Depots streamline to save billions
March 9, 2009
- AMC to transfer SS&D to the Defense Logistics Agency
- A single agency to eliminate cumbersome supply, storage and distribution process
- BRAC Recommendation 177
FORT BELVOIR, Va. -- The Base Realignment and Closure Commission's 2005 decision to transfer depot-level reparable procurement management and related non-core supply, storage and distribution and support functions from the Army Materiel Command to the Defense Logistics Agency will have a dual benefit.
The change should eliminate the cumbersome process of having to contact multiple agencies for assistance. A single department within DLA will be the source for purchases, questions and/or concerns.
"It will streamline the entire process," said Dave Lunasco, AMC's representative to DLA's Materiel Readiness Project Office.
Secondly, the change will save more than $2 billion across the Department of Defense by making the supply, storage and distribution of materiel more efficient for all the branches of the military. A central DLA database will track all the SS&D materiel among the military services, including at three AMC depots.
BRAC Recommendation 177 affects the inventories and infrastructures of Tobyhanna Army Depot, Pa.; Anniston Army Depot, Ala.; and Corpus Christi Army Depot, Texas. Tobyhanna is the first to undergo the realignment process.
"Tobyhanna is first because they are their own installation and already have LMP [Logistics Modernization Program] deployed," Lunasco said. "LMP is a computerized system -- designed to standardize logistics automation systems consisting of 2,200 legacy applications -- that will move us into the 21st century. LMP encompasses all our businesses and synergizes the whole process."
In short, LMP allows for the array of systems and people to be able to speak to each other, provide increased forecasting and item-tracking functions.
The next facility to be realigned will be Corpus Christi by February 2011, with Anniston following later that year.
According to Lunasco, a Cost of Base Realignment Actions study, which is an economic analysis model that estimates the costs and savings associated with a proposed base closure or realignment, was conducted to determine the source of the actual savings.
"The COBRA analysis determined that there would be a number of savings if depots got rid of duplicative stocks," Lunasco said. "The end state savings will be both cost avoidance and real hard savings across the DoD, not just the depots. Our goal is to reduce our inventory that resides in DLA warehouses and our employee footprint at these installations, which is how we plan to save money."
In 2007, personnel from the Army headquarters, Office of the Secretary of Defense, AMC, and the three depots met to determine what the process will be to realign the sites. Lunasco states that the meeting resulted in the transfer of all SS&D functions from the depots to DLA. However, this process is just beginning for the Army, as it was afforded the opportunity to be last in the realignment process in order to garner knowledge from the other services and to fully implement LMP at the other two impacted Army maintenance depots.
"The Air Force went first in the SS&D transformation process," Lunasco said. "We are learning from what they did, so we don't repeat some of their mistakes, and we'll be able to pass on that information to our sites."
One such lesson came from the Air Force. According to Lunasco, the Air Force had major problems with making a universal Common Access Cards for its staff.
"We've learned from their experiences," Lunasco said. "All of our CACs have been tested for the DLR sites and they are functioning."
During the realignment, each depot will retain the minimum necessary supply, storage and distribution functions and inventories required to support its individual depot, its current industrial missions and the warfighter. After the realignment, all the DLA distribution depots will serve as wholesale Forward Distribution Points and will store only the minimum necessary inventory needed by the co-located Army maintenance depots. All other DLA wholesale materiel will be relocated to one of the four DLA Strategic Distribution Platforms located in Susquehanna, Pa., Warner Robins, Ga., Oklahoma City, Okla., and San Joaquin, Calif.
Tobyhanna's inventories will relocate to the Susquehanna Strategic Distribution Platform in Susquehanna, Pa. Corpus Christi's inventories will relocate to the Defense Distribution Depot Oklahoma City, to be eventually designated as the Oklahoma City Strategic Distribution Platform. Anniston's inventories will relocate to the Warner Robins Strategic Distribution Platform, Warner Robins, Ga.
<b>What this means for AMC employees'</b>
Another important aspect involved in the transition from AMC to DLA is the people who will be affected by these changes. Approximately 200 civilian full-time equivalents and contractors will go through a process of "transfer of function" of the supply, storage and distribution functions. (Transfer of function simply means that the agency the employees report to will change, while the location (i.e., building, city) of the function (or work) performed will not.)
At a recent AMC, DLA and BRAC conference conducted at Fort Belvoir, Va., Jim Dwyer, AMC G3/5 director of Support Operations, stressed that the transition should be seamless and invisible to the depots and to the warfighter.
"Our number one and overriding priority is the warfighter," Dwyer said. "The transition must now and continue to be viewed from a positive perspective."
Lunasco echoes that sentiment by stating he does not anticipate any changes in mission efficacy as the realignments take place.
"There should be no change in effectiveness in function, and we expect the same high level of work as before," he said. "What you do today for the Army, you should do tomorrow for DLA."
At this point, more than 1,400 employees have been successfully integrated into the DLA workforce.