Cover: Using a Spend Analysis to Help Identify Prospective Air Force Purchasing and Supply Management Initiatives

Using a Spend Analysis to Help Identify Prospective Air Force Purchasing and Supply Management Initiatives

Summary of Selected Findings

Published Sep 21, 2004

by Nancy Young Moore, Cynthia R. Cook, Clifford A. Grammich, Charles Lindenblatt


Download eBook for Free

Full Document

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.4 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Summary Only

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.1 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.


Purchase Print Copy

 Format Price
Add to Cart Paperback106 pages $30.00

This briefing summarizes research on how the Air Force might use an analysis of its spending to develop better supply strategies, improve its relationships with suppliers, and better manage its supply base. Best practices offer many ways by which the Air Force can improve performance and save money. Such techniques include consolidating multiple contracts with existing providers, selecting the best providers and offering them longer contracts with broader scopes of goods and services, and working with selected strategic partners to improve quality, responsiveness, reliability, and cost. There are many challenges to conducting an Air Force-wide spend analysis, primarily the lack of detailed, centralized data on all expenditures as well as questions about data quality for those data that are available. Nevertheless, the data that do exist point to many prospective sources of savings and performance improvements. The authors analyze the most complete centralized source available on Air Force expenditures, known as DD350 data. Transactions in the DD350 data constitute 96 percent of all Air Force contract dollars spent directly. Among the actions that the Air Force might wish to take are: consolidation of a large number of contracts with similar or the same supplier; grouping contractor ID codes having multiple contracts with the Air Force and many purchase office codes associated with the same contractor, so that the Air Force does not have to pay for the contractor's repetitive bidding and contract administration costs; examining contracts for goods or services available from only one supplier, which gives the Air Force only limited opportunities to gain leverage over such suppliers. Conducting a detailed Air Force spend analysis would require information on the needs, preferences, and priorities of commodity users not available in the DD350 data. Because the Air Force needs to balance prospective savings, performance improvements, risks, socioeconomic and other goals, and other regulations not always present in the private sector, not all best commercial practices may be appropriate for it.

Research conducted by

The research reported here was sponsored by the United States Air Force and was conducted within RAND Project AIR FORCE.

This report is part of the RAND documented briefing series. RAND documented briefings are based on research presented to a client, sponsor, or targeted audience in briefing format. Additional information is provided in the documented briefing in the form of the written narration accompanying the briefing charts. All RAND documented briefings undergo rigorous peer review to ensure that they meet high standards for research quality and objectivity. However, they are not expected to be comprehensive and may present preliminary findings. Major research findings are published in the monograph series; supporting or preliminary research is published in the technical report series.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.