DLA, Industry Leaders Discuss Demand Forecasts for Upcoming Year
Defense Logistics Agency leaders and representatives from 11 industry associations discussed demand forecasts for Defense Department customers and whole-of-government organizations during an Industry Association webinar Oct. 6.
DLA support to worldwide military units and federal partners during crises like the pandemic, forest fires, and hurricanes wouldn’t be possible without industry, DLA Director Navy Vice Adm. Michelle Skubic said.
DLA Vice Director Brad Bunn presented DLA’s demand forecast, offering context in terms of the current operating environment and change in administration. He also addressed the agency’s implementation of several executive orders, including those affecting the future of American-made items and American industry, as well as advancing racial equity, supporting underserved communities, and ensuring adequate COVID-19 safety protocols for federal contractors.
“We are advancing socioeconomic goals while strengthening our supply chains and our ability to domestically source goods, supplies, and services for a strong national defense,” he said, adding that DLA is balancing safety with mission effectiveness.
Government agencies like DLA are operating under a continuing resolution, which Bunn said could impact procurement activity in fiscal 2022.
DLA Acquisition Director Matthew Beebe briefed DLA’s overall contract obligations, noting that the agency exceeded its yearly small business spending goals and averaged over $1.8 billion in obligations to small disadvantaged businesses over the last six years.
George Atwood, DLA’s executive director of logistics, policy, and strategic programs, updated industry representatives on the supply-chain management portion of DLA’s working capital fund and provided an overview of net sales across supply chains, and future projections in energy and petroleum demands and sales. DLA Acquisition Deputy Director Roxanne Banks provided an update on DLA’s service contracting spending and the ongoing effort to increase efficiency in that area.
Leaders from DLA major subordinate commands shared their outreach efforts to increase industry engagement and transparency. Many commanders have hosted in-person or hybrid events, and several upcoming industry conferences are planned that will focus on small businesses.
DLA Energy Deputy Commander David Kless highlighted the next Worldwide Energy Conference scheduled for March 28-30 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center at National Harbor, Maryland, as well as the organization’s industry engagement webpage featuring quarterly industry newsletters.
Craig Hymes, senior vice president for operations of the National Defense Transportation Association, said NDTA is forming a logistics and distribution committee with USTRANSCOM and the Joint Chief of Staff for Logistics. The group will comprise four subcommittees—energy, technology, finance, and industry—to focus on government and industry issues, identify gaps and solve mutual problems.
Ryan McDermott, vice president for defense of the Defense for Professional Services Council, said it developed an online scorecard that measures forecasts based on 15 key attributes such as electronic historical information.
Associations attending included those representing market-specific companies like American Apparel & Footwear Association; those representing the broader industry such as the Coalition for Government Procurement; as well as participants from socioeconomic industries, SourceAmerica, and National Industries for the Blind.
DLA has held industry events to communicate its demand forecast to industry partners since 2018. The last meeting took place in May.
A copy of the presentation can be found on the Demand Forecast page.