Logistics Agency Supplier Conference Opens in Columbus
By Beth Reece
Defense Logistics Agency Strategic Communications Office
COLUMBUS, Ohio, Aug. 24, 2010 The doors are open for small businesses wanting to partner with the Defense Logistics Agency, the agency’s commander said yesterday at the start of the first-ever DLA Enterprise Supplier Conference and Exhibition taking place through Aug. 25 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center here.
"I'm so pleased that we have so many small businesses here with us because, to large extent, what we want to do in the next few days is demystify the process of doing business with DLA," said Navy Vice Adm. Alan S. Thompson, adding that the conference’s agenda includes numerous workshops that will provide attendees with the tools to form successful partnerships with the agency.
With the theme "Globally Responsive Forward Support," the conference also highlights DLA's role as a worldwide logistics provider at a time when defense leaders are seeking more efficient, cost-conscious methods of interacting with private-sector business partners.
More than 1,600 manufacturers and industry representatives are registered at the event. They will be joined by DLA leaders, logistics experts from across the agency's supply chains and acquisition experts. The event features keynote speakers from throughout DoD, in addition to workshops that introduce participants to each supply chain and presentations on collaborative forecasting and procurement integrity. A town hall for service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses is also
scheduled for Aug. 26.
"The major focus of the conference this week is on small business, specifically veteran-owned small business," said Peg Meehan, director of small-business programs for DLA. "We've asked this particular business community to come in and tell us the problems they have in trying to do business with us."
Small-business specialists will be on hand to guide attendees through the various processes the agency uses to acquire goods and services for warfighters.
As the Department of Defense's combat logistics 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 80 percent of the military's spare parts.
Headquartered at Fort Belvoir, Va., DLA has about 26,000 employees worldwide. DLA's business revenues were nearly $38 billion in fiscal year 2009.