12/7/98: Warner Robins Team Wins Hammer Award for Streamlining Sole Source Acquisitions




A team at Warner Robins Air Logistics Center at Robins AFB Georgia and their outside partners received a Hammer Award for developing an eight-step procurement process that can be used in any sole source acquisition. The streamlined process will save both time and money.

The Joint 8-Step Streamlined Acquisition Integrated Process Team (IPT) received Vice President Gore's prestigious Hammer Award in a ceremony at the Pentagon on December 7, 1998. Bob Stone, the Vice President's National Partnership for Reinventing Government Energizer-in-Chief, made the presentation.

Meet the Team
The new process was developed by a joint government/prime contractor IPT led by the Specialized Management Directorate at Warner Robins. It was supported by members from the High Speed Anti-Radiation Missile Targeting System (HTS) Program Office, Air Armament Center, Eglin AFB, Florida, and Raytheon Corporation's HTS Product Development Team. The team improved the process for acquiring products and services for Air Force programs from sole source contractors in the noncompetitive environment. Most of the previous procurement reforms related to competitive processes.

How the Team Streamlined the Process The Eight-Step process featured:

  1. A total joint government/contractor process from the beginning of acquisition planning
  2. Early and extensive user/customer involvement
  3. Online electronic communications and shared databases that facilitates team building and reduces/eliminates Contract Data Requirements List deliverables (CDRLs)
  4. Mutual trust and open communication to foster teamwork
  5. Continual review of government and contractor processes in a team environment means "out of the box" thinking becomes the norm
  6. Early involvement of senior government and contractor management fosters positive feedback such that overall direction of the acquisition is much easier
  7. Joint process keeps all parties focused on the customer's minimum requirements
Results People Care About
The streamlined process reduced acquisition cycle times from an average of 120 days down to 30 to 50 days. It generated direct cost savings well in excess of $2 million, with an estimated life cycle cost savings in the tens of millions of dollars. The time saving translates to the warfighter obtaining higher quality products in far less time. The process vastly improves long-term relationship between the contractor and the government. An environment often consisting of mistrust and conflict is replaced with a team-based, "win-win" attitude emphasizing open, honest communication and mutual trust.

The streamlined process established a benchmark for sole source procurement. It has been successfully used on several major Air Force depot repair and sustainment efforts. Air Force and contractor senior leadership has lauded the team's success. The process is as an Air Force Acquisition Reform success story, and has been designated as a Air Force Material Command Best Practice.

For More Information
Vice President Gore's Hammer Awards

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