Lockheed Martin Stresses Cooperative Initiatives as Key To Acquisition Reform Savings
FORT WORTH, Texas, May 11th, 1998 -- Lockheed Martin and the local Department of Defense management have instituted reforms that have provided $10 million in savings on current contracts and are nearing an additional $10 million in reductions applied to future contracts.
These accomplishments are part of the highlights that are being briefed on site, in Washington, D.C., and across the country as part of the Department of Defense 1998 Acquisition Reform Week.
This is the third year the DoD has featured Acquisition Reform Week. In 1995, DoD announced the Single Process Initiative that provided the means to accomplish significant process improvements and achieve cost reductions across the industry. The purpose of the Single Process Initiative is to allow defense contractors to migrate toward a single common process within a single manufacturing facility. With one modification, a single process can be implemented for all contracts both present and future, within the facility. Both industry and the government are participating in a range of activities to share information and suggest improvements for the future.
"Today's environment demands that we closely scrutinize the way we operate and make changes that will provide funds for our future defense through savings we can achieve today," said Kathy Eppers, the Director of Acquisition Reform Initiatives at Lockheed Martin Tactical Aircraft Systems (Lockheed Martin Tactical Aircraft Systems). Processes that have been in place for years cannot continue to remain in place just because that it is the way it has always been done. This is a new era for the defense industry and everything must be put on the table, processes scrutinized, and open communication encouraged to achieve the maximum amount of savings while continuing to build quality defense systems for the security of our nation. We cannot accomplish this in isolation, but must act in partnership with our customers."
Lockheed Martin and its Defense Contract Management Command Office formed a Joint Management Council (DCMC) to carry out this mission in early 1997. In the last two years, the JMC at Lockheed Martin Tactical Aircraft Systems has been recognized as a Best Practice by the Department of Defense and the Lockheed Martin Corporation. It also received the DoD's award for technical innovation for implementing acquisition reform initiatives in 1997.
The savings that have been achieved have been the result of 19 separate contract modifications. These modifications have been derived from a broad spectrum of areas which include process changes from manufacturing, business and administration and quality control. The Lockheed Martin Tactical Aircraft Systems JMC has recognized the role of subcontractors in acquisition reform efforts as well. In 1997, the Fort Worth JMC became the first in industry to implement a subcontractor enabling clause single process initiative (SPI), and has continued efforts to increase savings by encouraging subcontractors to propose more efficient commercial processes.
"The key to successful changes is letting the people who actually perform the work get involved, whether it's employees on the factory floor, on the other side of town or across the country," said Eppers. "We have no restrictions of access to ideas for change."
This open approach and the success it has achieved has led to members of the Lockheed Martin Tactical Aircraft Systems JMC being invited to speak throughout the country on the issue of acquisition reform. The Fort Worth site also has been selected as one of the pilot sites for two key DoD initiatives: the Integrated Digital Environment Pilot Site Initiative and the Paperless Contracting/Multi-Service Initiative for the year 2000.