USAUS New Systems Make Military Moves More Efficient

WASHINGTON, June 15, 2010 — With the busiest sea­son for per­ma­nent-change-of-sta­tion moves under way, offi­cials at U.S. Trans­porta­tion Com­mand are encour­ag­ing ser­vice­mem­bers to take advan­tage of new sys­tems designed to make the process more con­ve­nient and effi­cient.

Transcom launched the new Per­son­al­ly Pro­cured Move, or PPM, sys­tem to bet­ter com­pen­sate ser­vice­mem­bers who per­son­al­ly move their house­hold goods on mil­i­tary orders, said Dol­ly David­son, a change man­age­ment out­reach spe­cial­ist at Transcom. PPM replaced the old “Do It Your­self,” or DITY, move sys­tem.

Under PPM, ser­vice­mem­bers can receive up to 95 per­cent of what it would cost the gov­ern­ment to move their goods using a com­mer­cial car­ri­er. They can hire a com­mer­cial mover if they choose, move some or all of their goods them­selves, and pock­et any sav­ings they receive.

While con­vert­ing to PPM, Transcom also intro­duced a new sys­tem, the Defense Per­son­al Prop­er­ty Sys­tem, to process and man­age house­hold moves.

DPS is a com­put­er­ized man­age­ment sys­tem for mov­ing the house­hold goods of mil­i­tary mem­bers and Defense Depart­ment civil­ians, David­son explained. It auto­mates many steps involved in mil­i­tary moves: pre-move coun­sel­ing, sched­ul­ing, track­ing, invoic­ing and claims-fil­ing for house­hold goods ship­ments.

This elim­i­nates the need for ser­vice­mem­bers to sched­ule appoint­ments at their base to arrange their house­hold goods moves face-to-face, she said, allow­ing them to make arrange­ments any­where, any time.

“In DTS, you can go in 24/7, you can coun­sel your­self, you can put in your ship­ment and move arrange­ments, and every­thing else is done auto­mat­i­cal­ly,” she said. “You can do it from your lap­top, from your work sta­tion, even your liv­ing room couch. And you can also track your ship­ments online, too.”

And unlike the lega­cy paper-based sys­tem it replaces, DPS is equipped to process moves ser­vice­mem­bers make them­selves – which con­sti­tute the vast major­i­ty of moves.

Aside from con­ve­nience, DPS is a big mon­ey-saver for the gov­ern­ment, not only reduc­ing PCS pro­cess­ing costs, but also gen­er­at­ing low­er cost esti­mates from many mov­ing com­pa­nies, said Roland Amos, chief of the DPS func­tion­al and require­ments branch at Transcom.

That’s a big fac­tor for the mil­i­tary, which spends about $2 bil­lion a year for more than 550,000 house­hold moves, Transcom report­ed.

With all these fac­tors in DPS’ favor, Transcom offi­cials are encour­aged by the dra­mat­ic increase in its use since the Per­son­al­ly Pro­cured Move roll­out.

“The ser­vices and the ser­vice­mem­bers have def­i­nite­ly embraced it,” David­son said. “[Usage] went up to about 50 per­cent right from the get-go.”

Now, David­son added, with the lega­cy sys­tem expect­ed to remain oper­a­tional until Decem­ber along with DPS, her mis­sion is to encour­age ser­vice­mem­bers to choose DPS to process their moves. With more than half of annu­al moves occur­ring between May and August, David­son is par­tic­u­lar­ly inter­est­ed in get­ting that word out now.

“We real­ly want them to under­stand the advan­tages, and why it’s best for them,” she said.

Transcom offi­cials also encour­age ser­vice­mem­bers to reg­is­ter their house­hold-move expe­ri­ences through a new online cus­tomer ser­vice sur­vey found at The results will be used to help the com­mand select the best-per­form­ing mov­ing com­pa­nies for future mil­i­tary moves, David­son said.

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)