As the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) pushes forward with its program to slash expenses at its defense distribution depots, it just can't seem to decide what's more cost-effective: outsourcing the operations or keeping them in house.
Back in March 1998, the DLA announced that it would open the operation of most of its distribution depots to bids from private industry. The "competition," as the agency terms it, pits workers at the depots against private-sector companies. All parties (existing workers included) must submit proposals outlining how they'll perform the warehousing and distribution work at the sites and what staffing levels will be required, and the most competitive bid is selected. DLA spokesman Jack Hooper says the program has increased productivity between 25 and 30 percent across the 11 distribution depots that have been evaluated so far.
Though to date, several thirdparty providers have been awarded contracts to operate the military facilities, the most recent round of bidding had a different outcome. Proposals presented by current depot staffers at the defense distribution depots in Tobyhanna, Pa., and Puget Sound. Wash., won out over bids from private-sector companies.
The DLA distributes, stores and manages material and information needed to support the combatant commands, military services and other agencies during times of war and peace. Five more distribution depots are scheduled to go through the process over the next 18 months.