A. Schaap MSc


Improving the acquisition process of maritime assets within the frame of the  Defence Materiel Process

Scientific Supervisors: Prof. dr. W.J.H. van ’t Spijker, AMC-RF
Expert Supervisor: R. Klompenhouwer, DMO
Date: January 11th 2012

The process to acquire maritime assets within the RNLN is directed by the rules of the  Defence Materiel Process (DMP).  Interpretation of these rules has led to an acquisition process that produces ships that are not always of the desired quality. Researched evaluation reports and interviews held, mentioned shortcomings in quality, Life Cycle Cost (LCC) and functionality of new build ships. The aim of this research was to develop an acquisition model within the context of the DMP that will avoid these shortcomings in future designs. 

From the aim of the thesis the following main research question is derived:

Given the DMP process, to what extent can factors detrimental to the design of maritime assets be changed during the acquisition phase such that requirements are met and cost drivers and performance killers during exploitation are avoided.  

The research of evaluation reports and interviews reveal  the factors that affect the outcome of the design and acquisition process in a negative way. Three dominant factors affect the final design:  available budget, engineering capacity and the decision process. Impact of these factors can be reduced separate in the following way:

1.       Reduce the impact of budget limitations
Unlimited budgets are uncommon, limited budgets forces a project leader to make choices when a project enters the acquisition phase. Preparation of several well premeditated packages of sub systems that can be selected during the pre-design phase with established price tags will change budget estimation into budget certainty. 

2.       Reduce impact of limited engineering capacity
Selection of subsystems to be used in future design before DMP starts. Knowledge on these subsystems can be expanded during the phase before a ship pre-design is initiated and used when required. Preparing sub-system design before project initiation will reduce peak load on the engineering capacity during system build, using this capacity more efficient.

3.       Reduce the impact of the selection process

Introducing a Life Cycle Management team (LCM) team well in advance of the actual design phase to model and           pre-calculate the impact of design options on effectiveness and LCC of the design, this will prevent ad-hoc decision       making during negotiations . The LCM team can use the AMICO and the Operational Value Model (OPV) to calculate the impact on staff requirements and LCC of design changes. The future user and maintainer in this LCM team will prevent the bias towards achieving low acquisition cost and maximum requirements during the DMP.

To answer the main question an alternative acquisition methodology is required in order to manage the detrimental factors. The alternative methodology splits the acquisition process in two steps . First step is pre-selection of subsystems with input from subcontractors and installation of an LCM team. Second phase is the pre-design of a new ship, using the pre-selected systems as input to create a concept design. With these systems together with a concept design a contractor can be requested to integrate these systems into a ship. During the building phase the LCM team will monitor progress and supervise the design selection process.

Real life testing, implementation of this alternative DMP approach during a new design, is not possible within the boundaries of this thesis. Therefore an evaluation has been carried out through questionnaires with specialist in the different aspects of the DMP. The interviewed were positive about the proposed approach. There are however two concerns with regard to this approach, the acquisition rules and possible “vendor lock”  which require further research. 

De Thesis kunt u hier bekijken (EN).

De Thesis presentatie kan hier bekeken worden (EN).  

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