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Make or Buy: An Analysis of the Impacts of 3D Printing Operations, 3D Laser Scanning Technology, and Collaborative Product Lifecycle Management on Ship Maintenance and Modernization Cost Savings

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Technical Report

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Naval Postgraduate School Monterey United States

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The Naval Postgraduate School NPS conducted a trade-off analysis of in-sourcing versus outsourcing parts for ship maintenance and modernization with a focus on cost savings given the importance of strategic sourcing in cost-effective sustainment costs. The purpose of the study was to create the needed makebuy comparison for implementing 3DLST and 3DP for US Navy fleet maintenance and upgrading. In particular, cost estimates of in-sourcing and outsourcing were developed and the impact of in-sourcing on fleet readiness assessed. The results have several significant implications for fleet maintenance and modernization practice. The finding of significant potential savings with in-sourcing suggests that the three technologies have created a potential shift in the optimal acquisition modes for fleet parts. Based on the Rand model of in-sourcing and outsourcing acquisition, as the costs of producing few more different types of parts e.g., simple vs complex and frequent vs. rare drop with the new technologies, the Navy will be able to capture more benefits by in-sourcing more parts.

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