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Using a Spend Analysis to Help Identify Prospective Air Force Purchasing and Supply Management Initiatives. Summary of Selected Findings

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Best purchasing and supply management PSM practices as identified by academic and business literature and professional organizations offer many ways by which the Air Force can improve performance and save money by improving the management of existing resources, thereby freeing funds for other priorities. Such techniques include consolidating multiple contracts, particularly sole-source contracts, with existing providers, selecting the best providers and offering them longer contracts with broader scopes of goods and services, and working with selected strategic partners to improve quality, responsiveness, reliability, and cost. Because of the success that leading commercial firms have had improving their purchasing and supply management, the Air Force asked RAND to help it identify opportunities to apply best PSM practices. A first step toward knowing which PSM practices to use in any particular purchasing situation is to conduct a spend analysis, or an analysis of expenditures along dimensions such as type of commodity or service and suppliers, numbers of contracts and expenditures, and other variables showing how current money is spent on goods and services. Private firms place high importance on such analyses 80 percent of supply chain executives in a recent survey view a spend analysis as very important or critical to the success of their enterprise Aberdeen, 2002. A spend analysis can help enterprises improve their purchasing practices in the areas where they are likely to produce the greatest benefit. This documented briefing summarizes a high-level analysis of Air Force spending and suggests some activities the Air Force may wish to review, revise, or improve in its purchasing and supply management. There are many challenges to conducting an Air Force wide spend analysis, primarily the lack of detailed, centralized data on all expenditures as well as questions about data quality for those data that are available.

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  • Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies

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