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New tactics in military packaging target savings


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Providing critical supplies such as food, fuel, clothing and spare parts to military personnel scattered all over the globe is what the Defense Logistics Agency does every day of the year. A recent DLA effort looked at using commercial packaging on many supply items it provides to save time and money.

The effort, known as First Destination Packaging, was implemented in March at several DLA locations managing the aviation, construction and equipment, industrial hardware, and land and maritime supply chains. It focuses on expanding the use of commercial packaging standards developed by the American Society for Testing and Materials for certain supplies instead of using military standard packaging. FDP is part of DLA's "13-in-6" initiative to achieve $13 billion in savings over the next six fiscal years. 

"In today's fiscal environment we are looking at ways to improve our support while reducing costs," says Todd Jenkins, First Destination Transportation and Packaging Initiative program manager at DLA Land and Maritime in Columbus, Ohio. "The packaging initiative is part of DLA Director VADM Mark Harnitchek's 13-in-6 vision, and is one strategy to achieve cost reductions."

DLA asked its military service customers to identify items that could be shipped commercially and then, through business case analyses on fiscal 2012 military packaged data, estimated that cost savings for the FDP initiative could be between $90 million to $120 million annually. 

The FDTPI Program which impacts 4.2 million items offers a strategic approach toward cost reductions. Ken Abrams, deputy FDTPI program manager in the Strategic Programs Directorate, cites packaging cost comparisons on filters and brake shoes as an example of potential savings.

"We are buying one million filters annually, if you consider commercial packaging on average at 29 cents and military packaging at on average at 47 cents for example, using commercial packaging could potentially save $177,000," he said. "For brake shoes, we are buying 16,000 annually and commercial packaging costs $1.50, while military packaging costs $4.53. Using commercial packaging in this example could potentially save $48,540."

In addition, reduced packaging costs will make more funds available to meet military customer needs, promote stewardship of taxpayer dollars and align the agency's acquisition process with best commercial business practices.

More information about the program is at www.dla.mil/FDTPI/Pages/default.aspx

As a Department of Defense combat support agency, DLA provides the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, other federal agencies, and joint and allied forces with a variety of logistics, acquisition and technical services. The agency sources and provides nearly 100 percent of the consumable items America's military forces need to operate, from food, fuel and energy, to uniforms, medical supplies, and construction and barrier equipment. DLA also supplies more than 85 percent of the military's spare parts. 

Headquartered at Fort Belvoir, VA, DLA has about 26,000 employees worldwide and supports more than 2,300 weapon systems.

Source: Defense Logistics Agency



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