Another PCS debacleBy Eric Anders • Nov 8th, 2010 • Category: Defense Personal Property Program (DP3), Department of Defense/Military, Military Moves, MOVE MANAGEMENT
Move.Mil http://www.move.mil/, the official Defense Personal Property System (DPS) portal has been updated with the latest monthly metrics for transportation service providers. This new format allows a month-to-month comparison with the old Transportation Operational Personal Property Standard System (TOPS) contract results.
DPS Current Status (as of 30 Sep 10)
DPS Raw Numbers
Program to Date
72% in DPS vsTOPS Last Month
374,800 Shipments Processed
204,335 Shipments Delivered
37,498 Surveys Submitted
28,305 Claims Submitted (14%)
(Click on links below to see current YTD results)
The US Department of Defense (DoD), United States Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) and the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC), developed the internet-based Defense Personal Property Program, or DP3 system to manage the military's household goods procurement process. Uncle Sam, incidentally, is the largest customer of the household goods moving industry in the United States.
When they started the process in 1995, the goal was to make moving easier for DoD service members and their families involved in a domestic or international permanent change of station (PCS) relocation due to military necessity or government convenience.
In April, 2010, just before the start of the moving industry's peak summer surge, the SDDC announced the expanded roll-out of their DP3 program for PCS transferees. The switch from the more expensive TOPS system of administration to the more efficient DPS method began in May. According to the SDDC, DPS pushed 125,000 PCS household goods shipments through the problem plagued system during just the first three weeks of June – historically the busiest month for movers during the entire year!
The result was an industry infrastructure that buckled under the weight of the unanticipated workload. Service was strained even further by the small business subcontractors, independent owner-operators, company van operators; and incented dispatchers who first balked than ran from participating at the bargain basement prices bid by participating household goods transportation service providers.
The summer surge is now a fading recollection. Once again, movers are counting the peas on the plate wondering how they're going to feed the needs and pay the bills of their employees, service crews, and suppliers until next year's constantly shrinking peak moving season kicks off. Industry owners, van line and association executives, and managers are reviewing their notes to see what hurdles poised the biggest challenges for their dwindling resources.
Not sure if was a convenient 'coincidence' or just blind luck, but a recent post entitled A PCS nightmare; and how you can avoid one, by an Marine Corp Sergeant (and single mom) was published just a day after the SDDC held their Personal Property Forum meeting with industry to discuss the 2010 results of the expanded DP3 program. The Marines Blog strives to provide their target audience with perspectives on "relevant news and information and facilitate an issue-driven, principle-based and audience-focused conversation online."
It hurts to read this soldier's frustration with her self arranged relocation and long, expensive ordeal with waiting for the delivery of her family's furniture and personal effects. It's always disappointing to learn that a customer's or client's expectations have not been met – particularly for the dedicated professionals who work so hard to consistently provide quality full- and self-moving, storage, and relocation related products, material, and services to our country's front line defenders.
What's apparent in this unfortunate story and the related comments, however, is how little these loyal soldiers and dedicated service members actually understand about the military's new internet based, self-counseled and virtually monitored household goods procurement process.
The last paragraph is a sobering reminder about the extremely high cost of doing business with the moving industry's largest customer in SDDC's new 'best value' service environment. According to the current DPS stats, 75% of the 37,500 military members who've completed their DP3 move and submitted their Customer Satisfaction Survey have filed a claim against their transportation service provider just like this rightfully disgruntled and very angry mother.
Whadda ya think?
A PCS nightmare; and how you can avoid one - Marine Corps News
The Recency Effect: The power of last impressions - RELO Roundtable
Dear Slo Poke Van Lines … - RELO Roundtable
DOD launches new web functions at Move.mil - RELORoundtable
Scott AFB, We’ve Got a Problem! - RELORoundtable
HOW TO: Submit Your Ideas for DoD’s Open Government Plan - Armed with Science