Air Force officials ponder 'preferred' ERP vendor

MONTGOMERY, Ala.'Air Force officials are trying to figure out if they should anoint a single enterprise resource planning software vendor, and whether the service's far-flung components would use it if they did.

'There's an effort to make a decision on whether to have a preferred ERP solution in the Air Force,' said Kenneth Heitkamp, assistant CIO for lifecycle management. He said several projects in the Air Force include ERP, and therefore a preferred product could save money.

Should CIOs from various parts of the Air Force agree, 'there would be a contract vehicle associated with it,' Heitkamp said. But no request for quotes has been issued yet.

Separately, the Air Force is seeking a commercial product to replace its home-grown procurement portal known as Air Force Way, or AFWAY.

According to Lt. Col. Tom Gaylord, deputy director of the service's commodity council, the Air Force needs a more robust product to better enforce government rules and workflow requirements. The so-called AFWAY II would integrate financial management functions with the existing functions, he said.

Because a government system would have to verify that a purchase meets a valid requirement, check to see if funds are available and authorized, ensure required signoffs take place and conform to government workflow norms, a copy of a consumer retail system would not work, Gaylord said.

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