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Marine Corps Sourcing Competitions: Historical Performance and Directions for Improvement

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Marine Corps leaders recognize the need to improve support to expeditionary forces. To help explore options for improving logistics, the Marine Corps asked RAND to undertake a three-part research effort to (1) analyze the totality of logistics initiatives, (2) measure order-and-ship and repair-cycle times, and (3) examine outsourcing options. This documented briefing summarizes our research on outsourcing history and options. It examines the Marine Corps' past sourcing competition experience and those commercial activities that are available for sourcing competition; reviews the Marine Corps' plans for future sourcing competitions to develop savings for modernization; and recommends actions to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and outcomes of future sourcing competitions. Recommended next steps related to sourcing competitions for USMC installations are to develop metrics and measure performance of all key activities in-house and on contract; improve processes, when quick and cheap to do; develop baseline inventory of current contracts; identify near-term, low-risk, high-payoff activities for competitions and assign to teams for execution; and review and reclassify commercial activities according to current USMC plans and commercial capabilities. For Headquarters, recommended next steps are to develop a USMC-wide Base Commercial Activities sourcing initiative; select and agree on initial targets for exit businesses and contract bundling; and develop a more-efficient and more-effective sourcing process. This document should be of interest to Marine Corps personnel involved with planning or executing servicing competitions.