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Defence to automate supplier evaluation system

by Katrina Elkington •
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The Defence Materiel Organisation (Defence DMO) will automate the system used to record and evaluate supplier performance, as the accuracy and efficiency of the current system has failed to meet the agency’s requirements.

Defence DMO has issued a request for tender (RFT) for the upgrade of the agency’s Company ScoreCard System.

The agency plans to automate the system used to monitor, assess, record and report the performance of DMO contractors, providing a more flexible system response and enhancing user access, data capture, data categorisation and allocation of category weightings.

The automation will also allow more effective subsequent analysis using the Automated ScoreCard Analysis and Reporting System (ASAARS).

Vendors are likely to encounter increasing numbers of these performance evaluation systems when trading within government, especially within the IT Services component of the market.  A two-way process where agencies rate contractors and contractors rate agencies has been slated to form part of the Whole of Government IT Services Panel (WISP), set to be established by AGIMO in the near future.

According to tender documents, the current ScoreCard System has been in production for several years and is considered to be of significant value to both Defence and industry. However, the System has several flaws which have led to avoidable inefficiency.

“The management of the current Company and 360°ScoreCard Programs Feedback and Reporting system is a combination of manual and software systems supported processes that will need to be integrated and updated to meet current needs, and also improve efficiency and effectiveness,” DMO says in the tender’s supporting documents.

For example, the current procedure for industry stakeholder management and the preparation and distribution of 360° reports requires a risk-intensive and high-level of manual processing.  Similarly, forced reliance on the Microsoft Access product has resulted in many commercial participants being unable to engage in the program, with alternative data capture and supply methods significantly increasing the possibility of data corruption due to manual intervention.

The automated solution aims to address these issues through the development of a system which promotes more efficient business processes and workflow, as well as supporting the division’s managerial reporting obligations.   

Key characteristics of the automated ScoreCard solution will include:

  • An innovative and easily maintained approval and hierarchical workflow structure;
  • A robust, automatic workflow notification milestone and progression capability;
  • Improved business and system processes;
  • Integration with and maximum use of existing Defence investment in the Defence ePortal, including establishing a one-stop-shop concept for industry dealing with DMO; providing a single sign-on for industry interacting with DMO Commercial Group Programs and ensuring a high level of accuracy of company contact information required for use in the ScoreCard Program;
  • Provision of a facility to securely publish finalised ScoreCard Reports;
  • Improved data integrity and minimised instances of re-keying and data omission by providing company personnel involved in the Program access to the system;
  • Reduced burden on ScoreCard system administrators by providing access to a suite of standard reports;
  • Ability for authorised company users to access a suite of standard reports;
  • Improved ability to develop and generate ad-hoc reports;
  • Provision of innovative and easy to follow help for all processes;
  • Provision of easy access to documents containing rating assessment guidelines for both company and DMO users;
  • Scalable to allow or additional functionality to be added or removed with minimal costs to keep up with government policy changes;
  • High level of change management, focusing on user experience and necessary training; and
  • A well-designed training package, including ‘train the trainer’, ‘train the administrator’ and ‘train the user’.

The ScoreCard program provides the Government with feedback on company contract performance within the Australian Defence industry every six months, and is a key component of Defence’s Strategic Reform Program, which seeks to promote a culture of continuous improvement and innovation.

Within the same RFT, Defence DMO has signalled its intention to procure an automated grants management system to support its Skilling Australia’s Defence Industry (SADI) and Priority Industry Capabilities (PIC) programs.

SADI provides reimbursement for authorised defence industry training costs incurred by registered companies under the terms of their agreement, while PIC identifies and funds programs related to strategically important industry capabilities. Both are currently managed through a manual system of processes, which will be automated under the RFT to increase efficiency and effectiveness.

The single tender for both of these components closes 1 July 2011.


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Defence deploys procurement reforms to protect budget bottom-line

Defence kicks off Internet Gateway Reduction Program

A share of $340 million up for grabs as Defence embarks on journey to transform supplier relations

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