Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) Process Improvement
Defense Contract Management Agency, Defense Contract Management Agency | Published March 5, 2015 - Deadline April 6, 2015
Defense Contract Management Agency
Request for Information (RFI)
Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) Process Improvement
SPECIAL NOTICE: SOURCE SOUGHT & REQUEST FOR INFORMATION (RFI). THIS IS NOT A REQUEST FOR QUOTES. This notice does not represent a commitment by the Government to issue a solicitation or award a contract. The Government is not obligated to and will not pay for information received as a result of this announcement. No reimbursement will be made for any costs associated with providing information in response to this announcement and any follow-up information requests to include an invite to further explain/demonstrate aspects of their propose approach. Requests for a solicitation will not receive a response. As part of this special notice DCMA will be evaluating for planning purposes if there exist an adequate number of qualified interested small business contractors capable of providing the required services and/or products.
The Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) provides direct program management support to the Department of Defense (DoD) in the development and sustainment of Government Contract Writing and Administration Systems (CWASs) such as MDO, MOCAS, SPS and other DoD eCommerce tools. DCMA is the primary liaison to the DoD in providing both technical and functional support in developing electronic communication and interoperability between CWASs, MOCAS and the WAWF Suite of tools.
Further, DCMA works hand-in-hand with DoD Components to ensure electronic processing of contracting actions into Department and Federal data systems that support all aspects of the Procure to Pay Process (P2P). DCMA develops tests and maintains Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) communications and translation to ensure the cost of doing business continues to trenhttps://psctool.us/ d lower while continuing to preserve data integrity and support Federal and DoD statutes and initiatives.
DCMA supports multiple EDI channels, receiving a large volume of transactions from multiple contract writing and administration systems across the Department of Defense for translation and processing into the Mechanization of Contract Administration Services (MOCAS) system, an automated integrated contracts administration and entitlement system co-managed by DCMA and Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS). Payments from MOCAS represent a very large percentage of dollars paid to vendors by the Department of Defense. Additionally, DCMA provides XML to 850/860 EDI translation services of contracting actions to industry partners where appropriate.
In it's current "as-is" state, DCMA leverages functionality from the Defense Logistics Agency(DLA)'s Global EXchange Service (GEX) to receive purchase order and modification transactional data (EDI 850 and 860 or equivalent) in a variety of formats (primarily XML and EDI X12) from numerous trading partner Contract Writing and Administration Systems (CWASs). These transactions are converted into EDI X12 (currently version 3050) and UDF format, for distribution to numerous target systems, including MOCAS, EDA, industry and service partners, via a set of translation maps supporting each of the source systems' individual output formats.
While this system is effective in its mission of performing contract administration and payment on a large scale for multiple DoD customers, the translation and acceptance process is, in effect, a "black box", with little or no visibility of data flow through the translation process, with transactional errors not identified until they've passed through the process, with no in-line validation or error handling prior to acceptance or failure at the target system. Error handling and correction depends heavily on manual intervention. Manual business processes are the primary means of supporting system monitoring, validation and business rules, error notification and correction, as well as configuration control and maintenance of logical and physical translation maps. Error notification is conducted via email, and error messages are non-descriptive of actual problems. Additionally, under the current system, errors are often manually corrected on an ad-hoc basis by MOCAS data entry resources, and reporting capabilities supporting analysis are limited to reports processed in batch via the Reveal application.
Under the current process, MOCAS EDI trading partners (i.e. Army, Navy, Air Force etc.) do not have visibility into the causes of EDI rejections. As a result, the Services and component agencies rely heavily on DCMA and DFAS to achieve meaningful improvement in EDI acceptance rates. In the current state; DCMA and DFAS cannot provide detailed and actionable EDI data-level analysis on a routine basis.
DCMA is endeavoring to gather information on how it might modify its approach to EDI in order to be able to provide more valuable information and more effective support to data partners, develop increased end-to-end visibility the processing of EDI transactions by removing the "black box" from the process, facilitate troubleshooting, validation, and correction of errors through real-time reporting, and reduce Department EDI processing costs by reducing or eliminating the need for manual intervention in transaction processing, DCMA is endeavoring to gather information on how it might modify its approach to EDI in order to realize
DCMA is the Department of Defense's (DoD) component that works directly with Defense suppliers to help ensure that DoD, Federal, and allied government supplies and services are delivered on time, at projected cost, and meet performance requirements. DCMA directly contributes to the military readiness of the United States and its allies, and helps preserve the nation's freedom.
DCMA provides Contract Administration Services to the DoD Acquisition Enterprise and its partners to ensure delivery of quality products and services to the warfighter; on time and on cost. DCMA is a recognized leader of, and contributor to many of DoD's business reform initiatives. Those initiatives' goals are to improve the Nation's defense in the most economical and efficient ways possible. This involves managing 334,000 prime contracts valued at approximately $1.2 Trillion.
DCMA is headquartered in Ft Lee, Virginia and currently employs approximately 10,500 civilian and military professionals worldwide. DCMA consists of over 50 Contract Management Offices (CMOs) with over 800 employee duty stations worldwide, working with over 19,000 Defense related firms.
PURPOSE OF THE RFI
The purpose of this RFI is to gather information pertaining to different approaches to improving and modernizing the Agency's EDI processes, in order to eliminate the current "black box" processes, and incorporating "real-time" end-to-end visibility of transaction processing from receipt, through translation and acceptance/rejection of transactions, identifying errors as they happen at any point in the process to facilitate real-time maintenance and troubleshooting; and support robust reporting and analysis of the process to identify trends to support pro-active process and system improvements.
As a result of the information gained from this RFI, DCMA may be seeking demonstrations of specific products, best practices and approaches for implementing a comprehensive, automated approach toward EDI surveillance, maintenance and reporting, in line with accepted industry standards and in accordance with all Federal and DoD Acquisition/Financial requirements and initiatives.
Responses to this RFI will be reviewed by DCMA for their applicability to the Government's need and determined to be "Relevant" or "Irrelevant" to the above problem. Offerors of "Relevant" responses may be requested to demonstrate their approach/product to a Government panel of Subject Matter Experts to help DCMA determine the to-be-state of the EDI/eCommerce transactions bound for MOCAS.
RESPONSES TO THIS RFI
All responses to this RFI should include the following:
• Comprehensive overview of potential approaches to XML, EDI, UDF transaction visibility and reporting process improvement
• Matrixes of Pros and Cons of each method
• Potential trade-offs of one approach to another
• Specific examples of projects where these approaches have either been deployed or are currently in-work
• Scope of projects
• Environment (Federal Government, State/Local Government, Private Industry)
• Timelines - actual and expected
• Lessons learned from previous similar projects
• Recommended products and/or technologies that can support high volume Government transactions
• Timelines to expect for each stage of the process and overall timeline from start to finish
• Change management approach
• Expectations of the type and number of personnel required to be dedicated full time to the project
• Suggested roles and responsibilities of the contractor and the Government
• Implementation approaches - need for dual systems, transition timelines, options for phased implementation, sustainment, etc.
• Strategies for managing business process and organizational structure changes, if any.
• Comprehensive outline of security approach
• Training approach for technical and business staff
Relevant Technical Specification/Information
• Transactions currently processed through the current DCMA EDI process are received in XML (PDS or Legacy) or EDI 850/860 format (version 3050).
• Translation formats generated by the DCMA EDI process result in output in the EDI 850/860 format (currently version 3050, with anticipated support for version 4010), UDF format for receipt/consumption by MOCAS.
• DCMA's EDI process currently uses the Reveal reporting application for reporting acceptance/rejection of transactions by the MOCAS system
• Translation maps are hosted by the DLA GEX. Support and Maintenance of these maps require the use of GEX compatible software (any eventual awardee for procurement actions arising from this RFI will be required to use DLA GEX compatible software, and be, or have the ability to become, a VAN to the DLA GEX network).
• DCMA's physical translation maps are currently developed, maintained and deployed using IBM's WebSphere Transformation Extender (WTX) software, though other similar applications are supported by the DLA GEX architecture.
RFI RESPONSE SUBMISSION
• In addition to the above; each response must contain:
• An executive summary describing the content and scope of the proposed solution
• Company profile
• Primary points of contact
• Page Limit of Responses: 20
• Submit Responses to:
Ensure that RFI # RFQ963480 is in the subject line
• Administrative questions concerning this RFI:
DCMA will not entertain technical questions concerning the current legacy specifications it's EDI framework as part of this RFI process. All needed technical requirements for successful responses to the RFI are contained above.