News: DLA director recognizes industry partners’ contributions
Story by Beth Reece
FORT BELVOIR, Va. - The Defense Logistics Agency is nothing without its partners in private industry, DLA Director Navy Vice Adm. Mark Harnitchek said Oct. 29 during the 16th Annual Business Alliance Awards Ceremony at the McNamara Headquarters Complex.
Harnitchek described DLA as a big business that provides whatever warfighters need. From food and fuel to medical and construction supplies, the agency provided $41 billion in sales and services in fiscal year 2013.
“The bottom line is none of that happens without the great support we get from our partners in industry, and you all represent a truly great and complex network of folks that just make things happen for us,” he said.
Each year, DLA field activity commanders are asked to nominate businesses that have significantly helped the agency meet its mission. Nominations are reviewed and judged by a panel of subject matter experts at DLA Headquarters. There were 49 nominations this year, resulting in 20 awards in eight categories: Vendor Excellence, Innovative Business Performer of the Year, Outstanding Readiness Support, Outstanding Ability One Program Vendor, Recognized Cost Saver, DOD Customer of the Year, Commander’s Choice Award, and the new DLA Strategic Acquisition Award.
This year’s ceremony also included recognition of vendors that helped in recovery and relief efforts following Hurricane Sandy. They made it possible for DLA to provide critical supplies and services ranging from food and fuel to generators and bulk debris removal.
“It was a huge challenge for the nation, and I can tell you DLA – and you answered the call. This was not business as usual; it was all about being as responsive as we possibly could as quickly as we possibly could,” Harnitchek said.
DLA partners with businesses ranging from small to large and those operated by minorities and veterans, but Harnitchek said he was especially proud of the agency’s efforts to work closely with small businesses.
“When you look at DLA’s pie of where we spend money, small business is a huge chunk of that. We had a goal last year of 32 percent, and not only did we beat that goal, we crushed it. We got almost 36 percent, so we beat it in the neighborhood of about four percentage points. That’s a big deal for us, and we beat last year’s performance by about nine points,” he said.
In the Vendor Excellence category, awards are presented to businesses with superior product quality, on-time delivery, exemplary customer service, reliability, dependability, consistency and accuracy.
Vendor Excellence winners are:
- Pacific Coast Fruit Company (small business).
- Octo Consulting Group (small disadvantaged business).
- Building Solutions Inc. (women-owned small business).
- TK&K Services LLC (service-disabled veteran-owned small business).
- Tradebe Treatment and Recycling LLC (large business).
The Innovative Business Performer of the Year award is presented to vendors that implement progressive business practices, such as prime vendor and tailored logistics support solutions.
Innovative Business Performer of the Year winners are:
- Open Text Public Sector Solutions (large business).
-- Military Battery Systems Inc. (small business).
- Sage Energy Trading LLC (women-owned and historically underutilized business zone small business).
The Outstanding Readiness Support Award recognizes extraordinary customer support directly applicable to a crisis or contingency situation.
Outstanding Readiness Support winners are:
- Carolina Linkages dba Safe Ports (small and women-owned small business).
- FN Manufacturing (large business).
- Xact Tool Inc. (service-disabled veteran-owned small business).
Awards for Outstanding AbilityOne Program Vendor are presented to nonprofit agencies affiliated with the AbilityOne Program that exhibit extraordinary customer support, superior product quality and on-time delivery.
Outstanding AbilityOne Program Vendor winners are:
- Arizona Industries for the Blind (NIB).
- DePaul Industries (SourceAmerica).
The Recognized Cost Saver Award is given to vendors whose efforts result in cost savings to the government.
Recognized Cost Saver Award winners are:
- Aqua-Chem (small business).
- Washington Gas Energy Services (large business).
Portsmouth Naval Shipyard was named DOD Customer of the Year for its enthusiastic support of such DLA business initiatives as prime vendor and strategic sourcing. And for supporting programs affecting DLA’s mission success, Eaton Corporation received the Commander’s Choice Award.
General Electric Co. received the new 2013 Strategic Acquisition Award for innovation in partnering with DLA on the General Electric Co. Joint Opportunity Contract, which resulted in reduced lead times and cost savings of $19 million.
Two DLA employees were awarded for their work with small businesses. Mike McCall from DLA Troop Support was named the 2013 Outstanding DLA Small Business Professional for his work promoting opportunities for small businesses in five supply chains. Frank Holder, also of DLA Troop Support, was named the 2013 Outstanding DLA Acquisition Professional Supporting Small Business for awarding eight new long-term contracts valued at more than $327 million and converting all contracts in his program to small businesses.
The following businesses were recognized for support during Hurricane Sandy:
- Foster Fuels Inc. (small business).
- Hess Corporation (large business).
- Titan Maritime LLC (small business).
- Foss Maritime (large business).
- SAIC (large business).
- Supply Corps (small business).
- ADS (small business).
- Caterpillar (large business).
- Pocono Produce Company Inc. (women-owned small business).
- SOPAKCO, Inc. (small business).
-- Marine Environmental Services LLC (service-disabled veteran-owned small business).
- American Environmental Services (small business).
- Clean Venture (large business).
Harnitchek concluded the ceremony by recognizing small business specialists throughout DLA for their dedication to market research and identifying small business supply sources that satisfy warfighter requirements.