Global Fastener News

2010 FIN – Under New Name, Defense Agency Buying $590 Million in Fasteners

October 05
00:00 2012

 

September 7, 2010 FIN – DLA Aviation is the new official name of Defense Logistics Agency’s aviation demand and supply chain management that handled 307,937 fastener stock items and $589.8 million in sales last year.
The Defense agency bought 2.33 million items last year. A 57% majority of the orders are for less than 10,000 of the stock items.
Fasteners are now handled by the DLA Aviation Supplier Operations in Philadelphia. There are 300 employees in Philadelphia, headed by director Chris Brown. DLA Aviation is headquartered in Richmond, VA.
Previously DLA Aviation was known as the Defense Industrial Supply Center.
DLA Aviation launched a “We Are DLA” campaign this summer to create a single-agency environment among customers and global employees.
The agency has field sites in 48 states and 28 countries to help customers get the supplies they need, said DLA Director Navy vice admiral Alan Thompson.
The first step in changing DLA’s identity is renaming individual segments.  Thus the agency the fastener industry has traditionally dealt with, the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, is now DLA Troop Support.
Officials said agency leaders want to be unified in delivering what warfighters expect and to be viewed by stakeholders as a single enterprise, officials said.
This is the first time in DLA’s 49-year history that an attempt has been made to make organizational names consistent, Thompson added. “The ‘We Are DLA’ initiative couldn’t have come at more appropriate time for us, especially considering the aviation sites we’ve activated over the past three years as part of BRAC 2005,” said Navy vice admiral Vince Griffith, DLA Aviation commander.
Base Realignment & Closure 2005 law mandated that military services transfer responsibility for supply, storage and distribution and depot-level reparable procurement operations to DLA.
DLA Aviation conducts an annual Industry Day for 40 vendors of fasteners used in military aviation to find ways to work together “toward improving warfighter support,” DLA public affairs spokesperson Stephen Baker said.
DLA Aviation has more than 300 employees responsible for “helping America’s military aviation community keep things together, literally, by overseeing the supply of nuts, bolts, screws and other fasteners used on virtually all its aircraft.”
Brown noted that military demand is about 2% of the global market for fasteners, which can make it difficult to attract major suppliers.
“It’s actually a significant challenge,” Brown was quoted in an industry day press release. “Frequently, we receive low-dollar value/low-volume requirements from the services. Well, it’s very difficult to get industry interested in supplying minimal quantities, unless they recognize that there is a compelling need from the warfighter for those small requirements.”
Often, in the case of major U.S. manufacturers and suppliers, Brown said it comes down to appealing to their patriotic sensibilities. “We go to them and say, ‘Guys, here’s the deal: we recognize that in the global perspective this is relatively small business. However, without these parts, the services can’t fly the missions they have to fly. How can we best partner to make this work for both you and for the military?’”
“It’s our responsibility to package it in such a way that it gives them both a profit motive and a patriotic motive, basically, to satisfy the military’s requirements,” Brown said.
“We may end up buying full production runs and satisfying small requirements with these longer term arrangements. It’s one of the ways that we can interest industry in doing business with us,” Brown said.
Procurement has been made more difficult by recent increases in commercial aircraft orders, long lead times for raw materials and price volatility, diversity of fasteners used by various weapons systems, restrictions on sources for critical safety items, and stringent technical, serialization and marking requirements.
“Critical safety items are considered single-point failure items. If that item fails, there are potentially catastrophic results,” Brown said. Due to their nature, those items must be purchased from approved sources.
“I briefed the Joint Aeronautical Logistics Commanders [JALC] and obtained their endorsement to allow us to make some smart business decisions and technical decisions on how we both describe and acquire those particular items,” Brown said.
The JALC is comprised of senior military leaders in the aviation logistics community who serve in different branches, but share the goal of improving productivity and reducing cost by identifying and exploiting joint opportunities.
Brown said DLA was also able to help solve an issue between the Army’s aviation engineering community and commercial manufacturers as a result of Industry Day 2008. The Army wanted serial numbers on all CSIs.
“The engineering community doesn’t necessarily look at the manufacturing issues associated with certain things,” Brown said. “I had a quarter-inch bolt, and the Army wanted me to put a 15-digit serial number on the head of that bolt. Why? Where? How? It didn’t make a whole lot of sense.”
Brown went to the CSI Joint Service Working Group. “I identified the issue and they said, ‘You know what? That’s probably not a smart thing. We probably don’t need to serialize all standard items.’ And those are the kinds of issues that came out as a result of discussions during Industry Day,” he said.
Industry Day participants include Boeing, Lockheed Martin, SAIC, ALCOA, SPS Technologies, and other major suppliers, and newer vendors that have been performing well.
Although major suppliers receive a sizable portion of DLA’s fastener business, 63% of contracting actions and 43% of total dollars went to small businesses.
Industry Day includes a problem resolution booth for payment problems, workshops covering topics such as long-term contracting, acquiring technical data, product data management, and DLA’s Qualified Suppliers List for Manufacturers (QSLM) and Qualified Suppliers List for Distributors (QSLD) programs.
This year a second day was added to explore ways of satisfying warfighter needs on a long-term contracting basis. Web: dla.mil  ©2010/2012  Fastener Industry News
For information on permission to reuse or reprint this article please e-mail: FIN@GlobalFastenerNews.com

Scroll down for the story of Fastenal and EFC International seeking Defense Department business.

2010 FIN � Big Fastener Companies Pursue DoD Contracts
September 7, 2010 FIN – As private sector orders flatten, more than one prominent fastener company is pursuing contracts with the U.S. government — an entity a Fastenal executive referred to as the “largest potential customer in the country.”
Fastenal Targets Supply Business To U.S. Combat Troops
Fastenal Co. is targeting supply contracts for U.S. military vehicle parts in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Rochester Post-Bulletin reports.
“After about a year and a half of preparation, the Winona-based fastener maker recently won a $850,000 contract — $185,000 per year until 2015 — to supply 23 different washers, nuts, bolts and screws that are critical components for use on Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles in combat,” writes Jeff Kiger of the Post-Bulletin.
While Fastenal has supplied the military for years, military contracts account for just under 5% of Fastenal’s $2 billion in annual revenue. But the contract could signal deeper involvement with the U.S. Defense Department.
“We believe we’re at the beginning of something big,” stated Donnalee Papenfuss, Fastenal’s executive director government and diversity affairs. “You can’t just come to a contract like this and just win it. You have to prepare for it.”
Awarded in late July, the contract is with the Defense Logistics Agency’s Defense Supply Center, which supplies directly to troops in combat.
To win it, Fastenal had t o create a new process channel from its Minnesota headquarters to meet the packaging, RFID labeling and testing standards required for this area of the military, according to the Post-Bulletin.
Fastenal’s streamlined process worked in their favor, though the company had to add special equipment, such as 2D bar code printers and additional software.
But company officials say the payoff could be worth the effort. “The federal government is the largest potential customer in the country,” stated John Soderberg, Fastenal vice president of government sales. Web: fastenal.com

EFC Eyes Military/Aerospace Sales
EFC International is looking to expand into military and aerospace markets by acquiring an aerospace distributorship in the southwestern U.S.
“EFC has a strong track record of business growth and development through strategic planning and will substantially strengthen this trend through the acquisition of a current Aerospace Distributor,” stated CEO Doug Adams.
Adams said EFC’s specialty components technical and engineering staff enhances the productivity of their current suppliers already serving these markets.
Founded in 1983, EFC supplies specialty metal, plastic, electrical and assembled component parts – including panel fasteners, specialty nuts and clamps to OEMs and distributors. EFC has branch warehouses in Chicago, Atlanta and Toronto and is headquartered in St. Louis. Web: eft-intl.com   ©2010/2012 Fastener Industry NewsFor information on permission to reuse or reprint this article please e-mail: FIN@GlobalFastenerNews.com

 

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