REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- Recent contractual achievements, upcoming plans and workload issues topped the list of topics discussed by Army Contracting Command staff directors, briefers and leadership during the command's March 11 quarterly update with Army Materiel Command Commanding General Gen. Gus Perna.

After Maj. Gen. Paul Pardew, ACC's commanding general, discussed the current state of ACC, Perna commended ACC for their achievements and suggested avenues for managing the workload.
"Get out in front and do what you need to do … if you recognize it and can't get it done, time to elevate it," Perna told the staff directors. "Elevate it to the PARCs (Principal Assistant Responsible for Contracting), to Maj. Gen. Pardew, to me. That's what we are here for."

Category management, which enables the government to eliminate redundancies, increase efficiency and deliver more value and savings from its acquisition programs, was another topic of conversation.

Perna said he wanted a clear plan for the way ahead by next quarter, stressing ACC -- and AMC's other subordinate commands -- should stay focused on meeting the intent for Army readiness, and that responsibility lies with both the Soldier and civilian workforce.

"We need to push or change people's behavior," said Perna. "If there are bad habits, a lack of discipline or lack of confidence happening at the lowest level of the brigades … we just need to bring that up."

The Army's senior logistician also stressed that he was not as interested in metrics as he was in innovations that cause time improvements, adding that he wants to see a flow that improves contracts and people -- the best use of time and resources.

AMC's initiative, Shape the Fight, which follows the Secretary of the Army and Chief of Staff's priorities and ongoing reform efforts by reorganizing certain staff functions to better synchronize, integrate and deliver materiel readiness, was a key topic of discussion. Perna verbally approved ACC's proposal to move into Phase 3 of the initiative.

One of the final points was in regard to how ACC employees work to support their customers -- the Army organizations needing equipment, supplies and services from defense contractors -- and the necessity of standardizing processes to hold both ACC and its customers accountable.

Perna stressed that he was looking for leadership from each member of the staff and encouraged them to get engaged with their customers early in the process. He urged ACC leaders to engage with customers, work with their employees, acknowledge and improve on weaknesses, and commit to issuing contracts that provide the Army with what it needs in a timely fashion and a reasonable expense.

"There are so many things to watch: the flow of money, the dividing of the workforce, the dividing of the workload," he said. "Then I say, see yourself, see the enemy, see the environment. You've got to watch all three to examine the whole picture.

"But also, I want you to keep tightening and elevate if you need to. Get something changed if need be. When in the right, hold strong."