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GSA-DoD Collaboration (Part 2)

Last week we touched on some of the ways in which GSA regularly interacts with our partners at the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) and the individual military services to review the current and future supply chain for end users around the world.  GSA executives meet regularly with their DoD counterparts to identify issues and to mobilize their respective organizations to resolve problems or adjust policies and procedures to avoid bottlenecks.

The third element of this partnership is the Distribution Steering Group (DSG). This body includes the subject matter experts from GSA Global Supply, DLA, USTRANSCOM and the military services and meets regularly to determine each party’s requirements, resources and the feasibility of initiatives to improve supply chain functionality. This body also prioritizes recommendations which may flow “up the ladder” for executive approval, or move sideways for implementation. In GSA’s case, our distribution team is in regular contact with peers in the acquisition realm, so they are able to coordinate with the contracting staff in cases where language in GSA solicitations needs to be refined for greater clarity or in pursuit of improved performance throughout the supply chain.

As the DSG meets, members are focused on increasing efficiency and effectiveness, which builds stakeholders’ confidence in the supply chain.  Recent topics of discussion have included:

  • Time Definite Delivery (TDD) standards - Determining what is reasonable for delivery of material and balancing desires with capabilities.
  • Support to units deployed throughout Africa -   Great distances must be covered, often with little infrastructure and in austere environments.
  • Utilization of DoD aircraft - Seeking to improve space utilization to decrease unit cost for a delivery mode that is more expensive than ground alternatives.
  • European Union’s “Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals” (REACH) - New requirements for movement of hazardous materials where nations have had unique standards and there are no blanket waivers for U.S. cargo.
  • Access to DoD facilities - Trucks are experiencing delays due to local requirements even when fulfilling DoD-wide requirements for access.

These partnership efforts serve as key opportunities to understand customer requirements and develop realistic solutions that facilitate the work of our vendor partners and ultimately our customers. 

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