A streamlined Military Traffic Management Command and adoption of commercial practices for military customers were major topics at the MTMC Training Symposium
, held April 10 in Dallas.
"We are reducing organizational layers, streamlining functions, using best business practices and effectively leveraging information technology," Maj. Gen. Kenneth Privratsky, MTMC commander, told some 1,600 military, government and civilian transporters who participated in the annual event.
By the end of this year, the Military Traffic Management Command will be 15 percent smaller than it was two years ago. Plans to consolidate the Alexandria and Fort Eustis, Va., operations into a single headquarters organization will bring a additional 10 percent reduction by mid-2003.
Privratsky touted several recent initiatives, including the use of USBank’s PowerTrack system to automate freight payments. Approximately 385 carriers are now being paid on-line by PowerTrack, he said. Over 97 percent of MTMC’s motor carriers are being paid electronically. In the past 15 months, the system paid $589 million in freight charges-- 85 percent in three days.
"Most of you know the history here," he said. "Compare this to the good old days when it took 30 to 90 days to be paid via the manual payment process."
Efforts to revamp procedures for MTMC’s 613,000 annual service member moves drew praise and support from Mike Fergus, president of Allied Worldwide Network Business.
"The customer is clearly in charge today," he said during a "Quality of Life" panel discussion. Fergus said commercial practices in the moving industry should be extended to military customers and he made some suggestions for further improvements:
  • Distribution based on quality and pricing.
  • A new customer satisfaction survey.
  • Direct customer communication with carriers via toll-free numbers.
  • Full-value replacement coverage for lost and damaged goods.
  • Use of the commercial tariff instead of the military tariff.
  • Carrier risk analysis to ensure financially stable service providers.

While there was general praise for the proposal, lack of funding is a major stumbling block to implementation.
"The money from the (military) services is not there," said Scott Michael, assistant to the president, American Moving & Storage Assn. "It’s in housing and health care -- what service members deal with every day, not every three years."