The Defense Personal Property Management Office (DPMO) at US Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) and the military services’ personal property functions have adjusted the timeline under which shipments will be ordered using the Global Household Goods Contract.
The decision comes after nine months of intense planning, discussion and execution, along with IT system development, testing and integration, and collaboration between DPMO, the services, and HomeSafe Alliance.
“The heart of this effort has always been and continues to be the desire to improve the household goods moving experience for service members, civilians and their family members,” said Air Force General Jacqueline Van Ovost, USTRANSCOM Commander. “Adjusting our timeline is the right thing to do to ensure moving services are not interrupted, and we successfully deliver the improvements GHC will bring.”
Local shipments under GHC, generally those that are packed, picked up, and then delivered in the same local area, will likely begin later in 2023 instead of the initial target of September.
The change to the schedule reflects the measured, conditions-based phase-in approach for shipments that have been used by the command in implementing the contract, according to Andy Dawson, DPMO Director. “We are driving this adjustment, setting the pace based on the work we need to complete,” he said. “USTRANSCOM and the services are focussed on outcomes for customers and their families, and that primary goal led to consensus on the way forward.”
The primary driver behind the adjustment is recent government testing of the integration of IT systems, which identified enhancements required prior to making the systems available to customers.
The government has developed a system called MilMove, which customers will use to upload permanent change of station orders, share contact information and initiate a request for their shipment to be scheduled. HomeSafe Alliance has developed HomeSafe Connect, which will be used by customers, the government, and industry to manage and track the shipment after it is initially sent from MilMove.
“We’ve learned much about interoperability between MilMove and HomeSafe Connect over the past several months,” Dawson said. “These extra days give us the time we need to ensure the system’s interfaces are viable and ready for shipment awards and ultimately to facilitate a smooth customer experience.”
When local shipments under GHC begin, they will be in small numbers and at specific installations. Once the first few orders are successfully executed and the required conditions are met, more shipments will be assigned for movement under the GHC, and additional areas will be added. As more IT capabilities come online and are integrated, shipments other than local moves will be ordered under the contract. In the meantime, all other personal property shipments will continue to move under the legacy household goods program.
“The GHC radically transforms the moving experience and the [Defense] Department’s relationship with industry,” Dawson said. “There are as many different moving scenarios as there are service members, and the IT and business processes need to support those diverse requirements. We must, and we will, get this right for our service members. We’re not going to move shipments until we get it right.”