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DLA Strategic Plan 2021 - 2026

Industry Engagement Plan

2020 Supplier Feedback Survey     |     Demand Forecast

About DLA     |     Industry Engagement Focus Areas     |     Working With DLA

Lines of Effort Wheel emphasizing a words saying 'Strong Partnerships'Warfighter First is our No. 1 priority and our success in ensuring military service readiness and combatant command lethality would not be possible without strong partnerships with industry. Given the complex and rapidly-changing geopolitical climate we operate in, this relationship is more vital than ever.

This plan focuses on DLA building stronger industry partnerships that are designed to meet long-term objectives and produce the most cost-effective and innovative solutions for our customers. It also reflects my commitment to the implementation of a systematic and proactive approach with industry across the DLA enterprise.

I am convinced DLA’s early engagement, continuous communication and exchange of information with our industry partners, including small businesses, will enable us to sustain and improve our global, agile and innovative support to the warfighter. DLA’s ability to build on these strong relationships will also encourage sharing and rapid adoption of industry innovations and best practices.

Join me as we further our proud legacy of support to the warfighter by becoming a stronger supply chain partner through effective collaboration with our industrial base. Your support is imperative – our customers expect and deserve only the best from the nation’s combat logistics support agency and our industry partners.

- Former DLA Director Army Lt. Gen. Darrell K. Williams

Matthew R. Beebe

DLA’s strong relationship with its supplier community is critical to the agency’s ability to successfully carry out its mission as the nation’s combat logistics support agency. As stated in the Strong Partnerships Line of Effort from the DLA Strategic Plan, DLA must work together with our suppliers to “ensure a capable defense industrial base, generate innovative and efficient solutions, and maintain a secure and resilient supply chain.”

As DLA’s senior official responsible for industry engagement, I believe it is essential for DLA to articulate and communicate how we will approach engagement with suppliers (of both products and services) via a specific strategy. The five Focus Areas laid out in the following pages set forth the agency’s plans, priorities and expectations related to industry engagement from the DLA enterprise perspective.

In order to further strengthen the partnership between DLA and its industry base, we must begin from a point of common understanding. With that in mind, I ask that all stakeholders – our suppliers as well as the DLA workforce and government partners – familiarize themselves with the plan. Throughout the focus areas you will see several goals – improving communication, balancing priorities and risks, increasing efficiency – all of which are critical to moving the relationship forward, but none of which can be achieved by any one group alone. This plan is also a call to those in industry, as well as academia, who we don't have a current relationship with but who can offer ideas and innovations that will assist DLA in delivering on its No. 1 priority of warfighter support.

Whether you currently have a relationship with DLA or would like to begin one, I encourage you to contact our DLA ombudsman who will help facilitate the execution of this plan across all five focus areas. Please join me as we work together to build and strengthen the strong partnerships that are necessary to support our nation’s warfighters.

- DLA Component Acquisition Executive Matthew R. Beebe

About DLA

Introductions to the agency begin with DLA At A Glance, with the tabs below detailing more facts and figures with Industry Engagement in mind.

Descriptions of each DLA major subordinate command

As the Department of Defense’s logistics integrator, acquisition and service provider, DLA’s major responsibilities are to (1) buy or contract, (2) warehouse when needed, and (3) distribute about 5.2 million distinct consumable, expendable and reparable items. 

DLA accomplishes its mission with the dedicated men and women of its major subordinate commands. Four of these MSCs acquire and provide supplies and services: DLA Troop Support, DLA Land and Maritime, DLA Aviation and DLA Energy. These MSCs operate across multiple supply chains and are directly responsible for meeting the services’ needs by contracting and delivering high-volume, commercially available items such as food, textiles, fuel, medical supplies and equipment, construction material, industrial hardware, personal demand items, repair parts and major end items. In addition, DLA Distribution provides worldwide storage and distribution services, while DLA Disposition Services partners with industry for the DoD’s disposal of hazardous waste and via public sales for surplus or excess material.

Furthermore, DLA Strategic Materials manages the strategic and critical raw material stockpile that supports national defense needs. The DLA Contracting Services Office provides enterprise-wide common services, such as IT operational services.

  • $35.3 billion in revenue/$28 billion in obligations 
  • 95 percent obligations for supplies
  • Over $10 billion in small business
  • $8 billion in energy, fuels and utilities
  • $4.2 billion in support to over 40 federal agencies
  • $1.4 billion in foreign military sales
  • Around 100 percent of military services consumables
  • Manages over 5.2 million line items
  • Over 12,000 suppliers
  • 36 strategic supplier alliances
  • Around 2,400 new small businesses each year
  • $272 billion in contacts managed
  • Around 9,000 awards per day
  • Located in 46 states and 28 countries

DLA relies on long-term contracting for the majority of its actions and money spent.

Learn more in the Procurement Profile tab.

Pie charts showing that most of DLA's focus is on long-term contracting

Highly automated

  • 80 percent of spare parts awards are system generated
  • 65 percent of orders awarded in less than one day

Long-term contracts reliance

  • 74 percent of spend, 78 percent of actions on long-term contracts
  • DLA Troop Support, DLA Aviation, DLA Land and Maritime – Prime Vendor/Tailored Logistics Support Contracts leveraging commercial supply chains

Highly competitive

  • 80 percent of spend, 92 percent of actions are competitive

Mostly supply

  • 95 percent of obligations for supply, 5 percent for services
  • 99 percent of contracts are firm-fixed price

Experience in strategic sourcing

  • Disposition – primary provider for DoD hazardous waste and surplus or excess property via public sales
  • Distribution – primary DoD Storage and Distributing Network
  • Energy – primary federal buyer of fuel
  • Subsistence – primary DoD buyer of food
  • Medical – primary DoD buyer of pharmacuticals and vaccines, and medical/surgical equipment

Service contracts

  • Enterprisewide information technology, facilities and knowledge-based services

Industry Engagement Focus Areas

The five Focus Areas laid out here set forth the agency’s plans, priorities and expectations related to Industry Engagement from the DLA enterprise perspective.

Each Industry Engagement Focus Area is listed

Frank and open communication is a foundational element of any strong partnership, and it has long been a tenet of DLA’s Supplier Relationship Management efforts. Whether it be through formally structured programs such as Strategic Supplier Alliances or Captains of Industry meetings, or at a booth at an industry association event, DLA’s goal is to always ensure that all of our business partners know we are open and willing to hear them and work with them.

Following Secretary Mattis’ guidance and Deputy Secretary Shanahan's guidance, DLA acquisition professionals and leaders are encouraged and expected to engage with and work collaboratively with industry in a fair and open manner. DLA will continue to initiate, ensure and be responsive to supplier interactions at all levels of business (see Supplier Engagement Spectrum below) and in various forums and settings, to include one-on-one discussions, industry site visits, industry association and DLA-led events. Effective industry engagement is an enabler to achieving both successful acquisition outcomes and improving our military’s readiness and lethality.

A graphic chart representation of the Supplier Engagement Spectrum

View the full-size Supplier Engagement Spectrum

Warfighter First is our No. 1 priority. As a steward of taxpayer dollars and an executive agency of the U.S. government, DLA has a fiduciary responsibility to ensure compliance with the law and regulations. 

We must also support congressional mandates and DoD interest programs (i.e. UNICOR, AbilityOne, CCMD objectives, etc.) to the maximum extent practicable to advance federal policy objectives. Furthermore, we are required to comply with U.S. laws and regulations designed to support the U.S. industrial base (i.e. Buy American Act, Berry Amendment). To optomize warfighter outcomes and achieve mission success, our business decisions must balance multiple, sometimes competing, priorities while also infusing critical thinking and innovation into the process.

Striking this balance is not always easy and sometimes there are perceived “losers,” especially when we make the value determinations that ensure business decisions don't negatively outweigh warfighter mission needs. Our commitment to industry is that our actions will be transparent and arrived at through a deliberative decision making process that considers the appropriate balance of government and industry priorities.

As an example, DLA has a long track record as a Small Business supporter and this is a trend we will maintain. Our commitment comes in the form of dollar obligations, but also by increasing the number of new and repeat Small Business contractors, year after year, through our dedicated outreach efforts. 

We expect that our large business suppliers will also continue to support and provide opportunities to small business, as the ultimate objective is not about meeting a specific dollar goal, but ensuring a healthy, robust small business industrial base that drives competition, enables innovation and provides DLA the ability to surge to meet readiness needs. At the same time, we recognize that performance based methodologies and similar arrangements offer great potential for cost savings and readiness improvements. Designing the optimal business solutions will require balance, and sometimes tradeoffs, but we will maintain transparency in our decision making processes.

Dozens of people sit behind a U-shaped table in a conference room

DLA is placing a new emphasis within our operations, focused on capturing supplier feedback and using that feedback to drive internal change.

We must ask the question – “What is it like to do business with DLA?” and be willing to hear the answer. This includes capturing new sources of data that will provide us with the “big picture” of supplier perceptions of DLA supply chain practices.

The change will require us to re-tool existing transactional processes so that they provide strategic insight on the health and impact of our practices, instead of just addressing immediate needs. Obtaining this insight also requires that DLA develop a culture of supplier advocacy. We must refine our supply chain practices based on the data we receive from our business partners and establish organizational behaviors that recognize the value of supplier input. We are committed to making this change in our supplier feedback management and advocacy process, and expect that it will transform the way in which we interact with our suppliers and make DLA a better supply chain partner.

People are walking around booths at a convention hall

With its global reach, diverse business units and support to the entire Joint Logistics Enterprise, DLA is a supply chain organization like no other. While we will always be different from commercial companies in that our primary objective is warfighter readiness, the agency focuses on continuous process improvements and reforms for innovation in acquisition. 

Beyond streamlining procedures, leveraging new systems, and expanding the use of new technological solutions, DLA uses best in government and commercial strategies to improve supply chain logistics support. We will look for opportunities to leverage, not duplicate, commercial supply chains, and will continue to educate our workforce to better understand the business dynamics of their suppliers’ industries.

Through our collective feedback gained from discussions with suppliers, DoD, and academic organizations, we will identify potential projects and support reform initiatives (i.e. reverse engineering, additive manufacturing, automated procurement, etc.) that utilize innovative and efficient approaches to deliver better acquisition outcomes and improve our business processes.

Some of DLA’s most significant and successful initiatives originated from external sources or supplier feedback/suggestions – we must continue to foster an environment where individuals seek out new and better ways of doing things and are encouraged to take responsible risks that will lead to positive changes throughout the DLA supply chain.

People enter a presentation space flanked by banners

We must continually assess the health of our industrial base, maintain awareness of our supply chain/item vulnerabilities, and mitigate risk within our supplier base to ensure supply chain security and survivability.

This includes having established programs or systems for combating counterfeit products, protecting against fraudulent actors and cyber vulnerabilities and planning for diminishing manufacturing sources and material shortages, as well as actively promoting competition to encourage a robust supplier base. These risks are continuously and dynamically affecting DLA’s ability to support the warfighter and require nimble and dedicated efforts that address these vulnerabilities.

Our industry partners must play an active role in helping DoD guard against these threats and where necessary, DLA will work with industry to develop the protocols and processes that ensure we address the steady stream of risks inherent in today’s global supply chains.

Working With DLA

Industries interested in working with DLA have many resources available, as well as the DLA Customer Interaction Center, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for assistance.

When you work with DLA, you work with DLA acquisition professionals who are committed to promoting industry engagements. Relationships between DLA and industry allow for better requirements, and improve acquisition outcomes – for industry as well as warfighters. DLA is also taking steps to improve its acquisition professionals’ knowledge and understanding of industry dynamics and drivers. Our people are acquisition professionals.

Small Business goals posterIt is the policy of DLA to provide maximum practicable opportunities in its acquisitions to small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, HUBZone small business, small disadvantaged business, and women-owned small business concerns. Such concerns are also provided maximum practicable opportunity to participate as subcontractors in the contracts awarded by DLA. In fiscal year 2017, small businesses won about one third of all DLA contracts, which were worth more than $10 billion. The DLA Office of Small Business Programs has personnel stationed at each of our major buying commands. We provide small business advocacy and promote small business utilization to strengthen the competency, capability, and commitment of the industrial base that fulfills DLA’s mission as the nation’s combat logistics support agency.

Through its Office of Small Business Programs, DLA administers the Procurement Technical Assistance Program that is executed through geographically disbursed Procurement Technical Assistance Centers that:

  • Help businesses compete for and perform contracts with the Department of Defense, other federal agencies, state and local governments and with government prime contractors.
  • Have a local presence in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Some PTACs specialize in assistance to federally recognized tribes, their members and reservations.
  • Find PTAP information and locate your local PTAC.

The DLA Research and Development program is organized around strategic focus areas and is funded through two program elements: 1) Logistics R&D, and 2) Manufacturing Technology Program (ManTech). The program supports DLA’s major supply chains, which include Subsistence, Clothing & Textiles, Medical, Energy, Construction and Equipment, Maritime, Land, Aviation, and Strategic Materials, and DLA Service Centers, consisting of DLA Distribution, DLA Disposition and DLA Logistics Information Services.DLA's Research and Development booths

DLA Logistics R&D: Pioneers advanced logistics concepts, business processes, and technologies that use commercial best practices; develops and demonstrates high payoff technologies that provide a high level of support at lower costs. Strategic Focus areas include 1) Enhance analysis and decision support, 2) Improve logistics processes, and 3) Emergent Logistics R&D topics.

DLA ManTech: Supports technical innovation in the DLA industrial base to improve the operational performance of key supply chains. Strategic Focus Areas include 1) Improve industrial base manufacturing processes, 2) Maintain viable supply sources, and 3) Improve technical and logistics information; Emergent ManTech topics.

Small Business Innovation Research; Small Business Technology Transfer and Rapid Innovation Fund: Fosters technology transfer through cooperative R&D between small businesses and research institutions; Increases private sector commercialization of innovations derived from Federal R&D; provides the ability to absorb risks associated with early stage R&D projects and ideas by investing in disruptive industrial base innovations to improve cost, quality, and delivery.

  • Understand DLA - Find detailed information on how to get in touch with DLA Resources: Customer Support; Business Operations; Small Business; Federal Contracting Resources; Federal, State and Local Programs; Warfighter Support.
  • Obtain a DUNS Number - A DUNS number is the industry standard for keeping track of the World’s businesses. It is required by the government, major financial institutions, corporations, trade associations and more. Visit the website or call 1-(800) 700-2733 to obtain a DUNS Number.
  • Register in SAM - The System for Award Management is an official website of the United States government. There is no cost to use SAM. SAM contains a nationwide electronic database of firms that do business with the federal government. You can use this site to: register to do business with the U.S. government, update or renew your entity's registration, and search for entity regiatration and exclusion records. Any firm interested in doing business with DoD must be registered in SAM.
  • DLA Internet Bid Board System - DIBBS is a web-based application that provides the capability to search for, view, and submit secure quotes on Requests for Quotations for DLA items of supply. DIBBS also allows users to search and view Requests for Proposals, Invitations for Bid, awards and other procurement information related to DLA.
  • DLA Forms – Agency forms will satisfy a valid need and be properly designed using plain language and standardized data for easy collection, processing, analysis, and retrieval of information.
  • Procurement Technical Assistance Centers - PTACs help businesses compete for and perform contracts with the DoD, other federal agencies, state and local governments and with government prime contractors.
  • DLA Ombudsman Office: Keeps lines of communication open between DLA senior leaders and industry partners. It collaborates across the agency network for all enterprise engagements with industry. Leverages relationships with industry via integrating strategic objectives and operational outcomes to support DLA at providing warfighter readiness and lethality.

    – Contact: DLA_Ombudsman@dla.mil

  • DLA Small Business Office: Promotes small business use to strengthen the competency, commitment, and capability of the industrial base that fulfills DLA’s mission as the nation's combat logistics support agency. The Small Business Office also oversees the Procurement Technical Assistance Program.

    – Contact: (571) 767-0192

  • DLA Corporate Events: The catalyst for strategic engagements at conferences and trade shows. The Corporate Events program provides a platform at these forums to promote the DLA brand, optimize corporate communications, business development, and customer/Industry support.

    – Find upcoming events on the Corporate Events calendar.

  • DLA Information Technology - Vendor Relations: Serves as the central point of contact for managing engagement with vendors seeking to demonstrate capabilities and the value they may be bringing to DLA in the area of information technology that supports research and development, as well as innovation.

    – Contact: strategictechnologyvendorrelations@dla.mil

  • DLA Transformation: Oversees the Academia and Research Engagements Program charged with identifying organizations (Academic, Think Tank, R&D) that are leaders in developing cutting-edge logistics practices, supply chain processes and business technologies. It manages senior leader engagements with these organizations to develop relationships and facilitate the integration of innovative solutions in support of DLA operations and processes.

    – Contact: DLA_Academia-Research_Engagements@dla.mil

  • DLA Aviation: Provides repair parts for aviation weapons systems, flight safety equipment, maps, environmental products and industrial plant equipment.

    – Contact: dlaavnsmallbus@dla.mil or 1-(800) 227-3603

  • DLA Contracting Services Office:  Center of Excellence that provides DLA enterprisewide lifecycle contracting for both information technology operational services, to include enterprise contracts and agreements for software licensing and hardware, and for other enterprisewide common services not assigned to  other COEs.

    – Contact: DCSO@dla.mil or (215) 737-0878

  • DLA Disposition Services: Preferred provider for the contracted disposal of DoD’s hazardous waste. It also disposes of excess property by reutilization, transfer, public sales and demilitarization.

    – Contact: For hazardous waste - hazardouscontractseast@dla.mil or (269) 961-4246, or for excess property - DLADispSvcs-J42@dla.mil or (269) 961-5092

  • DLA Distribution: Provides storage and distribution solutions/management, transportation planning/management and logistics planning and contingency operations; operates a global network of distribution centers.

    – Contact: DistributionJ7@dla.mil

  • DLA Strategic Data Services: Preferred provider for document automation services to the DoD. Strategic Data Services is also designated as the single manager for printing and high-speed, high-volume duplicating in the DoD.

    – Contact: j67dcsc@dla.mil or 1-(866) 736-7010

  • DLA Energy: Provides petroleum and lubrication products, alternative fuel/renewable energy, aerospace energy, fuel quality/technical support, fuel card programs and installation energy services.

    – Contact: DSORoutingInbox@dla.mil or (571) 767-9301/8420

  • DLA Land and Maritime: Provides repair parts for ground-based and maritime weapons systems, small arms parts, fluid handling and electronic components.

    – Contact: DSCC.BCC@dla.mil or 1-(800) 262-3272

  • DLA Strategic Materials: Manages the strategic and critical raw material stockpile that supports national defense needs.

    – Contact: DLAStrategicMaterials@dla.mil or (571) 767-5500

  • DLA Troop Support: Provides food, textiles, construction material, industrial hardware and medical supplies and equipment, to include pharmaceuticals.

    – Contact: DLATSPartnerInquiry@dla.mil or (215) 737-3382

IEP News Release
Headquarters | March 9, 2018

New plan, ombudsman focus on strengthening industry engagement

For many years, the Defense Logistics Agency has sought opportunities to engage with its industry partners and adopt their best practices. Now DLA’s Acquisition Directorate has a new DLA Industry Engagement Plan and an ombudsman to help implement the
Strong Partnership News
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