Puget Sound nearly doubles contracting awards, awarding small businesses millions

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Story by Dana Thornbury on 10/23/2018
Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime's Puget Sound detachment achieved a 43 percent increase in contracting actions this year.

The contracting division executed more than $103 million in contract awards during fiscal year 2018 in support of the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility, an increase of nearly 50 percent over FY17.

Located in Bremerton, Washington, DLA Maritime Puget Sound serves as the primary advocate for Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility supply support locally and at off-site locations. It also serves as the reimbursable customers' primary point of contact for all facets of the supply chain ensuring that customer priorities are met.

The contracts will support multiple aircraft carriers and submarine maintenance availabilities from the shipyard and IMF.

Maintenance availability is the preventative and corrective maintenance downtime of equipment to ensure it will operate as it should when needed.

The contracting team worked at a record pace, DLA Maritime Puget Sound Contracting Division Chief Michael Ozols said. The team managed to reduce the backlog of contracts from more than 20,000 contracts waiting to be processed down to approximately 3,000. This 17,000 contract closeout resulted in a total cost savings of more than $532,000 to the government and the American taxpayer through the deobligation of funds.

The deobligation of funds was achieved through a combination of factors to include termination of whole or parts of projects, reduction in material prices, cost under-run and correction of recorded amounts.

Ozols credits the team for the success indicating that at the start of the fiscal year the department had about half the current personnel. Through recruitment and training efforts, they were able to train and develop associates in an efficient and effective manner.

Eighty percent of the contracting department had less than a year of experience at the start of the year. By the end of the year, all purchasing agents were fully qualified.

"Becoming a warranted contracting officer is not easy, but members of this team continually rose to the challenge, exceeding expectations and becoming more valuable members of the team, providing first class procurement support to Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and the Intermediate Maintenance Facility," Ozols said.

The Puget Sound detachment provided training, continued learning and mentorship to the Contracting Division. These efforts resulted in the addition of five new Simplified Acquisition Threshold warrant-holders with procurement authority up to $150,000 and two new Truth in Negotiations Act warrant-holders with procurement authority up to $750,000.

"Through training and hard work, we've been able to increase the total number of contracting warrants," Ozols said. "Having enough contracting officers and at the right levels to complete the work is critical. It allows us to keep the flow of work moving towards award and not becoming bottle-necked while waiting for award. With additional buyers now on-hand to perform the work, we identified early on that it was just as important to have additional contracting officers available to review and release the contract awards once complete."

The department now has one contracting warrant with procurement authority up to $10 million, three TINA warrant holders and eight SAT warrant holders.

The team implemented streamlined processes to track the completion of contract closeouts to ensure they were completed on time, every time.

Furthermore, the expediters conducted technical screenings of the contracting requirements and resolved any issues before and after the contract award.

"[Expediters] are our technical experts who do a lot of the leg work and provide customer service functions dealing with customers and vendors in tracking material so it gets into the hands of the end-user who needs it," Ozols said. "Our expediters take a lot of pressure off of our buyers so they can focus solely on buying the critical material needed by our customers. It truly is a team effort with every procurement that's executed for our customers."

In an effort to be more efficient in providing procurement support to PSNS and IMF, the Puget Sound Contracting Division executed eight Indefinite-Delivery/Indefinite-Quantity contracts valued at over $21 million during FY18.

IDIQ contracts provide for an indefinite quantity of supplies or services during a fixed period of time.

One of these contracts was a $7 million IDIQ awarded to a small business for industrial gas at the Shipyard's detachment located at North Island, California.

This contract has had a significant impact on maintaining the supply of industrial gas for the projects there, specifically an availability for the USS Theodore Roosevelt, Ozols explained.

Another of these contracts was a $13 million Multiple-Award IDIQ for hardwood pallets awarded to three small businesses.

"Hardwood pallets have been extremely difficult to source due to recent lumber tariffs and the difficulty in building them to military specification. The solution we came up with was to implement a Multiple-Award IDIQ where multiple vendors could potentially provide these hardwood pallets simultaneously, maintaining a steady flow of supply to meet the shipyard and IMF's pallet requirements," Ozols said.

Overall, the Contracting Division administered a total of 36 IDIQ contracts during FY18, providing efficient and streamlined support to PSNS and IMF and its detachments.

Furthermore, Puget Sound has maintained a small business procurement rate of approximately 81 percent during the fiscal year, totaling over $83 million obligated to small businesses across all of the socioeconomic categories, far exceeding the DLA Maritime small business goal of 59.6 percent.

The socioeconomic categories include service-disabled veteran-owned, woman-owned, small disadvantaged and HUBZone small businesses.

In efforts to partner with small businesses, the Puget Sound Contracting Division leadership participated in the NW Alliance small business outreach event and met with over 100 local small businesses.

During the event, leadership communicated information about the shipyard, what it procures and how suppliers can do business with DLA.

"This outreach to local small businesses has played an integral role in the Contracting Division's overall success in meeting small business procurement goals," Ozols said.

Puget Sound is one of seven DLA Land and Maritime detachments. The detachments are separated into shipyards and depot-level reparable locations.

Shipyard locations include Puget Sound, Washingston; Norfolk, Virginia; Portsmouth, Maine and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The shipyards all work together to ensure quality logistics, material support services, repair, maintenance and modernization of fleet units.

Similarly, DLA Land and Maritime has three depot level repairable detachments Warren, Michigan; Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania and Aberdeen, Maryland. These detachments provide comprehensive acquisition business solutions and full life-cycle contracting expertise for depot level reparable items assigned to their location.

Having forward presence locations at the detachment sites allows DLA Land and Maritime to ensure its serving the customers' needs by providing business advice and assistance. Additionally, this presence provides oversight of the full range of planning,
execution and administration of contractual actions to ensure accurate and timely delivery of the required supplies.

Overall, DLA Land and Maritime is the headquarters for DLA's Land and Maritime supply chains with over 2,500 employees in 37 locations around the world with primary operations at the Defense Supply Center Columbus in Columbus, Ohio.

DLA Land and Maritime manages more than 2 million unique inventory parts to support several thousand multiservice weapons systems and the Warfighters who rely on them.

For more than 100 years, the Defense Supply Center Columbus has been a vital logistics center, providing weapons system and platform support to U.S. forces and other federal agencies across the globe.


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