Teamwork . .
. is the key to an effective producibility measurement effort.
Unfortunately, too often the wrong team or one that's missing a few key players,
say the pitcher, catcher, shortstop, and first baseman, is called upon to make
the judgments that will affect a company's reputation and profitability and the
quality of our nation's defense.
While it's okay to have a marketing specialist, the business development
manager, and a strategic planner on the team, you need the clout and insight of
people who work with the day-to-day problems involved in getting products out
the door to reach any solid producibility conclusions - even for a bid/no-bid
A strong management commitment is essential to a successful team effort.
Quality resources must be provided at the outset.
At the point where you are seriously considering a bid/no-bid decision, you
need inputs from at least your engineering, manufacturing, material, and quality
Their evaluations of producibility should be based on some systematic
approach - two are offered in Part B of this book - that is, applied
consistently by the organization using data from within the firm or that which
are readily available from other sources such as component suppliers.
The primary source of data for producibility measurement for any contractor
often is their own past experiences on similar projects. Of course, the fewer
the unknowns, the more reasoned the assessment can be. Once the bid effort is
initiated, more precise data on the unknowns from the evolution of the design
and inputs from teammates, subcontractors, and suppliers will be available.
More precise producibility measurements can then be developed for use in the
We'll make it up on volume . .
Proper producibility measurement could have saved one
component of a major defense contractor the embarrassment of 'winning' a
contract for a large number of units of a particular system only to find that
several thousand dollars were lost on each unit delivered because it cost more
to build than the fixed price agreed to.
When a 'bid' decision is made, a contractor really needs the first team to
develop meaningful producibility measurement data - information that can prove
crucial to ensuring profitability for the company as well as DoD customer
satisfaction when the contract is won and the product is delivered.
Once you've decided to bid and the hard work of putting a proposal together
is going to start, you need a lot more than inputs; you need synergy!!!
It is not sufficient to have people 'available' to answer questions while you
are putting the proposal together. All the skills identified above, and any
others that may be appropriate, should be part of the proposal team. Once you
win, then they should be members of the teams for development and production.
Why? Because -