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Face of Defense: Aircraft Maintainer Becomes Logistics Manager

By Air Force Capt. Kellie Courtland
Special to American Forces Press Service

RICHMOND, Va., Dec. 4, 2009 – Craig “Bud” Weiser truly understands the required sense of urgency at Defense Supply Center Richmond here when it comes to warfighter support. As a supplier relations manager, Weiser knows how important his job is to military customers because he used to be one of them.

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Craig "Bud" Weiser, a supplier relations manager at Defense Supply Center Richmond, Va., served 22 years in the Air Force before joining the Defense Logistics Agency. Defense Logistics Agency photo by Jackie Girard

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

The supply center manages the aviation demand and supply chain for the Defense Logistics Agency. It the Defense Department’s primary source for more than 1.3 million aviation repair parts and operating supply items, supporting more than 1,300 major weapons systems.

After 22 years in the Air Force as an aircraft maintainer for the F-16 and F-4, Weiser said he was naturally attracted to DLA’s mission in warfighter support. His background in quality assurance and experience as an original equipment manufacturer technical supervisor – coupled with his military experience – made him the top pick for his current job.

The wide scope of daily responsibilities for the center’s supplier relations managers includes helping procurement directors interact with major equipment manufacturers.

As a supplier relations manager, Weiser builds and monitors supplier partnerships, develops new business, and communicates and acts as a liaison between manufacturers and customers.

Mark Shultz is one of Weiser’s few fellow supplier managers in Richmond under the Strategic Acquisition Directorate. He said their job allows them to reach out to new procurement sites and really work the demand and supply chain enterprise. “Unlike many jobs, I can do a variety of things every day with very few boundaries,” he said. “I work with people everywhere in DLA and across the globe, and with all my supplier partners.”

“SRMs make the job; it is all about what they do with it,” said Weiser’s manager, Carol Martin. “They must be able to balance many different types of scenarios simultaneously.”

Weiser said he starts his day with a cup of coffee, a smile and a great attitude. “You have to be friendly and ready to do business every time you talk to or meet with your strategic partners.”

Weiser’s is a supplier manager for Eaton Corporation, Lockheed Martin, and Canadian Commercial Corporation, which primarily provide aviation parts and engine components. He focuses on giving his suppliers timely and accurate advice so they have the tools and information needed to best support DLA and its military customers.

Weiser directs much of his energy into coordinating quarterly joint steering group meetings with each of his suppliers. At a recent Eaton Aerospace meeting, for example, he brought Eaton’s corporate leaders together with members of a DLA Integrated Supplier Team to address target areas for improvement. As co-chair, he led the discussion to tackle issues that included corporate contracts, joint opportunities, a new charter, roadmap updates, goals, metrics, hot DLA items, and team accomplishments.

Defense Logistics Agency Oklahoma City, at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., is the forward arm of Defense Supply Center Richmond. DLA Oklahoma City is responsible for the daily operations of all aviation supply chain retail supply, storage and distribution support to the Air Force’s 76th Maintenance Wing.

(Air Force Capt. Kellie Courtland serves in Defense Supply Center Richmond public affairs.) 

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