Components of Acquisition Process
The Acquiry acquisition of new technology involves more than just finding the appropriate technology candidates. It is also about identifying the drivers of technology adoption, finding cost-effective models for implementation, and evaluating the impact of new technologies on business. These components of the acquisition include the Acquisition Technology Research (ATR), which is an analysis conducted before an acquisition. The purpose of this research is to determine how the technologies match up with company strategy, vision, and business. This analysis also identifies areas where there is a gap between the acquisition candidate’s strategies and business needs. The key components of the acquisition process therefore are to identify the technology goals and the drivers of technology needs, and to develop the plans to acquire those technologies and driven them to meet the organizational requirements.
Another key component of the process is technology development. Here the process focuses on how the acquired technologies fit with the organizational culture, what types of processes and procedures need to be in place to make use of the technologies, and how to standardize the use of the technologies. Components of technology development include process definition, assessment of the process, the specification of the process, implementation, testing and any maintenance, as well as regulatory consultation. Many a time the acquisition process involves a combination of these three components.
Components of the acquisition process also include Modifications to the acquirable, whether it is a technology or a process. One important way to describe this is to say that modifications are what you do on an existing process in order to make it better. For instance, if you want to make your manufacturing process more efficient so that you can reduce the cost of production, you may consider different processes and modifications to make your process more productive.
Another component is that of a project manager. This person is responsible for driving the acquisition activities and also for bringing together the people who will be involved in the process, namely the prospective clients, suppliers, and the various technologies that are being used. Project management in the context of a warship acquisition project involves ensuring that enough funds are available to be spent and that there are no delays in getting the warship built.
A third component is that of an open systems concept. In simple terms, this would mean that the acquisition ship is given a “newness” rating before any of the components of the acquisition are decided upon. For example, if the United States Navy was interested in procuring a number of new nuclear-powered fast patrol boats, it would first put forth a request for proposals from commercial ship builders in order to determine how many of each of these ships could be produced, how quickly these ships could be put to work, etc. Once a suitable commercial ship was found, then the process of negotiation and bidding for the contract would commence.
As you can see from the list above, components of acquisition are critical to the overall success of the procurement activities. If these components of the acquisition were not available or if the process was too complicated, then the procurement budget would be limited and therefore constrained in its ability to procure modern ships and weaponry for our Navy and Marine Corps. To date, the three most critical components of acquisition are (a) a clear definition of the requirements, (b) a determination of the lowest priced source, and (c) a method for a competitive price. This last component is perhaps the most difficult of the three, because it involves a rigorous process of price comparison across numerous vendors, which leads many people to call this the hardest component of the process. To make sure that this last component of the process is not weakened in the next few years as a result of emerging threats and expensive upgrades, it is important that this process remains very competitive.