Department Creates Website Warehouse For Military Goods
In 1994, the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service (DRMS)
made surplus military equipment available on the Internet.
By 1997, it reduced customer dependence on the in-person "shopping"
system and the voluminous manual record-keeping and accounting
system that accompanied it. By 1998, it was able to return
more than $5 billion in goods to government and eligible non-profit
groups for their use. Today, DRMS Web-Based Distribution
System earned status as one of 25 finalists in the Innovations
in American Government Awards.
innovative programs demonstrate each year that American democracy
consistently changes while producing outstanding results,"
said Susan Berresford, president of the Ford Foundation, which
sponsors the awards program. "We hold them up not only
as models of success, but also as evidence of the dynamic nature
of American governments."
year the Innovations in American Government Awards will honor
the top 25 government initiatives that address today's toughest
issues. These successful programs will be granted a total
of $1.3 million to encourage their replication in other governments
across the country. With its selection as one of 25 finalists,
DRMS already has distinguished itself as a leading example of
a government agency tackling a tough situation -and succeeding
-- by using an innovative and creative approach.
Innovations in American Government Awards recognize not only
outstanding federal government programs but innovative programs
from all levels of government federal, state and local as
well as tribal. This year, five federal programs have
been named finalists for the Innovations Awards. In addition
to the DRMS Web-Based Distribution System, the other federal
programs that have been selected come from the Department of
Agriculture, the Centers for Disease Control, the Department
of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Housing
and Urban Development.
are honored to receive an Innovations in American Government
award," said Sherry Low, Chief of the RTD Business Unit.
"We hope that this will inspire other agencies to take
full advantage of all that the Internet has to offer."
October 13, representatives from DRMS will describe the program
and answer questions before the Innovations in American Government
Awards National Selection Committee. On the following
day, the Committee will announce the 10 winning programs.
The National Selection Committee is composed of former elected
officials, private industry and civic leaders, and is chaired
by David Gergen, former advisor to four presidents and current
editor-at-large at U.S. News & World Report.
Web-Based Distribution System Background
The Defense Reutilization Marketing Service, located in Battle
Creek, Michigan, redistributes excess and surplus military property
to other government agencies and eligible non-profit groups.
In order to make these items available all over the world, DRMS
gathers the property, but customers no longer have to travel
to where it is stored. The military, other government
agencies and eligible non-profit groups no longer match their
needs solely against the inventory available in their area.
As a result, more excess and surplus property is being reused,
transferred or donated to customers who might otherwise have
purchased new items.
1994, DRMS created a new "virtual warehouse" on the
Internet. All excess and surplus items for redistribution
are listed in one inventory that includes all of the physical
sites where property is stored. Users can view pictures
of items and can search the database for specific items.
The Internet-based system saves both the DRMS and customers
money. The new on-line inventory is less expensive to
maintain, and customers no longer have to physically screen
goods at a local warehouse. With a few clicks of the mouse,
government agencies and eligible non-profit groups can quickly
locate items that meet their needs, and some users can electronically
place an order.
dramatic increase in Web page usage demonstrates the effectiveness
and popularity of electronic searching and ordering of property
on the DRMS home page. DRMS has increased both its revenue
and efficiency since the institution of the "virtual warehouse."
- National Stock Number searches have increased
by 466 percent since 1996.
- DRMS processes 6,000 requisitions each month,
a 255 percent increase since 1996.
- At the end of 1998, DRMS returned $3.7 billion
to the Defense Department community, $769 million to other federal
agencies, and $575 million to state and local governments.
This was in large part due to the new Internet system.
- There are 4.5 million hits on the Web page each
month, a 1,848 percent increase since 1996.
is a field activity of the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), which
is a logistics combat support agency that provides supplies
and services to America's military forces worldwide. DLA's
mission includes managing more than four million consumable
items, processing more than 30 million annual distribution actions
and administering more than $900 billion of DoD and other agency
information on DRMS is available by visiting their web site
at: www.drms.com or
the Innovations Awards Program
The Innovations in American Government Awards are funded by
the Ford Foundation and administered by the John F. Kennedy
School of Government at Harvard University, in partnership with
the Council for Excellence in Government. The Innovations
in American Government Awards received more than 1,600 applications
in 1999. In May, the field was narrowed to 98 semifinalists,
and today's announcement reduced the number of contestants to
just 25. Each of the 25 finalists receives a $20,000 grant
from the Ford Foundation to be used toward replicating its program
in other areas. The winners of the ten $100,000 grants
will be announced on October 14, in Washington, D.C.
the Innovations program began granting awards in 1986, the Ford
Foundation has made grants totaling $14.6 million to 125 winners
and 105 finalists. More than 85 percent of the programs
receiving Innovations Awards have been replicated.
Ford Foundation, established in 1936, is a private, non-profit
institution that serves as a resource for innovative people
and institutions worldwide. Its goals are to strengthen
democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international
cooperation, and advance human achievement. A national
and international philanthropy with assets of more than $11
billion, the Foundation has provided more than $9 billion in
grants and loans to some 9,000 institutions and 100,000 individuals
University's John F. Kennedy School of Government is a graduate
school of public policy dedicated to preparing leaders for service
in government and other institutions of democratic societies
and to contributing to the solution of important public problems.
Council for Excellence in Government is a national, non-profit
and nonpartisan organization whose 750 members have served as
senior public-sector officials. Its mission is to improve
the performance of government by strengthening results-oriented
management and creative leadership in the public sector and
to build understanding in government by focusing public discussion
on its role and responsibilities.
to the Innovations
Innovations in American Government Program
Awards Program of the Ford Foundation and Harvard Universityıs
F. Kennedy School of Government in partnership
the Council for Excellence in Government