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    Targeted how-to videos aim to reduce vendor packaging errors

    Targeted how-to videos aim to reduce vendor packaging errors

    Courtesy Photo | A screenshot from the vendor training videos showing packages moving through a DLA...... read more read more



    Story by Stefanie Hauck 

    Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime

    Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime Small Business Office in partnership with DLA Training and DLA Disposition Services Columbus have launched a series of how-to videos to alleviate common packaging errors by vendors when shipping products and materiel to DLA Distribution centers all around the world.

    The effort is part of a larger Continuous Process Improvement initiative on various aspects of the DLA packaging process.

    “What happens now is there are relatively few notifications compared to the total number of packaging related errors committed by vendors,” DLA Land and Maritime Small Business Specialist Ryan Snyder said. “DLA has not given vendors enough specific feedback on their errors…visual or otherwise to help them correct the problem.”

    “In many cases the contractor tries their best to interpret what we need and when we can’t provide good examples of ‘right’ then we receive material that needs to be corrected,” DLA Land and Maritime CPI Branch Chief Mike Lanning said.

    That’s where the idea for the videos came in.

    “I came up with the video idea when considering how people use multimedia in their daily lives,” Lanning said. “People and businesses are much more visual focused and the idea of showing a vendor a video representation of what 'right' looks like is a great way for them to compare what they send to us.”

    Lanning said the idea is to educate the vendor at the point of the error at DLA Distribution centers.

    “The videos are intended to reach a larger segment of our contractor base and give them some better, and more visual, insight into what we need from them,” Lanning said.

    Since about 78% of DLA’s vendors are small businesses, Lanning directed Snyder to take the lead on the video project.

    “In our current environment, people are used to seeing short, informative videos on their smartphones, so we did our best to try and simulate some of that with these short packaging videos,” Snyder said.

    Snyder coordinated with DLA Training Multimedia Specialist Michael Blaha, DLA Disposition Services Columbus Area Manager Camellia Cochran and Material Examiner and Identifier Supervisor Barry Heck on the production of the videos.

    Snyder said Cochran and Heck were extremely helpful in providing the use of a warehouse area, pallets, material, staff and equipment for the filming of the videos.

    Blaha provided the video production expertise from storyboarding, scripting and filming to postproduction for the project.

    “It was a collaborative concept,” Snyder said. “DLA Disposition helping us simulate DLA Distribution’s warehouse environment and then DLA Training getting into the area of vendor training, which they had not done before.”

    The videos share the impact to the vendor, DLA and the Warfighter when shipments are labeled, packaged, marked and palletized for delivery incorrectly.

    Each of them, five in all, explain in two minutes or less common errors and how to fix them.

    Common errors addressed are:

    1. Unit/intermediate and exterior item identification markings
    2. Military shipping labels – proper addressing in the Vendor Shipping Module
    3. Packaging – preparation for delivery and packaging requirements
    4. Pallet types – types of pallets used by DLA, correct use and preparation
    5. Shelf life – how to handle materiel with a shelf life like batteries or tires

    “Many vendors don’t know they are making a mistake, so this video project in conjunction with other new processes will help remedy that,” Snyder said.

    When an error is detected at a DLA Distribution center, an automatic feedback email will be sent to the vendor with a link to the appropriate video to show them a visual aid on the procedures, he said.

    “For instance, if the wrong pallet was the problem, we’ll have a link to the corresponding video to show the correct pallet, and some of the reasons why other pallet types are not suitable,” he added.

    Snyder said the videos should save DLA time and money by making vendors aware of their mistakes and showing them visual aids of the different aspects of DLA packaging requirements.



    Date Taken: 03.10.2023
    Date Posted: 03.10.2023 16:26
    Story ID: 440184
    Location: COLUMBUS, OH, US 

    Web Views: 56
    Downloads: 0