ALA seeks sweeping policy changes:
The ALA has once again taken a leadership role in seeking sweeping changes to many of the restrictions placed on the military resale programs. In response to a challenge from Chairman Joe Wilson, chairman of the Military Personnel Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee, the ALA provided several significant areas where changes would improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the resale programs. These recommendations were researched and developed by Steve Rossetti, director of Government Relations for ALA and they now become part of the official record from the hearings held earlier this year.
The American Logistics Association appreciates the support of the House Armed Services Committee in fostering an environment wherein resale programs can optimize their ability to support our valued patrons and looks forward to working with the Committee in ensuring a responsive and efficient business environment.
There are several key market and budgetary dynamics that prompt a re-examination of the restrictions that are placed on resale programs. These include:
The ALA appreciates the support of the Armed Services Committees of the House and Senate to relax Armed Services Exchange Regulation restrictions. We support removing all remaining restrictions on the sale of merchandise in exchanges.
The ALA also supports a re-examination and change to the current policies on advertising. Currently, there are limitations on dissemination of sales prices in media that can be removed from the store. While we understand the spirit and intent of this restriction, the Internet now allows market segmentation where only eligible military shoppers can be isolated and informed. This electronic and targeted media should be allowed to inform eligible patrons of pricing.
A family of four can save nearly $7,000.00 per year by shopping at exchanges and commissaries with savings in commissaries in the range of 30-50 percent and exchange savings above 20 percent. These benefits are the only benefits in the Department of Defense where there is a lower cost per user as volume increases. Therefore, it benefits the overall compensation package when more shoppers are aware of these benefits and use them. We therefore encourage a re-examination of the price advertising restriction to allow prices to be disseminated to eligible patrons with targeted print or electronic media.
We are aware of efforts by the resale agencies to review the policy on promotion of products and will work with these agencies to ensure patrons are aware of all that resale agencies have to offer.
Service Contract Act application
The ALA also supports a re-examination of the application of the Service Contract Act to retail services for military patrons. Application of this Act artificially increases costs of services under the contact—costs that must be passed on to military patrons.
New car sales
ALA also supports a correction to the current policy to authorize new cars assembled in North America and allow exchanges to respond to the service members' needs by being permitted to sell North American assembled cars, motorcycles or other vehicles.
Further, ALA supports exclusion of non-appropriated fund information technology systems from the requirements of Section 901 of the Fiscal Year 2012 National Defense Authorization Act. Including NAF systems under this Act unnecessarily impedes the rapid execution of IT systems that can make exchanges and MWR programs more efficient and responsive to patrons. This would not affect the DoD's efforts to control duplicated and wasteful IT expenditures on enterprise wide systems for human resources, finance and acquisition which appear to be the problem that Section 901 sought to remedy.
Sequestration WILL impact military resale:
The following analysis on the impacts of sequestration is provided by Steve Rossetti, director of ALA Government Relations. Steve is a recognized expert in these areas and the laws and regulations surrounding military resale. When it comes to defending the military resale system there is no one better. Steve doesn't seek recognition...only results.
Below is the testimony that was provided by Ash Carter, Deputy Secretary of Defense, and Jeff Zients, Acting OMB Director, before the HASC full committee.
It gives a peek into how Sequestration would work and how levels are affected. It also shows that DoD is not seeking a carve-out exemption but rather wants to it settled as part of the larger budget deal. I think Defense advocates in Congress see that differently and are seeking to find bill-payers for a Defense carve out (like the McKeon plan to cut civilian pay across government to pay for bailing Defense out of the cuts).
Nevertheless, the testimony doesn't depart substantially from what I have the ALA membership on for the past 18 months, and it is revealing to see Defense acknowledging how the contours would shape up.
My take on what they are saying:
The DoD portion would be $53 B or so in 2013 but compounded to around $70 B because we would be so far into the year. Some mitigating factors could take this down to $65 billion or so. Keep in mind that this is on top of the $487 billion Obama/Gates cuts already in place and taking effect.
The president would have to notify Congress of the military personnel exemption on Aug. 10. The hit is 8 percent on DoD across the board without the exemption and 10 percent of the remaining accounts if personnel is exempt. They have the discretion to move money within these appropriation accounts. The 8 or 10 percent cuts would be allocated equally and across the board at the level of appropriation, i.e., National Guard O&M, Defense O&M, etc. As we have been briefing, O&M would bear the brunt of the hit because of its fast spending nature. Also, DoD is saying that they can move money between accounts after-the-fact to mitigate the impact on certain accounts but that this tool is limited.
It includes war funding (OCO). This is significant because the Marine and Army O&M accounts are merged during execution and the Army and Marine accounts would therefore take a bigger share of the hit.
They're saying that the hit will depend on:
"Military families and retirees would be adversely affected by sequestration. For example, we could be forced to cut back on base support services, facility maintenance, and maintenance of government owned family housing. Commissary hours might have to be reduced. Funds for the Defense Health Program, which provides health care for retirees and military dependents, would be sequestered, resulting in delays in payments to service providers and, potentially, some denial of service."
DoD outlines impact of 'irrational' budget cuts
Read the Full Story
Defense News, Rick Maze
An Obama administration decision to exempt military personnel programs from potential across-the-board budget cuts in January does not mean troops and their families would feel no impact from the budget process known as sequestration.
Senator Inouye to be keynote speaker at ALA Hawaii Conference:
Steve Rossetti, director of ALA Government Relations is pleased to announce that Sen. Dan Inouye, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee will be joining us at the Hawaii Conference as the keynote speaker on Tuesday, Aug. 21, at the conference business meeting. We will also be recognizing Sen. Dan Akaka for his years of service to our nation at the awards banquet to be held later that week.
This changes the formula for sequestration:
Obama exempts all military personnel from sequestration cuts
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The Hill, Jeremy Herb
President Barack Obama will exempt all military personnel accounts from the $500 billion in defense cuts under sequestration, the Obama administration said in a letter to Capitol Hill.
More on sequestration:
DoD sees 4 sequestration scenarios
Read the Full Story
Defense News, Marcus Weisgerber
Increasingly concerned that time is running out for the U.S. Congress to avoid $500 billion in automatic defense cuts, the Pentagon is assessing all options, including the possible implications of a one-year, $100 billion government-wide, "mini-sequester" deficit-reduction deal, Defense Department and industry sources said.
Pending defense cuts would hit hard, 3 senators warn
Read the Full Story
Fayetteville Observer, John Ramsey
Fayetteville's economy could be devastated if Congress doesn't reach a deal to avert the $500 billion reduction in federal defense spending scheduled to start in January.
Zients: Obama administration begins how-to analysis of cuts
Read the Full Story
Bloomberg Government, Nick Taborek and Roxana Tiron
The Obama administration is just beginning its analysis of how to implement $1.2 trillion in automatic budget reductions, the White House's top budget official plans to tell Congress tomorrow. (Subscription required)
Sequestration sets up Sept. 18 defense deadline
Read the Full Story
Bloomberg Government via Current Mil-Tech News, Kevin Brancato
The Pentagon would have to notify Congress on Sept. 18 of sequester-induced layoffs of some of the Defense Department's 764,682 civilian workers, said Frederick E. Vollrath, a Pentagon official responsible for personnel policy.
Avoiding a government shutdown:
Temporary funding deal announced
A few weeks ago we predicted Congress would again be relying on stopgap legislation to keep the government running through the first few months of the new fiscal year. Yesterday, lawmakers took a step toward making that forecast a reality when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, announced an "agreement in principle" to extend existing government funding through March of next year. The administration has purportedly blessed the plan as well.
Once written, the six month continuing resolution would keep government funding at its current levels unless formal appropriations have been enacted prior to the start of the new fiscal year. If accepted by Congress as a whole, it would help clear an extremely limited congressional calendar in September, allowing lawmakers an opportunity to attend to a rather long list of major issues (e.g., the FY 2013 National Defense Authorization Act).
Patrick B. Nixon
President, American Logistics Association
Congress helps Camp Lejeune families hurt by tainted water
McClatchy Newspapers Share
The day after Janey Ensminger would have celebrated her 36th birthday, the House of Representatives passed a historic bill in her honor that would help thousands of sick Marine veterans and their families who were exposed to contaminated water at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. More
Army's plans to relocate gear offer map to future roles
The New York Times Share
In a significant indication of where the Army anticipates it will be deployed over coming years, and what it will be doing there, the service is planning to relocate some of its vast overseas stores of combat equipment and alter the contents of other warehouse stocks to reflect the changing nature of the mission after the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. More
Brand-new transition classes start soon
Army Times Share
The 22-year-old Transition Assistance Program is getting a total makeover that aims to make the classes and workshops more helpful for troops leaving the military and entering a struggling civilian economy. (Subscription Required) More
Pentagon, Congress must break 'logjam' over Japan, Guam bases
AOL Defense Share
Senate Armed Services Committee leaders released a 100-plus-page report on the administration's Asia strategy today, including perhaps inadvertently four pages of comments from Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. More
US to mull more bombers, submarines for Pacific
Pentagon planners will consider adding bombers and attack submarines as part of a growing U.S. focus on security challenges in the Asia-Pacific, a senior Defense Department official said. More
US sets sights on Perth naval base
The Sydney Morning Herald Share
The presence of U.S. forces in Australia could be expanded dramatically under plans due to be presented to Congress today, including an option to base an entire U.S. aircraft carrier battle group at the country's largest naval base. More
McDonnell targets defense spending, but opposes automatic cuts
The Washington Times Share
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell says that defense spending must be reined in if Congress is serious about getting the nation's fiscal house in order but opposes the $500 billion in automatic defense cuts under last year's debt deal, warning they would weaken national security, kill jobs and devastate his state's defense industry. More
Claraview wins $16.8 million contract to support the Defense Commissary Agency
PRNewswire via MSN Money Share
Claraview, a division of Teradata TDC, a strategy and technology consultancy focused exclusively on business intelligence and analytic solutions, recently announced that it was awarded an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract by the Defense Information Systems Agency with an initial order valued at $16.8 million. Claraview will provide Data Management, Enterprise Data Warehouse and Business Intelligence lifecycle support services to the Defense Commissary Agency, which operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families. More
ConAgra to buy Unilever's North American frozen foods
ConAgra Foods Inc. struck a deal to buy Unilever Plc's North American frozen meal business for $265 million, adding the premium Bertolli and P.F. Chang's brands to its frozen foods portfolio. The deal, announced July 30, will be ConAgra's fifth bolt-on acquisition in the past year following its spurned effort to buy Ralcorp Holdings in 2011. More
Ethnic food flavors more beef dishes
Supermarket News Share
Consumers are turning away from bland beef preparations, instead embracing more flavors and ethnic foods at greater levels, according to recent research from the Beef Checkoff Program. Ethnic food categories experienced gains in appreciation by shoppers since the last time the Beef Checkoff polled consumers in 2005. More
Grocery stores, gas stations balking at the proposed swipe fee settlement
The Washington Post Share
The National Grocers Association recently became the latest group of retailers to reject a proposed settlement agreement to litigation over credit-card fees, and new data from Sageworks Inc., a financial information company, shows why some merchants might be more inclined to balk at the deal than others. More
Have you visited your discount grocery store lately?
The Christian Science Monitor Share
You probably can't get everything you need at a discount grocery store, but you can get most of your items for the week at a much lower price. Save the higher-end places for fresh produce and specialty items. More
The following commissary items were posted to the ALA Website as of 10 a.m., August 2, 2012.
DP #16, Update #2.
DP #17, Update #1, CONUS and Pacific Shipper & Promotion Quantities.
DP #18, Alaska Promotion & Shipper Quantities & Update #1.
Superbowl, Update #1.
September Mix N Match (Formerly Case Lot), Update #2.
Thanksgiving/Christmas – Baking, Update #1.
Thanksgiving/Christmas – Candy, Far East & Alaska Quantities.
Thanksgiving/Christmas – Holiday Ham, Update #1.
Thanksgiving/Christmas – Gift Packs, Update #1.
Thanksgiving/Christmas – Dry Grocery.
Winter Cocoa/Cider, Misc., Update #1.
Summer Club Pack, Update #3.
NOTICES TO TRADE
12-107, Feds Feed Families 2012.
DeCA FY 2012 June 12 Sales Information.
Adds/Changes/Deletes for Week 12-31.
Guard & Reserve On-Site Sale Schedule updates.
SAVE THE DATES
August 21–23, 2012: Hawaii Conference & Food Show. Registration is now open on the ALA Website.
Oct. 1–3, 2012: 65th Annual Convention, Omni Shoreham, Washington, D.C. Registration available on the website.
April 24–26, 2013: ALA Commissary Roundtable, Marriott Hotel, Richmond, Va.
Stores bulk up on appliances
The Wall Street Journal Share
The housing market remains sluggish and many consumers still aren't splurging, but a growing number of retailers are trying to lure shoppers into stores with restaurant-grade stove tops and ruby-red washing machines. Store chains are escalating their competition to sell appliances because many shoppers still prefer to buy the bulky products in person, making them somewhat immune from showrooming, the trend of consumers trying out merchandise in shops only to purchase it online. (Subscription required.) More
Goodyear commits to hiring 1,000 US military veterans
During a July 27 media event at Goodyear's corporate headquarters in Akron, Ohio, the tire-maker said it plans to hire 1,000 U.S. armed forces veterans over the next three years through its partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Hiring Our Heroes program. The Hiring 500,000 Heroes campaign, which launched March 28, aims to find jobs for 500,000 armed forces veterans and military spouses by year-end 2014. The program plans to host 400 hiring fairs in 2012 alone. More
Why teens snub online retail
Smart Money Share
For the modern American teen, it may be easier to buy a beer at a corner grocery store than a book on Amazon.com. Too young for credit or debit cards, the generation that grew up online still can't really shop there. Of the $200 billion the nation's 30 million teens spend each year, just a fraction of purchases are made online, says Dan Coates, president of New York-based YPulse.com marketing. The main obstacle? Just 6%percent of teens have credit cards, according to SurveyU.com. "For online retailers, teens remain a massive untapped market," he says. More
J.C. Penney to change pricing structure again
Chain Store Age Share
J.C. Penney recently said it is once again tweaking its pricing structure, changing course just six months after introducing a three-tiered everyday pricing strategy. The retailer said that, beginning Aug. 1, it will eliminate one of the tiers and bring back the word "clearance." To avoid the kind of confusion the company created last February when it changed pricing without properly communicating the new strategies with its customers, Penney said it will tweak its advertising to make sure the changes are clear to consumers. More
Army Wife Network signature conference 'Love Military Life' fall tour seeks sponsors
Army Wife Network, the social networking leader of Army spouses, has joined forces with Forts Riley and Leavenworth, Kansas and Gold Sponsor USAA to present their signature conference series Field Exercise: Love Military Life to Fort Riley (Sept. 20-21) and Fort Leavenworth (Nov. 8-9) this fall. Created by AWN cofounders Crooks & Henderson, Field Exercise events aim to empower and rejuvenate our military. More
Big-box shrinkage: Retailers embrace sales on a smaller scale
While the big-box retail model is far from dead, stores such as Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Cabela's are realizing that the enormous, one-size-fits-all approach doesn't work for all shoppers—nor all locations. To grow, many retailers are shrinking, sometimes with smaller stores, sometimes by introducing smaller, more intimate and approachable locations within larger stores. More
Growth in US slows as consumers restrain spending
The world's largest economy cooled in the second quarter as limited job growth prompted Americans to curb spending while state and local governments cut back. Gross domestic product, the value of all goods and services produced, rose at a 1.5 percent annual rate after a revised 2 percent gain in the prior quarter, Commerce Department data showed today in Washington. Household purchases, which account for about 70 percent of GDP, grew at the slowest pace in a year. More
McDonald's tops list of best QSRs
CSNews Foodservice Share
McDonald's remains the top quick-service restaurant, topping QSR Magazine's list of the bets QSR brands for the second year in a row. The chain increased its domestic sales by nearly $2 billion over the previous year, and nearly tripled the sales of its closest competitor. More
Top 10 back-to-school trends for 2012
Retail's BIG Blog Share
The tardy bell will be ringing sooner than we know it. Parents, children and retailers have one thing on their minds: back-to-school shopping. According to the National Retail Federation, combined K-12 and college spending will reach a record $83.8 billion. That's quite a few colored pencils and new backpacks. More
Wal-Mart surges as economy sputters
Bloomberg Businessweek Share
Remember that old bit about watching out for falling prices? Well, shares of Wal-Mart Stores hit an all-time high of $74.80 on July 27, having recently pierced levels they haven't visited since 1999. Wal-Mart's high, which comes on its 50th anniversary, speaks volumes about the economy and market. More
MCX availability date and carrier appointments
Dear valued business partner,
When requesting routing through the Vendor Logistics Portal shippers are required to enter the shipments availability date. This date is defined as the date the goods will be ready for carrier pickup. Shippers are allowed to release goods up to one business day prior to this date and no later than one business day after this date. Failure to release the goods no later than one business day after the availability date will result in a late shipment non-compliance fee charged to the vendor.
Additionally shippers are required to have all cartons and paperwork ready upon scheduled carrier pickup, refusing the carrier or canceling the pickup without 24 hour's notice because goods are not ready will result in a failed pickup fee charged to the vendor.
To modify the availability date or to cancel a carrier pickup appointment, contact Landair at 866-404-8517 or email@example.com.
Please know that MCX works with all of our vendors and understands that mistakes occur, but we have to imply fees when our procedures and policies are not followed and it creates an increased work load for our business partners and staff.
As a reminder our freight guidance (located at www.usmc-mccs.org/shipping), states that we may charge up to $200 for non-compliance issues per incidence.
MCX HQ Logistics and Communications
Personal & Family Readiness Division
3044 Catlin Ave.
Quantico, VA 22134
Exchange shoppers fall into savings with the Autumn 2012 Shopping Guide
Goodfellow Air Force Base Share
Money is tight these days, so Exchange buyers and vendors have bundled up great product selection and pricing to better serve shoppers' home and family needs with a new quarterly Online Shopping Guide for Autumn 2012. Available online at shopmyexchange.com and in-store at brick and mortar Exchanges, top brands and great prices abound within the Autumn 2012 Online Shopping Guide's 200 pages. More
ALA Exchange E-Blast week 8/3/12
ALA Executive Briefing July 27, 2012
AAFES Sales Flyers to view click below:
View our latest market surveys.
Hawaii Conference and Food Show update:
Sen. Dan Inouye is confirmed as our "Keynote" speaker on Tuesday, Aug. 21, from 11–11:30 a.m., and following this, he will join us for lunch. Also joining us in the morning for welcome remarks are Congresswomen Mazie Hirono and Colleen Hanabusa; we will have a representative from Sen. Dan Akaka's office as well.
DMM Loretta Lambert is retiring, and Tuesday will be her last day on the job.
Have news to share?:
Save the dates:
August 21–23, 2012 (See update above) Hawaii Conference & Food Show, Hawaii Prince Hotel, Honolulu
Oct. 1-3, 2012 65th Annual Convention, OMNI Shoreham Hotel, Washington, D.C.
Go to: www.ALA-National.org, sign in and CHECK OUT the information.
GSA formally announces Davie as acting FAS commissioner
Federal Computer Week Share
The General Services Administration formally announced July 30, that Mary Davie, assistant Federal Acquisition Service commissioner for Integrated Technology Services, will temporarily take over as acting FAS commissioner. More
Resale system's blind hiring nets alliance boost
Satellite Spotlight Share
The National Industries for the Blind has announced that it is joining the Coalition to Save Our Military Shopping Benefits. NIB made the move in recognition of the job generation efforts of the resale programs in support of the blind. The organization said it has joined the Coalition as a "Valued Associate" in the Coalition's effort to advance the savings and job creating benefits of the military resale system. NIB provides aid in job placement for veterans whose injuries have led to blindness and is an employer of the blind in the U.S. More
Schools receive $2.5 million grant
Public schools in Virginia Beach received a $2.5 million grant to support military-connected students and their families, as well as fund math and science education. According to Yolana Jones-Howell with Virginia Beach City Public Schools, the grant will fund counseling programs, development programs and a K-12 science, technology, engineering and mathematics support program. More
No fly zone
Star Tribune Share
The 1,500 flies buzzing fiercely in Staci Johnston's laboratory at Ecolab Inc. are just as happy laying eggs in rotten food or manure as they are dive-bombing somebody's dinner. "That's why we call them filth flies," the Ecolab technologist recently told a tour group. But the St. Paul-based company has come up with a high-tech, surreptitious tool to rid restaurants, grocers and hospitals of these invasive, bacteria-carrying pests. It unveiled its Stealth Fly Station at the National Restaurant Show in May, where the company stunned audiences with the device's ability to quickly eradicate flies within minutes. More
US Army bolsters Team USA at London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games
U.S. Army Share
The U.S. Army is sending its largest group of athletes and coaches to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Fourteen Soldier-athletes, four coaches and two Army spouses will represent the United States in a variety of sports at the Games. More
Air Force Personnel Center Services Directorate announces the winners of the 2011 Air Force Club Membership Scholarship
Air Force Clubs Share
HQ Air Force Services Agency announces the winners of the 2011 Air Force Club Membership Scholarship program. Twenty-five individuals were selected from a total of 105 submissions; each winner is to receive a $1,000.00 scholarship. Congratulations to all the winners and thanks to all participants for an extremely well done job. More
Navy MWR/news service
USS Ramage returns home
Navy's commitment to renewable energy takes the nation's center stage
Bold Alligator 2012 to revitalize amphibious operations