Air Force stresses strategy over IT
- By James Cope
- Oct 23, 2000
Setting up a new electronic procurement system for the Air Force "isn't
about tools, IT, hot links or cool sites," Brig. Gen. Stanley Sieg said
in a briefing to government contractors last week.
Instead, he added, it's about a procurement strategy that uses information
technology to facilitate paperless purchasing, speed delivery of equipment
to support Air Force missions and save taxpayers money. Sieg was speaking
at the InfoTech 2000 conference in Dayton, Ohio.
Sieg is the new director of contracting for the Air Force Materiel Command
at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton. The day after taking the
post two months ago, he was assigned the monumental task of planning what's
essentially an electronic-business program for the Air Force.
Many enterprise resource planning vendors have tried to sell their wares
to the Air Force, Sieg said. He stressed that although he's all for off-the-shelf
applications instead of designing an electronic-procurement system from
scratch, it would be a mistake to buy and implement a program without a
strategy that sets a context for that system's use.
Sieg said the new electronic-procurement plan, which hasn't been finalized,
will be sent up the chain of command for approval before the end of the
Traditionally, he said, procurement has been a serial process made up
of soliciting, awarding and managing vendor contracts. In this approach,
he noted, "what's measured is the number of pages [of the contract]."
The endgame for electronic procurement, according to Sieg, won't be
just the promise of delivery, but physical delivery of the right material
at the right time and at less cost.
"The idea is to get the airplane part to the guy who turns the wrench
to install it, so the pilot who flies it can fulfill a mission," Sieg said.
He called the concept a "value-chain" approach to procurement, and said
being a fast follower of existing technologies — instead of inventing new
ones — was key to implementing an electronic-procurement plan in a timely
If approved, the electronic-procurement plan would be rolled out over
three years, Sieg said.
Distributed by IDG News Service.