Innovating the standard procurement system utilizing intelligent agent technologies
Fowler, David N.
Nissen, Mark E.
Smith, David A.
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This thesis analyzes the innovation of the Department of Defense (DoD) standard acquisition process with intelligent agent (IA) technologies. Information technology (IT) developments are enabling DoD to seek high levels of improvement in key processes, such as acquisition, because of constrained resources, high costs and long cycle times. One such process, DoD's paperless contracting initiative, is developed to increase efficiency through automation and standardization, using the Standard Procurement System (SPS). However, benefits to date from implementing SPS have been marginal, because it has been accomplished without first redesigning the existing inefficient process. This research builds upon prior work with procurement, process innovation and intelligent software agents. Following Davenport's Process-innovation methodology, the Federal Acquisition Process (FAP) is compared with SPS functions to identify functions for possible IT innovation with IA. A four-step scheme for evaluating agent potential is developed and employed to assess the SPS-supported FAP, resulting in the identification of fine process steps offering high potential for IA automation. Two redesign prototypes are developed to incorporate these IA candidates. This work leads to a number of conclusions, recommendations and an agenda for further research that should be an interest to the acquisition manager as well as the information system designer.
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