLA Strategic Plan.

“If you read the DLA Strategic Plan, it’s based on Better Buying Power,” Beebe said. “If you look at what the federal government is trying to achieve, it’s very consistent with how we apply our principles to supply chain management.”

One of the challenges in managing supply chains is to understand market influences that are unpredictable, such as how mergers and acquisitions in the private sector affect DLA’s ability to secure sources of materiel, particularly for older weapons systems, Beebe said.

He commended the workforce for the depth and strength of knowledge they have of their respective supply chains to meet those challenges. He also said it was critical to retain their skills and talent.

“We all know the warfighter is going to need us for a long time and we better make sure that we’re doing things as far as developing the workforce for the future,” Beebe said.

Fortifying workforce resiliency to preserve those strengths is a priority for DLA Director Air Force Lt. Gen. Andy Busch and himself, Beebe said.

“There are great messages in there with the four (resiliency) pillars. And I hope everyone is familiar with it,” Beebe said. “We have to get over those hurdles, those tough times and recover.”

Beebe also touted performance based logistics as a strategic improvement to warfighter support.

“We are moving towards looking for outcome solutions rather than supply solutions,” Beebe said.

The PBL approach focuses on delivering a specific result, whether it’s repaired vehicles or sheltered troops. For the Subsistence supply chain, that means providing meals and keeping warfighters fed rather than simply acquiring food items.

“That’s an example of looking towards the outcome that’s desired rather than just providing supplies for someone else to achieve the outcome,” Beebe said.

Abubacar Corneh, a material planner with Industrial Hardware, said the town hall helped him to understand how his work fit into the whole organization and how PBLs pull everybody onto the same team.

"I think having this type of forum helps to see things from a bigger picture," Corneh said.

Beebe last visited DLA Troop Support in November 2015. He meets with the head of contracting activity at each DLA primary level field activity twice a year for program oversight and to gain greater awareness of their strategic initiatives and the condition of the acquisition workforce.