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Vol. LVIII, No. 5
March 10, 2006

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Dock Management Services Found Effective

The loading dock management services introduced last year by the Division of Property Management in the Office of Research Facilities are improving building security and employee safety in NIH facilities in the Washington area and on the Poolesville and Montana campuses. Prior to the Dock Material Management (DMM) program, NIH buildings did not have an integrated loading dock program; now there is oversight of loading docks in many locations. Through a partnership with the NIH Police, the DMM program also expands security.

Institutes and centers in more than 40 buildings have elected to use DMM services. According to project officer Kenny Windsor, the number is growing. Currently, the DMM program handles an average of 37,000 packages a month. The program puts a dock manager and team at the loading dock to track all materials going into and out of the building. Dock personnel deliver individual packages to the addressee, scanning the recipient's ID using technology similar to that used by FedEx and UPS. Dock personnel will temporarily store materials when the recipient is not available and they maintain the appearance of the dock area. On a fee-for-service basis, managers will arrange for after-hours access to the loading dock for office moves, construction projects and special deliveries.

A customer survey conducted last fall found a high level of satisfaction with the program. Of the 2,622 respondents, 70 percent gave all services a rating between 8 and 10 on a scale of 10, with satisfaction scoring highest among most frequent users. Windsor is pleased with the survey results and plans improvements.

Enhanced security is another feature of the program. DMM personnel track, store and deliver materials, verifying the ID of each delivery driver. They also check all NIH property passes for people moving equipment through the loading dock; control pedestrian traffic through the loading dock; maintain shipping documentation; refuse receipt of suspicious packages and manage parking in the dock area.

DMM services are available on request to all facilities nationwide in which NIH is the only tenant. More detailed information about services and costs is available online at