A Pivotal Play
Pentagon Support Agency DLA Sets New Standards for Efficiency, Customer Satisfaction
Why is this a Pivotal Play?
The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA)—the Pentagon's combat support organization—performed a complete overhaul of its internal structure, ultimately transforming the agency. In just 11 months, DLA took innovative steps to set new standards that drove dramatic improvements in both organizational efficiency and customer satisfaction.
In 1992, DLA was struggling with nearly every aspect of its operations. From its use of outdated technology to its high, nearly 3:1 revenue-to-cost ratio, the agency needed an internal facelift. Skeptics within the agency compounded these challenges, opposing risky, new ideas aimed at reducing costs by 25% and dramatically enhancing performance—all within a year's time.
After battling internal opposition, former chief human capital officer for Homeland Security Jeffrey Neal got the go-ahead to begin the perceivably threatening changes—and the risk paid off with significant reward.
Within 11 months, Neal and DLA completed the agency's transformation. By removing inefficient organizational practices and providing employees with enhanced customer service training, the agency consolidated seven offices into two, reduced ongoing costs by 28% and, perhaps most notably, saved $4 million in reforms. As an added bonus, customer satisfaction rose to a record-high 4.7 out of 5.0 average.