Trust in the HHG moving supply chainBy Eric Anders • Aug 20th, 2012 • Category: Defense Personal Property Procurement Program (DP3), Department of Defense/Military, MOVE MANAGEMENT
When I was first became involved in using alternative transportation and warehousing resources to move and store new and used household goods and other special commodities in the 1980s it was because of dwindling internal driver, equipment, and storage capacity resources at the international van line I worked at.
One of the things that excited me most about these new responsibilities was the opportunity as a supply chain “customer” to learn about and collaborate with new transportation product and service suppliers to meet both of our mutual business needs.
To this end, the company developed our own request for information (RFI) process to collect comparative company and capacity information about the transportation and warehousing capabilities of various suppliers.
The RFI was used to gather, sort, and analyze information to help upper management make the best, most informed sales, operational, and billing decisions based on the types of alternative services that would best serve the unique transportation and storage needs of our household goods and special commodities customers.
Communication is the key
Neither the RFI form nor the vetting process was original – nor even complicated.
We simply asked each vendor being considered to provide basic and very standard company financials, transportation or storage supply service capacity details, and billing cycle information based the unique characteristics of each of the van line department's group of internal customers.
The hardest part was effectively communicating and then comparing our goals and objectives against each transportation service provider's (TSPs) unique capabilities, service hubs, and performance results.
Trust is the door it opens
That's why I found it particularly strange that a simple two-item RFI recently issued by the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command's (SDDC) for "Request for TSP Data" met so much immediate reluctance and resistance from military carriers already pre-qualified and pre-approved to move Department of Defense traffic. Afterall, SDDC is the household goods moving industry's largest customer worldwide!
Trust is important in any type of relationship. Unfortunately, it's something that seems to be sorely lacking in this very complicated and extremely expensive business arrangement between the United States government and the industry of taxpayers who support it.
Ever since SDDC started to re-engineer and automate their Defense Personal Property Program, DP3, to virtually arrange the "world-class" transportation and storage of approximately 600,000 military and government service members and their families each year in the mid-90s, this all-important ingredient has been missing from Uncle Sam's highly polarized and emotionally charged household goods move management procurement process.
If SDDC's new automated and problem-plagued Defense Personal Property System, DPS, is to survive as an effective and affordable military supply chain tool, both sides need to be as honest, open, and transparent with each other on what value they can contribute to the relationship.
Right now it appear the arrangement it's not working – particularly for those government transferees and front-line industry workers and their families who depend on it the most.
Perhaps counseling is required. Congressional counseling.
Transparency in public
Back in the good ol' days of business process reengineering, the widespread use of the Internet was the one tool dedicated users lacked in the RFI due-diligence process.
Fortunately, a lot has changed in the digital world in the four years since SDDC rolled out their expensive “new” personal property procurement process.
Today, every level of stakeholder involved in a home, business, or government transaction worldwide holds access to a wealth of information regarding their personal or professional interests in the transaction right in the palm of their hand.
The widespread use of popular digital communications tools and personal and professional social networking platforms and relationships make the once secretive process of stealth business negotiations almost impossible.
Agree or disagree? Share your thoughts, fears, or ideas in the comment section below!
Remember when 7 pounds weighed 7 lbs? – RELO Roundtable
Military style move management – RELO Roundtable
DOD created their own household goods capacity problem – RELO Roundtable
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