Services Supply Chain in the Department of Defense: Comparison and Analysis of Acquisition Management in the Army, Navy, and Air Force

Report Number: NPS-AM-10-051

Series: Contract Management

Category: Services Contracting

Report Series: Proceedings Paper

Authors: Aruna Apte, Uday M. Apte, Rene G. Rendon

Title: Services Supply Chain in the Department of Defense: Comparison and Analysis of Acquisition Management in the Army, Navy, and Air Force

Published: 2010-04-01

Sponsored By: Acquisition Research Program

Status: Published--Unlimited Distribution

Research Type: NPS Faculty

Full Text URL: http://acquisitionresearch.net/files/FY2010/NPS-AM-10-051.pdf

Keywords: Service Supply Chain, Services Acquisition, Service Lifecycle, Contract Management, Project Management, Program Management

Abstract:

This paper presents the results of our empirical studies of current management practices in services acquisition in the Army, Navy, and Air Force. The primary objective of these studies was to develop a comprehensive understanding of how services acquisition is being managed within, as well as across, individual military services. In these empirical studies, we developed and deployed a Web-based survey to collect primary data. Specifically, we studied the current management practices in such areas as contract characteristics, and acquisition management methods including regional- or installation-level acquisition, use of project management approach, acquisition leadership and ownership of requirements. We also studied other program management issues such as scope and ability of personnel responsible for acquisition, adequacy of acquisition billets and their fill rates, and training provided to services acquisition personnel. We found that for the most part the services contracts awarded and administered conformed to our expectation. For example, most service contracts are competitively bid, fixed-priced awards with a minimal use of any type of contract incentives. The survey data also confirmed that the Navy uses regional approach in services acquisition, while the Army and the Air Force use installation-level approach. These differences, in turn, appear to be having important implications for other acquisition management practices such as the use of project management and contract surveillance. One surprising finding of the study was that the project teams are often led by the contracting officer as opposed to a formally designated project manager responsible for the overall service project success. Finally, the survey respondents indicated that the number of authorized staff positions for services acquisition was inadequate and, furthermore, that the existing billets were inadequately filled. The analysis and comparison of management practices in different military services was used as the basis to develop, and report in this paper, our preliminary recommendations for improving the management of services supply chain in the Department of Defense. Keywords: Service Supply Chain, Services Acquisition, Service Lifecycle, Contract Management, Project Management, Program Management