BES simplifies acquisition learning curve

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- Being an acquisition professional is challenging – the stakes are high and answers to what may be simple questions are often buried beneath a mountain of rules and regulations governing the field.


In an effort to make acquisition professionals more efficient and effective, the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Business and Enterprise Systems Directorate has developed a process that will consolidate hundreds of pages of acquisition guidance and allow Defense Business Systems acquisition professionals to quickly access information they need to support their programs.


“The BES Acquisition Process is important because it simplifies a multi-functional complex process to the extent our most junior airman can understand, yet it is critically useful for the most experience acquisition personnel,” Kevin Hamilton the chief of the BES Acquisition Support Division said.  “In addition it ensures more than 2,300 BES personnel at all 4 geographical locations follow a single but tailorable acquisition process.  Thus, allowing for succinct strategy assessment and quick decision making, which leads to reduced cycle time in delivering warfighter capabilities.”


The BES Acquisition Process Guide is comprised of three graphically illustrated charts which, provides acquisition professionals a quick step-by-step or map on how to take a set of requirements and move them to contract award within 12 months, averaging less than 110 days from the request for proposal to contract award.


The new process applies to Acquisition Category III and Sustainment, Defense Business System programs.  


Included in this new process is the Contract Award Schedule Tool, which assists acquisition professionals in planning, scheduling and delivering timely contract and task order awards. CAST also serves as a mechanism that provides a quick computation and analysis of the acquisition schedule and schedule status. CAST provides visibility into upcoming acquisitions so that functional support, legal, contracting, finance, etc., are aware and can manage upcoming workload preventing bottlenecks getting to contract award.


Hamilton said that the CAST improves the organization’s ability to provide consistency with regards to developing and projecting schedules for contract awards.  He also said that the tool allows junior acquisition folks to know what is expected of them to move from requirements definition to contract award.