DVIDS – News – Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Logistics takes an in-depth look at DLA Aviation missions
Senior Defense Logistics Agency Aviation leaders discussed the challenges of sustaining aircraft with the Leigh Method during their Feb. 10 visit to the DLA Aviation Operations Building on Defense Supply Center in Richmond, in Virginia.
Method is Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Logistics in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Sustainment, Washington, D.C.
DLA Aviation Air Force Commander Brig, Gen, David Sanford started the day by reviewing “what DLA Aviation brings to the fight.” Briefings included conversations about the business’s mission of supporting aircraft as well as unique missions supporting industrial plant equipment, industrial gases, petroleum and environmental products and providing mapping products for the mission planning and navigation.
“If you can understand class 9 [repair parts] you can figure something else out,” Method said.
All parties agreed that requirements determination can always be improved and Sanford spoke about the challenges of forecasting requirements in peacetime and wartime.
DLA Aviation Deputy Commander Charlie Lilli said, “DLA Aviation is at the heart of the preparedness; while Sanford pointed out that approximately 45% of its workforce is organized outside of Richmond in advanced locations close to our customers.
Lilli shared that some weapon systems have elements that cross DLA’s major subordinate commands and that DLA Aviation and DLA Land and Maritime are co-dependent on each other to meet customer requirements.
Method emphasized the need for close collaboration with customers and said, “Don’t leave machines [business systems] run the requirements.
Brian Gray, with DLA Aviation – Finance, Kent Ennis, Director of Planning for DLA Aviation, and Spencer Shaffer, Director of Business Process Support, covered the impact of past inventory build-ups to meet service needs, the impacts purchases during COVID-19, and how Defense Working Capital constraints are impacting our mission and the actions the business has taken proactively to reduce the impacts.
DLA Aviation actions include reducing quantities ordered and safety stock, limiting the material replacement rate to 85-90% against the dollar, pre-positioning material receipts by 18 to 30 months to reduce orders open or aged stock transfer plans and the extension of payment terms to 30 days for eligible suppliers. .
Shaffer said: “Some of our best innovations are simply asking why [are we doing it like this?]
Ennis said that through actions like the ones above, DLA Aviation saved $131 million in bond authority and $90 million in inventory reductions.
Method said she was less concerned with the size of inventory than “do agencies know what’s out there and what their plans are for it,” urging agencies to be able to “draw a clear line between data and their decisions”.
In connection with the need to obtain the correct information on the needs, it is necessary to ensure that the priorities of the activity correspond to the military services.
Sanford said we need more discussions between services and DLA about the most combat-important weapon systems now and in the future to ensure we’re prioritizing purchases for the right parts. Agreed method, saying the commodities and repair side of the business are critical to the ability to “fight tonight”.
Echoing Lilli’s earlier comment, Shaffer said his business process leadership is at the heart of DLA Aviation’s processes and fosters challenging environments which Method says has been updated over time (thanks to improving processes) to meet needs.
One DLA Aviation process improvement that has resulted in cost savings is last year’s self-initiated pilot program that develops local analysts to create robotic process automation programs. Their efforts resulted in four automated processes, saving more than 5,000 man-hours to date.
Method said it was a fantastic initiative and spoke of opening up discussions about the future of work and the growth of human capital.
“I can hire any data scientist and teach them logistics; but I can’t make every logistician a data scientist,” she said and added that the idea of developing local functional designers and automation developers in logistics is an idea that the maintenance community power should explore.
Morning briefings included discussions of dwindling manufacturing sources and how DLA Aviation deals with parts obsolescence. Method shared that her office will release a new policy on dwindling manufacturing sources and material shortages this year and that she would like more discussions with the DLA Aviation team about her strategic innovations and last resort options.
Cathy Contreras, Acquisition Manager, DLA Aviation, along with Chris Davis, Director of Strategic Acquisition Programs, highlighted contract vehicles that bring efficiency and speed to the process, enabling integration with military services by adding their specific needs to existing contracts, while DLA Aviation serves as a contract vehicle to help meet those requirements.
Discussions concluded with updates on service collaborations, DLA Aviation’s efforts to follow best business practices, and cost savings achieved by making the most of repairable equipment used as a substitute for purchasing new spare parts.
After a lunch break, Adrianne Moore, Richmond Facility Management Manager, DLA Installation Management, gave Method a tour of the facility, sharing the history of the facility, highlighting DLA tenants and non-DLA, as well as future construction and facility improvements.
|Date posted:||16.02.2022 13:37|
|Location:||RICHMOND, Virginia, USA|
|Hometown:||RICHMOND, Virginia, USA|
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