eGov/Mil Newsletter: March 21, 2019
In this Issue:
- 2019 Spring Personal Property Forum (PPF)
- TRANSCOM Acquisitions Directorate (TCAQ) GHC “Industry Day” #2
- Associations Visit with USTRANSCOM Commander
- JPPSO-NC Announces Military/Industry Day (Action Required)
Industry and DOD Personal Property organizations met at the Four Points Sheraton in Fairview Heights, IL on 19 and 20 March for the Spring PPF. The event was well attended. In contrast to the Fall PPF where there was a general session and then a series of breakout topics, the entire day and a half PPF was all centered in one room with all attendees. USTC wanted to focus on 2019 during the PPF, and let talk of the Global Household Goods contract (GHC) be left for Industry Day during the afternoon of 20 March. Therefore, little was discussed or shared on the contracting effort during the PPF.
Mr. Rick Marsh, USTC J5/4 Deputy Director, Strategic Plans, Policy & Logistics provided opening remarks and noted this would be COL Lounsbrough’s last PPF before retiring in August. He then turned the PPF over to COL Lounsbrough who discussed USTC’s various post 2018 Peak Season industry engagements and initiatives such as the DP3 Advisory Panel, Code 2 CONOPS, Market Expansion, a new shipment refusal process in the works, and an increase to domestic transit times. See the PPF Day One slides.
A new attendee this year was Mr. Stephan Nye from the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. Mr. Nye is part of a cross-functional team created by DOD after the 2018 peak season to bring the top personnel and logistics leaders in the DOD together to work to integrate their efforts with respect to the DOD PCS process. Mr. Nye mentioned the Personnel Readiness office has learned a great deal about challenges and concerns from a logistics perspective over the past 6 months. And they are working to better integrate the PCS order and transportation movement process. Whether that will result in any significant movement of member moves outside the peak season is doubtful, but it is something they’ve apparently looked into.
There were two topics from day one, based on DOD and industry feedback, USTC said they would re-look. Those two items were the TSP Scorecard and use of plastic Totes and similar products. JPPSO attendees were very critical of the new TSP Scorecard that is visible to DOD members in DPS and the workload it is placing on JPPSOs. And industry members impressed upon USTC the concerns members will have when industry is forced to unload their totes and footlockers and repack the contents in boxes. USTC made no promises on this change, but said they would push the issues up to their leadership.
Industry was reminded that since USTC transitioned the Personal Property Division from SDDC, and no longer use the SDDC website for personal property information, key data for TSPs is contained in the move.mil website on the SME page. To access this page, use this site.
Day Two included various USTC updates, a Claims panel, and an open forum with DP3 leadership (COL Lounsbrough, Lt Col Ryan, Danny Martinez). See the Day Two slides.
In summary, the PPF overall provided some good interaction between industry and DOD members during sessions and sidebars. It resulted in USTC agreeing to re-look two initiatives (Totes and TSP Scorecard). And it reinforced to me that many of the DOD members also have concerns with the GHC initiative of a single move manager. Ultimately, at times it appeared as though the fight was knocked out of the crowd in terms of engaging on various DP3 topics, since many attendees are pre-occupied with the pending contract effort to a single industry move manager.
After continuing to push TCAQ to address industry during the PPF on the latest updates to the Global Household Goods contract (GHC), USTC added a second industry day to the afternoon of 20 March, following the end of the PPF.
On Friday, 15 March, TCAQ posted an updated Draft PWS with three appendices, a pricing white paper, draft Terms and Conditions, and 5 years of DPS and TOPS historical data to the Federal Business Opportunity (FBO).
Industry Day #2 General Session slides were also posted to the FBO site and are available at the IAM website. Also posted to FBO and found on IAM’s website is a handout of key questions on domestic and international pricing that TCAQ is asking for industry feedback on.
During the general session, concerns were raised about the impact to small businesses under this new contract, as well as the threat to small international household goods forwarders.
A representative from the Small Business Administration was in attendance (as opposed to USTC’s Small Business Office), and while she could not share specific thoughts with me during our individual conversation at the end of Industry Day, it appeared as though she had concerns about the overall concept of the GHC from a small business perspective.
IAM, AMSA, and NDTA representatives were invited to visit with GEN Lyons and his key staff (Deputy Commander; Acquisitions; Strategic Policy, Plans and Logistics; Legislative Affairs) to presumably talk about the upcoming Peak Season and potentially the outsourcing effort. We were scheduled for a one-hour visit. We talked for an hour and a half; and the entire visit focused on the Global Household Goods Contract (GHC) and the effort to award all DOD household goods to a prime contractor.
The overall tenor of the visit was professional, respectful, and apparently viewed by GEN Lyons as an opportunity to speak frankly about what was going on, why they were heading in this direction, and hear about what concerns we had. GEN Lyons spent the first 10 or more minutes describing what USTC sees as the problems with the current program, and why he wants to move to a FAR-based contract with a single prime contractor.
GEN Lyons calls quality at the curbside for the service member the "North Star" of the program. It's what we should all see as the most important aspect to the DOD HHG program. He acknowledged that some in the industry are doing great work; and said he thought most would agree there were also some "lower quadrant" performers. He said he thought most people (industry or government), would agree that if they pulled out a white board and tried to design a HHG program for the DOD, they would not design the current program (DP3). He said what USTC needs to do is to incentivize companies to move into the market place; to be there for the peak season; and find ways to make sure the right companies were not pushed out. He said one of the major problems with the current program is a lack of accountability. And he didn't believe that USTC could resolve that in the current program. He stated that there is a shuffling of SCACs that occurs that results in a lack of true accountability. GEN Lyons stated that the DOD does not have businessmen and women working for them. They'd like to rely on industry experts to manage what is an industry capability, and he doesn't believe USTC or other DOD offices have the expertise it takes to manage such a huge industry dominated market. In his view, they should share with industry experts what DOD wants as an outcome, and then let industry figure out the best way to make that happen.
GEN Lyons stated he and his staff are aware of the lobbying efforts on the Hill from both Associations. He added that in private, during his one-on-one visits with Congress, no one has told him to stop doing what he's doing (to move to a sole source FAR contract).
He said he wanted to stay engaged with industry leadership; he wanted to hear our thoughts, concerns, and what we thought could be improved in the program; however, in his mind, he's not heard anything from industry or anywhere else that has convinced him that there is a better idea out there than the path he's headed down (outsourcing the program to a single move manager).
Industry representatives discussed with GEN Lyons and his staff that there were mechanisms in the program for accountability; and that those methods are used from base level through the enterprise level. We discussed that we believe the vast majority of industry would agree that a quality move for the member was the "North Star". And that some of the things USTC would like to introduce into the program under a single move manager, are things that can work in the program now in DP3. The Association reps pointed out that this move to a single move manager carries with it significant risk...especially in the short term...for companies to move away from the DOD program and make capacity even worse. And that the disruption to the market could make many wary of investing in the program now since they are not sure what place they might hold in a future program. Beyond that, since DOD is such a huge market by itself, the Associations warned that putting so much power into one company under such a concept could have impacts to markets around the world, well outside of the DOD market. GEN Lyons replied that he is only 20% of the total market. But he was reminded that no other single market comes close to moving 400,000 shipments per year; and this kind of instability as we move toward a single move manager could disrupt other markets.
We shared with GEN Lyons and the USTC staff the major differences in the International program as compared with the Domestic program. And that so much attention is given to the Domestic side, that what often happens for international is that rules, processes and procedures are designed for Domestic and then as an afterthought, applied to international. And that USTC had to be careful to not lump both programs together.
GEN Lyons stated he appreciated our time and inputs. He said he wants to stay engaged with the Associations and Moving Company leaders. He would like to hear from industry on the best way to set up the future acquisition effort. And he hopes there can be non-emotional, professional dialogue on this effort as it moves forward.
JPPSO-NC Commander, Maj Heath Horton, sent IAM notice that in preparation for the 2019 Peak Season, he is hosting a Military/Industry Day in Colorado Springs on 2 May, 2019. If you are interested in attending, please RSVP to MSgt Fabian Goncalves at firstname.lastname@example.org, not later than 29 March. Once JPPSO-NC has an attendance count, they will send a registration package to the individuals who RSVP.