Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Solving the Procurement Puzzle

I started at Lockheed-Georgia in 1951
By Willie K.

I participated in implementing procurement and in furnishing parts for the B-29 modification, all models of the C-130, C-141 modification and the C-5. I began my employment with Lockheed-Georgia in mid-May 1951. I retired some 33 years later.

I was in the materiel division, with approximately equal time between material requirements and material control. The material requirements department determined which parts were to be purchased as finished parts and which were to be fabricated in plant and which raw materials would be required for fabrication. During my time in material control, I dealt primarily with purchased parts. All versions of the C-130 did not use identical parts because the different aircraft versions served different purposes.

Material control determined the quantity of parts to be ordered and the schedules when they were needed, then prepared the request to purchase form, which authorized the buyer in the purchasing department to initiate procurement. Material control and the purchasing department worked together very closely, especially on major procurement items, such as engines and propellers, and other very expensive parts. The buyer handling procurement of the engines and propellers was Dave Fish, who has passed away since my retirement.

When parts were received and stocked, material control authorized release of parts to the using department. Periodically, a count of parts on hand in stores and those released to the control cribs, together with which ships on which installation had been made, were reconciled with computer records, similar to the manner in which we reconcile our bank statements. This prevented loss or mishandling.

I was in frequent contact with multiple buyers regarding the parts they were procuring. Our relationships were cooperative. I am now 82 years old. Regretfully, my memory regarding names has faded.

Early in 1967, one buyer, Paul, came to ask a question regarding one of the parts he was buying. That contact eventually led to a marriage proposal and wedding. On September 1, 1967, we were married, and we have now happily celebrated our 45th wedding anniversary.

I am appreciative and thankful for the years at Lockheed-Georgia.