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BRAC 2005 Aids strategic sourcing and acquisition professional development.

A portion of the Base Realignment and Closure 2005 decision will advance a long-standing DoD strategic objective--strategic sourcing--by transferring procurement of depot-level reparables (commonly known as DLRs), as well as the management of remaining consumable items to the Defense Logistics Agency. This establishes a single defense agency, acting ina joint capacity for the military services, as the direct interface with the logistics industrial base, able to leverage DoD's purchasing power with its suppliers.

The move takes DoD one step closer to focusing its abundant spending power on achieving long-term joint savings for the military consumer, and gives defense suppliers a "single-face" point of contact. Contracts by individual DoD organizations can now be replaced with DoD enterprise-wide contracts, allowing industry to streamline its government contract processes and deal with a single DoD buyer.

BRAC requires the transfer of procurement management functions for DLRs from specific military service locations to DLA inventory control points based on supply chain affiliation, (i.e., land, maritime, aviation). For the Army, these locations are Tank and Automotive Command (to include procurement management of items relocating from Rock Island Arsenal, Ill.); Aviation and Missile Command; and Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. (to include procurement management of items relocating from Fort Huachuca, Ariz., and Fort Monmouth, N.J.). For the Navy and Marine Corps, the locations are Naval Support Activity, Philadelphia, Pa., and Marine Corps Base, Albany, Ga. For the Air Force, the locations are Robins Air Force Base, Robins, Ga., Tinker Air Force Base, Tinker, Okla., and Hill Air Force Base, Ogden, Utah.


The figure shows the alignment of these military locations to the current DLA supply chains managed at its inventory control points, the Defense Supply Centers Columbus, Philadelphia, and Richmond. Additionally, Consumable Item Transfer items are also being moved to DLA for inventory management and procurement purposes. This transfer increases DLA's annual purchases of sustainment logistics items for aviation, land, and maritime by approximately $4 billion annually. The realignments will result in a net present value savings of $1.8 billion over the next 20 years.

Consolidating procurement management of both consumable and reparable weapon system spares under DLA allows buyers to use uniform policies, acquisition processes, solicitation provisions, and contract clauses through a single automated system. A preliminary review of provisions and clauses show that there are currently more than 4,000 unique military service and DLA clauses impacting sustainment logistics vendors. This number can easily be reduced by 40 to 60 percent by eliminating duplicative and redundant coverage and consolidating necessary contract language.

A recent review of the top weapon system supply chain contractors with whom DLA has established strategic supplier alliances, compared to contractors from whom the military services buy DLRs, demonstrates the effectiveness of this decision. Over 61 percent of the dollars spent showed at least one overlapping military service; 50 percent showed at least two overlapping military services; 18 percent had at least three, and 4 percent overlapped all four Services.

DLA also plans on using SAP's commercial-off-the-shelf government procurement product designed to specifically integrate with the MySAP material management and financial management modules. This product was developed in collaboration with DLA and will be implemented in all DLA supply chains in the 2008-2010 time-frame. The use of this standard, automated procurement system for sustainment logistics at the DoD inventory control points aligns to another strategic objective--consolidating automated systems based on common business functions.

The BRAC DLR decision was briefed in March to the DLA Strategic Supplier Alliance conference co-hosted by DLA and National Defense Industrial Association in the Washington, D.C., area. The strategic sourcing message was positively received by both industry and government attendees. Their expectation is that through a single point of collaboration, using the existing DLA Strategic Supplier Alliance framework and DoD-approved vendor scorecard metrics, they will be able to integrate their procurement and logistics processes more readily with the entire department. Many of the vendors attending indicated that the implementation of the BRAC decision could also act as a forcing function within their own organizations, streamlining their multiple entry points for government work. This will facilitate increased use of electronic commerce, sharing of technical data, and other process improvements that heretofore required coordination across multiple organizations and military services.

Along with the consolidations of purchases and systems, the BRAC decision has also strengthened the move to establish a single acquisition workforce through the creation of a joint defense agency cadre of acquisition professionals supporting military service logistics. As part of the change management effort associated with the BRAC changes, the human resources community is ensuring there is open access to all acquisition vacancies and training at colocated sites. Barriers to job movement between activities are also being removed as part of this effort. These personnel-related changes improves the ability of the DoD acquisition work force to move seamlessly within the department and focuses DoD's training efforts on creating the ubiquitous acquisition professional needed at all levels for continuing efficiency and effectiveness.

While there are still many details to work out with the implementation of this BRAC decision, the goal and benefits of strategic sourcing for sustainment logistics are attainable through this procurement management consolidation. The clear winners are the taxpayers, the logistics community, and the warfighters in the field. Transformation at this level would not have been possible without the forcing function that is BRAC. The promise of this transformational decision can be realized through support and collaboration between America's logistics industry and the Department of Defense.

For further information, contact

Knott is director, Acquisition Management Directorate, Defense Logistics Agency; she is responsible for the development, application, and oversight of all DLA acquisition policy, plans, programs, functional systems, and operations.
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Title Annotation:In the News
Author:Knott, Claudia "Scottie"
Publication:Defense AT & L
Date:Sep 1, 2007
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