February 2014: AMSA Confrence-Military Summit Recap by Michael Wilson

This information is also found in our February Moving Forwarding Newsletter

The following is a report on the Military Summit held on February 11, 2015, at the AMSA Conference in Orlando, FL. The report highlights the key issues that were talked about by SDDC staff as well as other issues that were brought to SDDC by those in the Industry that were in attendance.

At the podium from SDDC were Captain Aaron Stanley, Director of SDDC Personal Property and Lt. Col. Gina Prevett, DPS Program Manager.

Programming Delays

DPS programming delays were the most talked about topic discussed by Lt. Col. Prevett. As previously mentioned, the new DPS contractor has struggled to meet the programming demands and schedule provided by SDDC and FY15 delays are expected due to previous delays carrying over from FY14. Per Lt. Col. Prevett, the transition to the new developer has been challenging while being further plagued by security issues. Lt. Col. Prevett did state significant staffing changes have been made by the new developer and it is believed the track has been righted to meet demands. Unfortunately, SDDC and Lt. Col. Prevett were unable to provide a FY15 schedule for DPS releases and have stated the dates are being re-planned.

Release 2.0 – Rate Filing Architecture has been put through production however there are problems being experienced with the Workbench. The initial response from those who have filed their rates is the system is taking a while to load however the Workbench has received praise for being easy to use. SDDC staff on hand did comment about the Round 2 filing being the area that still requires additional work. They explained there are times the rates may not present correctly. SDDC will provide necessary advisory on this issue if it is still relevant when Round 2 filing is necessary. After the summit, TSPs looking to file rates via Workbench Module had continuing trouble. SDDC asked users to file their rates via the Bulk Rate File (BRF) method, and they disabled the Workbench and continue to work on it.

Programming delays will impact the release of SCR 6975 which provides the PPSO with automatic offering of refused shipments in DPS. Everyone in attendance understands the importance of this change and it is anxiously awaited.

DPS Process Mapping

DPS Process Mapping is still ongoing with an estimated 30% having been completed to date. One of the primary goals of this process is to cut costs through higher efficiency. In conjunction with process mapping, member entitlements and the overall cost of the household goods program is being reviewed. While there is some hope that the sequestration will be eliminated, there is no evidence that will be the case. The forecast ahead is for more cuts in the active duty forces with separations and retirements. This will likely lend to a short term spike in business over the next few years.

Open Season

SDDC is still planning to hold an Open Season for new entrants into the DP3 program. Capt. Stanley stated that SDDC is currently trying to determine whether or not they really need more intrastate capacity and an intrastate requalification process. Right now, the timeframe in which any Open Season will occur is still being explored. It was thought the intrastate Open Seasons would occur in FY15, however this is no longer for certain. There is a possibility an Open Season with a requalification could take place FY16.

Storage Management Office (SMO)

Captain Stanley confirmed the SMO is fully staffed and they are roughly 50% through training.

Mr. Danny Martinez

Mr. Danny Martinez has returned to SDDC and has assumed the role of Quality Assurance Division Chief. Capt. Stanley stated he has made the current rate filing Mr. Martinez’s primary responsibility in an effort to avoid similar delays and problems experienced last year.

Alcohol in Shipments

The Navy is leading a cross services effort to resolve the issues surrounding alcohol in shipments and the subsequent customs fees that occur when the shipment is transported into the United States. SDDC announced the customs fees resulting from alcohol in shipments will be reimbursed by the PPSO and then charged back to the customer where necessary. The fine detail regarding the billing procedure will follow when conversation has concluded between SDDC and the Services.

Base Access

The base access issue was undoubtedly one of the more concerned topics discussed during the day. SDDC reinforced that the base access issue is not a SDDC issue but rather something that will be resolved when the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) issues guidelines which are then adapted by all services. Capt. Stanley advised this topic is still garnering attention and another survey for more data is ongoing with its results hopefully leading to the TWIC card being the standard for base access. Capt. Stanley confirmed his understanding and corroborated our concern to this matter while stating he would continue to push for consistent measures.

Non-Temp Storage Invoice Payment

Capt. Stanley touched briefly on the January deadline that passed for submitting outstanding NTS invoices for payment review. The deadline did generate a heavy volume of invoices being submitted to SDDC. Much progress has been made however, SDDC still does have invoices that are inline to be reviewed.

Transit Times

SDDC continues to look at increasing transit times for shipments and a decision is expected NLT March.

Minimum Performance Score

The next Minimum Performance Score will be set in October.

Customer Satisfaction Survey Scores 

Industry concern has been brought to SDDC after the decision was made to no longer allow the TSP to transfer the customer to the Survey Response Center (SRC). Capt. Stanley remains confident the SRC staff is up to the task and stated the CSS response rates being received through SRC is comparable to what was being received prior to making the change. CSS Surveys continue to come in the 30’s percent range with Coast Guard being the most reliable service to take the CSS at 53%. Since making the change, two new contracts have been filled at SRC with the sole responsibility of these individuals being to call for CSS completion. Each individual is required by contract to make 500 calls per day. There was uncertainty from Industry audience members surrounding what constituted a “call”. SDDC is still working to reinstate the email to the customer with an embedded link. The one main change will be the embedded link will only take the customer to the ETA log-in page where it will require the customer to remember his/her ETA log-in and password. Capt. Stanley does recognize the challenges with this and is open to suggestions and would consider completely revamping the survey process in an effort to obtain greater CSS response rates however he would need solid input from industry before changes are made. Capt. Stanley stated that in his ideal scenario they would be getting 80% to 85% to 90% response rate for CSS.

Click Counts

Much conversation was had about click counts in the DPS system and the rules that must be followed by a TSP in DPS. It was reported by SDDC there have been click count violators that are being dealt with accordingly. Talk of the violators raises concern in Industry that some TSPs may be getting an unfair advantage when booking short fuse shipments. Questions followed and inconsistencies were brought to SDDC’s attention about published material in move.mil about click counts. Ultimately, there is confusion about what exactly constitutes a click and SDDC staff on hand was cautious at best in answering Industry’s questions without having the programmer’s confirmation ahead of time about exactly what will be counted as a click and what will not.

SDDC Messaging

Over the course of the last several months, SDDC email messaging has been questioned after several parties in the Industry stated they did not receive a discussed message at a previous Personal Property Forum. SDDC has since acknowledged there is a problem. It isn’t clear whether this problem has been rectified, however concern still exists throughout Industry about whether anything has been identified as the reason behind the issue.

SDDC Personal Property Forum

SDDC is in the process of considering whether to reduce to a single PPF each year due to the numerous times where SDDC staff and Industry are in the same room. Capt. Stanley expressed his interest in having a single PPF per year and having participation at the PPF by the Services. There will not be a Spring PPF for FY15. A Fall PPF is currently being planned and likely will take place in Washington, DC.

Rate Reasonableness

During the Q&A session, Scott Michael brought up rate reasonableness and explained we were under the impression that it was only a temporary measure. Capt. Stanley responded to the question saying that SDDC was still looking at it and couldn’t comment further until their review was completed.

West Coast Port Issues

Looming west coast port shutdown speculation has many in the Industry concerned about the impact this could potentially have on Code 4 shipments. As of the publication of this newsletter, the ports are now open and issues have been settled. However, there is a considerable backlog of shipments and it will take time to alleviate.

Back to news