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June 07, 2013

Note from a Professional Reviewer #1 - think REALLY hard about whether it's worth it to maintain multiple file formats within your organization as it doesn't speak well for your "system".

I put system in quotes because different file formats and templates maintained in one organization is a big symptom of an unreliable system. 

Working definition of system - a standardized set of policies and procedures that processes data input into reliable, predictable output. 

If the look, feel and formation of the files differ depending on which internal division it comes out of, your purchasing system is not reliable. In fact, you may actually have multiple "systems" operating from a DCMA perspective. In the article I have coming out in CM Magazine I call this the "Deference to Preference" - management allowing divisions to dictate uniqueness in what should be an enterprise-wide system for no reason other than one group or another wants to do things differently (I'm not this harsh in my explanation of the term in the article :) This may not seem like a big deal to the casual observer, but it tells a reviewer that (a) the Procurement organization is splintered; and/or (b) Operational units have final say in how their orders are processed. 

If you have short lead times, small competitive percentages, weak SSJs and price analyses, a noticeable number of unauthorized commitments and/or public law compliance holes to go along with your splintered system, you will not pass a CPSR. 

Seriously. You won't pass. Simple as that. Not anymore. You could sweet talk your way around those recommendations with a good working relationship with the CPSR team lead and an aggressive CAP back in the day (re: pre-2009), but that's simply not the case in the new review environment.