Posted by- Neelam Mathews
Nov 8, 2011
An ASD report reveals new learnings about how the U.S defense industry awards business.
The report says there is a strong and varying bias among U.S. government, military and contractor respondents against European prime defense contractors that is rooted in their perceptions of quality and competency.
It points out respondents with specific experience with the companies in question show that these firms have large differences in how well they manage to stick to budget and schedule.
Industry-wide impressions of the large contractors are often formed by major defense programs, such as the F-35, yet procurement managers' and project managers' opinions on contractors come from a sum of other experiences, resulting in quite different perceptions among those who make program decisions, adds the report.
The study identified several segments, and even individual firms, that have large perception problems among key decision makers. Defense information technology firms as a class saw rather bad ratings, which dropped even lower when filtered to procurement executives. Defense electronics firms were divided into two sets, one at the very top of the ratings, and the other at the low end of the larger pack.
"It was interesting to see how much human factors, such as perceived arrogance and poor hiring choices affected the opinions of decision makers," said CEO Olivier Travers. "And it was interesting to see that these varied quite a bit between companies and among people in different job roles and industry segments."
The largest of the prime contractors, and particularly the aerospace contractors saw consistently high quality perceptions, with their variation contained to cost and schedule factors.
The study breaks out the results by job functions, such as engineer, as well as industry segments, such as U.S. military and prime contractor. The report processed hundreds of free-form comments giving color and narrative to the statistics.
More than 600 defense industry executives, including military and government program decision makers, participated in a DID survey collecting major defense contractor performance rankings.