Use of information technology tools in source selection decision making: a study on USAF's KC-X Tanker Replacement Program
Heath, Susan K.
Petross, Diana F.
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The source selection phase in government acquisitions is so complicated in nature because it involves multicriteria decision making that is supposed to respond to various requirements and subjectivity is usually inevitable in this kind of a decision making process. The purpose of this project is to demonstrate how the USAF's current source selection method (color rating method) is incompetent in showing small differences between proposed products, how this inadequacy leads to subjective decisions, and that the use of information technology tools can augment objectivity in this process. In this study, USAF's KC-X Tanker Replacement Program has been selected as the program to be used to frame the research questions. Two models with two versions built on Microsoft Excel spreadsheets using publicly available KC-X program data are used to compare the USAF's color rating method and weighted sum method, which is a multi-criteria decision making tool. It is presented that if the USAF had used the weighted sum method as its evaluation method, the winner of the KC-X program could have been different. The findings prove that the color rating method is not capable of reflecting small differences and information technology tools can help decision makers choose the best value offeror with less subjectivity.
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