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Automated system will improve purchase request process

  • Published
  • By Pam Sutton and Larry Darbyshire
  • Air Force Materiel Command Logistics Directorate
For those in Air Force Materiel Command whose job requires them to manually prepare purchase requests and get them to the local contracting office, life is about to get better.

Air Force Materiel Command is preparing to introduce a new, electronic, web-based system called the Purchase Request Process System, or PRPS. The system will automate the front end of the purchase request acquisition process and provide a paperless link to contracting, bridging the gap between requirements and contacts processes.

Delivery of PRPS capability will occur in spirals, which are like building blocks. Deploying in August, Spiral 1 supports National Stock Number-related documentation activities such as the screening analysis worksheet, contract repair screening analysis worksheet, quality, first article and numerous others that may be required to complete a purchase request package. In addition, an on-going effort will begin to populate a document repository with completed activities for historical purposes.

Spiral 1 also provides for the retirement of two legacy systems: J023, the automated purchase system that provided limited computer processing for purchase requests; and J090A, the acquisition screening system that automated AFMC Form 761. Future spiral releases will provide generation of purchase request, delivery order request, military interdepartmental purchase request, or MIPR, and associated activities from the repository. This will include funding certification and the electronic hand-off of the purchase request to contracting.

AFMC is implementing PRPS because it provides the Air Force an automated solution for purchase request, delivery order request, MIPR and activities processing. It also supports Air Force Logistics Transformation goals and objectives.

In addition to the automation benefit, an estimated 5,000 users of PRPS will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their support to warfighters by reducing administrative lead time by an estimated 22 days. In addition, it will provide visibility of contract assets and availability as well as due-in asset visibility.

A functional user group consisting of subject matter experts from AFMC's three air logistics center and the Cryptologic Systems Group helped to develop PRPS.

Group member Lindsey Robertson said that PRPS truly places the AFMC acquisition process into the 21st century.

"Do not fear change and embrace a greater way to do business," said Mr. Robertson, a program controller at Warner Robins ALC, Robins AFB, Ga.

To prepare for field testing of PRPS, the developer of PRPS, Computer Sciences Corp, recently conducted "train-the-trainer" classroom sessions for selected site personnel at ALCs. Additional users will complete computer-based training that is integrated within the PRPS application. They will also have access to online training, reference documents, and other training aids. To assist users in their daily jobs, PRPS also includes online context-sensitive page-level and field level help.

To help users, PRPS roadshows have taken place at Tinker AFB, Okla., and Robins AFB. Plans are under way to conduct a PRPS Roadshow at Hill AFB, Utah.

For more information, visit the PRPS Newsstand Website,