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
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
- 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 contracts.
information on DRMS is available by visiting their web
site at: www.drms.com
or at www.drms.dla.mil.
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,
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
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 worldwide.
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
to the Innovations
Innovations in American Government Program
Awards Program of the Ford Foundation and Harvard University’s
F. Kennedy School of Government in partnership
the Council for Excellence in Government