Defense Logistics Agency (DLA)

Aerospace Standardization Boosts Support for Military Customers

Background

The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) procures nearly all of the consumable items used by America's military forces, including 84 percent of the military's spare parts. Eaton's Aerospace Group operates 15 locations that provide supplier services to DLA Aviation in Richmond, V a., Land and Maritime in Columbus, Ohio, and DLA Troop Support in Philadelphia, Pa.

Challenges

For several years, 15 sites within Eaton's Aerospace Group had been using different processes to do business with the DLA, which hampered Eaton's ability to pursue contracts in a strategic, consistent manner. In addition, they lacked a process to view upcoming DLA contracts in advance, which diminished Eaton's revenue potential and left sites in the dark about what contracts they had access to obtain.

Inconsistency and inefficiency were making a negative impact on turnaround time for contracts and resulting in lost business opportunities. Eaton's cycle time for completing the proper paperwork to win awards was taking up to six months. Employees knew they could do better and set out to improve performance by forming a standardization team to address weaknesses and inconsistencies in the company's bid process to support the DLA.

Solution

Eaton's standardization team, with input from customers throughout the DLA, began a focused effort to improve service and supplier support.

Through the implementation of Siebel software, all Aerospace Group sites can see which contracts are coming up by site and division, and they now have the capability to track them with monthly metrics. With access to the DLA's DIBBS online bid board, employees can view all quotes from the agency. A central, standardized process is used to input quotes into the system, record quotes, and collect and disburse orders.

In addition, the team started gathering feedback from the DLA using monthly customer assessments that clearly pinpoint the quality of Eaton's service and customer satisfaction levels. Feedback is used to make further enhancements to Eaton's bid processing and supplier support.

Results

The Aerospace Group's success can be attributed to understanding the customer, implementing standardized processes and building strong relationships as a team.

By standardizing processes and optimizing software tools,employees have improved bid tracking and closure by 56 percent and have significantly reduced cycle time to obtain awards from six months to four to six weeks. They've also achieved a 100 percent quote rate on all small quotes released in advance by DLA through electronic utilization of the DIBBS quote system and Eaton's internal pricing and quoting module. By the end of 2010, process improvements had boosted the Aerospace Group's annual contracts with the agency by 6 percent.

In August 2010, the DLA took notice of Eaton's improvements when two Aerospace Group facilities earned the agency's top awards for exceptional supplier performance and product delivery. The Electrical Sensing & Controls Division in Grand Rapids, Mich. received a gold medal for achieving a perfect 12-month score of 100 in the Automated Best Value Supplier evaluation system, while the Electrical Sensing & Controls Division in Costa Mesa, Calif. received a bronze medal for scoring between 98 and 98.9. The awards were presented by Brigadier General Thomas J. Richardson, commander of DLA Maritime in Columbus, Ohio, during the agency's 2010 Enterprise Supplier Conference.

Eaton's outstanding support was also recognized by the agency in July, when Eaton's team based at DLA Aviation in Richmond, Va., was awarded "Team of the Month" by Admiral Vince Griffith, commander of the Defense Supply Center, Richmond.