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Families First takes strategic pause to ensure a high quality program

The Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC) is announcing that Phase II of the Families First Program will not launch in February 2006 and is in a “strategic pause” to ensure a quality development of the Defense Personal Property System (DPS). DPS will be the one system, one standard, worldwide web-based system that will support Families First. The development of a system such as DPS represents a magnitude of complexity that has never been attempted before by the Department of Defense (DOD). Recent hardware and software integration problems have caused us to step back and reevaluate current efforts. Independent DPS assessments and SDDC’s own evaluation of performance point to the need for a strategic pause to ensure a quality program will be delivered for DOD stakeholders as intended. This pause will allow time to create a more efficient program oversight process, revise our timeline, which will provide ample time for user training while not interfering with peak moving season (May through September).

SDDC remains committed to launching DPS and Families First. The primary purpose of Families First is to improve quality of life for DOD military and civilian employees, and their families, by improving the quality of all household goods movements. As a centralized, integrated system, DPS will be the one-stop source for managing personal property moves. For the first time, SDDC will have oversight of claims and Transportation Service Providers (TSPs) information in one convenient information management system. In addition, DPS will provide the convenience of 24/7 access to personal property shipment information and a conduit for a direct relationship between DOD members and TSPs throughout the entire moving process.

DOD members will use DPS to settle claims directly online with their TSP. Claims protection includes Full Replacement Value of lost items and/or items damaged beyond repair, direct communications and claims settlement between the member and the TSP. DPS will be the focal point for all members of the personal property community, including TSPs, Personal Property Shipping Offices, the Military Services and others who participate in the personal property moving process along with DOD Customers.

With DPS, Customers will be able to perform self-counseling and inquire about shipments at their convenience. The online capability allows access from anywhere at anytime. Also within DPS, DOD Customers will have the opportunity to fill out a Customer Satisfaction Survey (CSS) for each delivered shipment. The results of CSS will be used to assign performance scores for the TSPs. These performance scores will ultimately determine which quality mover will receive future DOD business. Additional functionality in the system will provide enhancements for TSPs including improved payment processing through PowerTrack, online rate filing, reduction of government-unique forms and the ability to accept shipments online. TSPs will receive notifications of important information throughout the shipment management process. PPSOs, too, will benefit from more efficient, streamlined processes for better managing their workflow and responding to customers’ needs. System changes will also result in reduced paper handling for PPSOs.

SDDC remains committed to launching DPS and Families First. DPS is the future of all personal property moves and provides one system, one standard, world-wide to benefit all stakeholders.

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