Global Fastener News

1980 FIN – World’s Largest Hardware Store?

July 08
00:00 2010

October 15, 1980 FIN – If someone were to ask you to name the largest hardware store in the world what would your answer be?

How about an operation that gets nearly 6 million item requests per year, makes over 15,000 individual sales each calendar day, has a catalog containing nearly 8,000,000 separate hardware items, maintains an inventory valued at more than $410 million and purchases over $314.1 million a year in industry supplies from American industry.
Would you say that qualifies it for the title?

We’re referring to the Defense Industrial Supply Center in northeast Philadelphia, which provides industrial hardware support to all four of our military services throughout the world on a round-the-clock basis.
A field activity of the Defense Logistics Agency in Alexandria, Virginia, DISC was originally known as the U.S. Navy General Stores Supply Office (GSSO).
It evolved into the Military Industrial Supply Agency (MISA) on January 1, 1960 when the Secretary of the Navy designated as single manager for military industrial supplier.

In April 1962 MISA became primary field activity of the Defense Logistics Agency under the new name Defense Industry Supply Center.

The DISC catalog of merchandise (which is twice as thick as a Sears and Roebuck catalog) lists items ranging from rope to nails, chain to shipboard cable and bearings to hull plate and brass fittings. Altogether over 82 percent of the requisitions DISC gets from its military customers are for basic hardware items.

DISC does not have an on-site supply depot but instead uses DLA depots, Navy installations and an Army depot in its distribution pattern.
Most sales are made from Defense depots located in Columbus, Ohio; Mechanicsburg, PA.; Memphis, TN.; Ogden, Utah and Tracy, CA, with Memphis and Ogden handling the largest volume.

DISC buys material from American industry on the basis of formal advertising of negotiation, dealing with major industrial giants as well as with small tool and die shops. A central bidders’ mailing list is maintained, consisting of more than 3,000 manufacturers and suppliers. The list is subdivided into about 500 commodity categories of materials obtainable from groupings of suppliers.

DISC has implemented a parts control program for fasteners and bearings by establishing Military Parts Control Advisory Groups (MPCAGS) comprised of engineers and engineering technicians working together to provide parts expertise to weapons systems designers.
DISC currently provides parts control support to 182 weapon systems contracts under the terms of inter-agency agreements between DLA and the four military services.

All of this vast hardware procurement program is handled by about 2,000 military and civilian professionals under Brigadier General Attilio Pedroli, USAF. ©1980/2010 Fastener Industry News

Related Links:

• Defense Supply Center Philadelphia

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