Boeing has cut in half the amount of time required to review supplier proposals by using acquisition reform initiatives on its information, space and defense systems (ISDS) programs. In addition, the new process provides a means for suppliers to share initiatives across industry.
The new integrated process will be introduced May 4 at the start of the DOD's third annual Acquisition Reform Week. Under the process, proposals are reviewed within 90 days and run parallel with DOD reviews.
"Our goal is to make it a lot easier for suppliers to do business with Boeing and to give our suppliers a means to learn from each other's successes," said Bill Stowers, Boeing vice president and general manager, and leader of the ISDS Supplier Management Council. "This process will help us promote acquisition reform initiatives throughout the supplier base where the real power of these initiatives is just beginning to be realized."
Under the new review process, suppliers submit proposals to a single point of contact within Boeing. Supplier managers then coordinate all the necessary company reviews. Previously, suppliers submitted requests to each of the Boeing programs affected by the proposal and did the coordination themselves. The review cycle was taking as long as 180 days.
In addition, general, non-competitive information about approved proposals will go into a database to be shared within Boeing and with other Boeing suppliers. Suppliers will get feedback on declined proposals.
"Our suppliers are making great success in reducing product cost and improving quality," Stowers said. "We want our entire Boeing team, including other suppliers, to learn from these achievements."
Boeing also has initiated discussions with other prime contractors about development of industry standards for reviewing supplier acquisition reform proposals, also known as single process initiatives. These proposals call for single or common processes to be adopted on various government contracts.
"Our suppliers are often suppliers to other contractors," Stowers said. "They say it would help them greatly if there was a common approach to expediting their proposals. So we are trying to simplify business procedures even further."
The new integrated review process is the first of several initiatives to be implemented by the Supplier Management Council for the newly consolidated Boeing Information, Space & Defense Systems businesses.
"Our goal is for Boeing to be the 'preferred' customer of our suppliers," Stowers said. "We are developing a number of initiatives to strengthen the partnership we have with these very important members of our Boeing family."