Group of six works to streamline procurement policies

This week, the US textile and apparel supply chain will receive an update on key developments in military procurement processes. Under the Berry Amendment, the Department of Defense must procure all clothing and textile items for soldiers from American businesses, using American-grown material, sewn by American workers. With the support of its Government Contracts Committee (GCC), the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) vigilantly fights to preserve the Berry Amendment to ensure this manufacturing base is strong when the military needs it the most. GCC member companies participate in each link of the supply chain ’ from the yarn producers and textile companies to the end-item manufacturer. From April 9 to April 12, this supply chain will gather with military sourcing officials in Santa Fe, New Mexico for AAFA’s annual GCC Spring meeting.

The government procurement system is complex and often arduous. The meeting will focus on discussions with representatives from the military services, the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia and the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) on the military’s upcoming procurement needs. The meeting will also provide an update on the ongoing discussions between industry and government to create a more efficient, accurate and successful procurement system.

Three years ago, the ‘Group of Six’ was formed by industry representatives from AAFA, the National Textile Association, the Parachute Industry Association and Clemson Apparel Research.

‘The Group of Six has a strong and deep commitment to fix procurement problems, so that industry and the government can work more quickly and cooperatively,’ said AAFA’s GCC Chairman Michael Mansh, president of Pennsylvania Apparel, LLC. ‘We are also encouraged by the effort and willingness of DLA leadership to have open and honest talks on these important reforms.’

Chairman Mansh was chosen by the Group of Six to serve with DLA Vice Director Major General Arthur B. Morrill as Co-Champions in a value stream mapping initiative that seeks to create a workable process that will speed clothing, footwear and other textile items to America’s fighting men and women.

‘At the end of the day, the whole supply chain from the textile producers and suppliers to the manufacturers of military specific goods to the soldiers on the ground needs to be improved,’ said Kevin M. Burke, president & CEO, AAFA. ‘The unification of that supply chain, represented by the Group of Six, has made great strides to make those improvements a reality. ’