Outsourcing market research in Department of Defense commodity acquisition: the issues, concerns, an dprivate industry capabilities
Skubic, Michelle Coyne.
Barnard, James M.
Lamm, David V.
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This thesis investigates the role of market research in Department of Defense commodities acquisition. It examines the feasibility of outsourcing market research functions in this acquisition arena, focusing on which elements of market research would be most practicable to outsource, and what capacity exists in private industry to provide market research services for the Federal acquisition environment. Given the reduction in the defense acquisition workforce, budgetary constraints, and emphasis on acquisition reform, effective market research significantly enhances optimal use of available resources. However, general consensus among defense acquisition professionals is that market research is not conducted as effectively as possible due to limitations of time, training and management attention. While legislation has directed the use of market research for multiple aspects of the acquisition cycle, to include requirements development, maximization of competition, source selection, and emulation of better business practices, market research skills vary among DoD acquisition personnel, as does appreciation for its value as a management tool. The conclusion is that while there are issues and concerns to be addressed when considering outsourcing market research, private industry does offer a viable alternative for conducting market research functions in DoD commodity acquisitions.
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