Re-engineering DoD’s Personal Property Program – Circa 1995By Eric Anders • Oct 14th, 2012 • Category: Defense Personal Property Procurement Program (DP3), MOVE MANAGEMENT
A DP3 Primer
At the time, Moore was the deputy chief of staff for operations for the Military Traffic Management Command (MTMC). The speech was entitled Re-engineering DoD's Personal Property Program. Is was delivered in October, 1995.
The comments included in the link were part of presentation in which Moore explained how the military's efforts to re-engineer their personal property procurement program were designed with the following performance objectives in mind:
- Improving the quality of service for service members and their families;
- Forming a sincere, professional partnership with the moving industry based on trust and respect;
- Retaining the current industry infrastructure through full and open competition;
- Devising a simple program that relies on the industry's experience and expertise; rather than government procedures, rules and documentation;
- Adopting the best commercial business practices available.
- We approached these objectives in a very orderly fashion.
On January 1, 2004, the Command officially changed its name to the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC) to reflect MTMC's changed missions to meet the demands of the global war on terror after 911.
In December, 2008, SDDC announced that it was changing the name of the military’s quality move management program that it operates from 'Families First' to 'DP3' due to a trademark issue. DP3 is the Department of Defense (DOD) acronym for the Defense Personal Property Program. With a annual budget of $2.2 billion, SDDC is the largest customer to the moving industry in the U.S.
Just before the start of the 2010 peak moving season, SDDC rolled out their latest re-engineered version of DP3.
This complicated new self-managed relocation program was supposed to provide “world class” moving services, valuation benefits, and personal flexibility to approximately 600,000 military service members, civilian government employees, and their families undergoing a domestic or international permanent change of station (PCS) transfer each year.
Unfortunately, the “top-priority” relocation needs of military and government families were apparently abandoned in the 'best value' makeover of the low cost SDDC procurement program.
Undercurrents of discontent
The driver's note asked if I had ever seen the document. He was laid over at a popular truck stop with several other disgruntled bedbuggers and Spec Comm drivers. As typical this time of year, they were all sitting empty because neither their agents nor their van lines has any loads.
One digitally connected member of the group found Moore's testimony online while the other impromptu truckstop coffee clache were discussing the potential effects of SDDC’s recent decision to adjust the fuel surcharge paid under DOD's latest “re-engineered” iteration of DP3.
There has been just enough misinformation leaked from the high-level, closed door discussions being held between SDDC and the industry trade associations about the timetable and effect of the proposed changes that it has started to erode the financial confidence of those in the street doing the actual work in the moving industry.
After I sent him a link to “Effect of SDDC’s new fuel surcharge adjustment?” and several other informed industry resources, my new subscriber asked if I thought the change in how the fuel surcharge was calculated would affect movers. Specifically, cash-strapped drivers!
Bye Bye Birdie
"It's already started."
"This is the copy of an entry a relatively young but experienced household goods van operator made to his Facebook page recently", I wrote back.
"Well….. I think I'm through with the running the road gig!! I miss my kids and I'm tired of all the b*******!! I'll be willing to work for any drivers in the XXXXXXXX area!! You're just need to give me a 2 day notice!! Good luck to everyone!!"
"It the third such entry by a distrugneld driver from the same tight little van line social media group in the last two weeks."
FYI … the Birdie Tweets
What's different about this open, honest communication and typical truckstop gossip is that this online post started a discussion among the hundreds of social media group members involved in the same segment of household goods transportation careers that is still going on. As anyone involved in community networking knows, these type of digital exchanges can go viral very, very quickly.
So far the exodus appears has been quickest among those experienced van operators who best understand the long-term implications of the DOD announcement. The newbies, it seems, are listening to their arguments and asking questions. Or else they're silently leaving the group – and the moving industry – and not telling anyone!
Popular (and free!) social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and Pininterst are the new virtual truckstop gossip grapevines. Unlike the limited range of a CB radio, their reach is worldwide and involves not just the over-the-road van operators, but also their significant others and their families who all have 24/7 digital access to the network.
While these types of open-source social media tools make it fairly easy get a pulse for what's happening on the street, none of the major van lines, large independent movers, or domestic or international industry trade associations seem to have a clue how to monitor, engage, or address this undercurrent of driver discontent in these popular virtual online communities.
Much to their chagrin, SDDC, the domestic moving industry's largest customer, doesn't even recognize the financial needs and small business concerns of established local household goods agents and their professional over-the-road van operators in their personal property procurement program that uses the “best commercial business practices available”. Independent owner-operators aren't even a recognized part of DP3!
What's worse is that the only transportation service providers included in DOD's 17 year-old re-engineered HHG personal property procurement program don't have a well-developed plan in place on how to stop the experienced driver and equipment capacity from turning their backs on the unprofitable DP3 program and leaving the moving industry.
Is the bugler playing Charge … or Taps?
During the International Association of Movers (IAM) 50th Annual Meeting held October 10 through Saturday, October 13, 2012, at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, Lt. Col. Michael Erhardt, USAF, announced to the attendees that the military officials supervising the current household goods procurement program have backed away from their original proposal to drastically overhaul their method of calculating the diesel fuel surcharge paid for DP3 moves.
Originally, the SDDC's reduction in the fuel surcharge calculation was scheduled to be introduced on May 15, 2013 – just before start of the traditional summer moving season.
Under the revised plan, which remains tentative until approved by SDDC, the surcharge would rise one percent for every 12-13 cents per gallon increase in diesel fuel over $2.50, rather than every ten cents as is the current practice.
Last August, Linda Bauer Darr, President and CEO of the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA), and Scott Michael, AMSA's Vice President for Military Affairs along with IAM's President Terry Head and Chuck White, IAM's Director of Military & Government Relations met with SDDC's Gen. Thomas J. Richardson to stress "the harm the original plan would have meant for military movers".
Erhardt told IAM convention attendees that he plans to meet with Richardson in next few days and could – COULD - receive sign-off on the new plan then.
Until official approval was received, however, Lt. Col Erhardt would not say what the revised cents-per-gallon revision point would be in the military's new fuel surcharge plan.
While the ASMA officials involved in the fuel surcharge discussions with the military saw the convention announcement as a potential victory for the full service moving industry, it's not yet apparent that everyone in the movin' business shares the same enthusiasm for SDDC's proposed compensation changes.
Especially those ragtag bunch of disgruntled bedbuggers sitting empty in truckstops everywhere this time of year.
Just like their cowboy cousin's of the past, they're bein' 'good buddies'.
Instead of flashing their lights to warn oncoming motorist of a radar trap, however, they're posting and pinning pictures and prices for their gear-jammin' Facebook friends and Twitter followers!
Instead of broadcasting a smokey sighting or spot DOT compliance check on the CB, they're sharing video of $5.14 diesel, truck-stop parking lots already overflowing at 4:00 pm on a weekday afternoon, and cheap greasy spoon food as they huddle, wait, and watch together for some good news from the moving industry's largest "best value" customer – SDDC.
Now that the IAM meeting at the National Resort & Convention Center is over, it will be interesting to see how long the it takes to hear the buzz in the social media sandbox about the military's latest re-engineering plans to improve the quality of service for military service members and their families by "forming a sincere, professional partnership with the moving industry based on trust and respect".
Moving industry exodus has begun – RELO Roundtable
The handleset and the stockboy: A DPS comparison – RELO Roundtable
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