DLA phases in modernization

The Defense Logistics Agency last week implemented the first release of a modernization program designed to enable the agency improve business practices while replacing legacy systems with commercial off-the-shelf technologies.

The Business Systems Modernization (BSM) program is designed to help the DLA achieve business objectives while better supporting military readiness through rapid access to logistics information. It uses a commercial, off-the-shelf (COTS) system for supply chain management, and DLA implemented its first limited fielding, or "concept demonstration," on July 31.

The agency began processing customer orders for selected items using BSM's tools and re-engineered practices, according to the agency. The items ordered are a representative cross-section of the DLA's product lines, and the agency plans to bring the balance of its products into the BSM system over the next four years.

DLA, which provides worldwide combat logistics support for the Defense Department, views the five-year, $500 million BSM project as the cornerstone of its overall transformation effort, said Mae De Vincentis, the agency's chief information officer and director of information operations, earlier this year.

By the end of 2005, the five major objectives for BSM are to:

* Replace the DLA's legacy materiel management systems.

* Re-engineer business processes by fielding best practices.

* Improve customer service by collaborating with customers and suppliers.

* Provide best-value solutions.

* Provide the agency's workforce with the training, experience and opportunity to succeed in the new environment.

BSM is managed as a "major acquisition program," which requires specific review and approval requirements from the DOD that were achieved before implementation. On July 23, the agency obtained the final approvals from the Office of the Secretary of Defense to proceed with the first BSM release, which went live last week.

DLA and its systems integrator partner, Accenture, have stayed on schedule and within budget to reach the first release. In addition to Accenture, three other firms are involved in the BSM project including:

* Implementation of enterprise resource planning software from SAP America Inc.

* Advance planning and scheduling software from Manugistics Group Inc.

* Procurement desktop-defense from American Management Systems Inc.

The commercial software ultimately will replace numerous mission-critical materiel management legacy systems within DLA, according to agency officials.


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