The Department of Defense budget request for fiscal year 1976 included $9.61 billion for research development, test and evaluation required in the acquisition of new improved highly complex weapon systems. Defining the multiple and varied development test needs and matching those needs to existing test capabilities, and/or designing and developing required new test capabilities to meet these advancing requirements continue to be an extremely difficult and expensive task. This thesis postulates that more effective communication between responsible weapons developers and government test agencies can lead to a significant reduction in the overall weapon systems development cost. Furthermore, the thesis proposes that a marketing concept which emphasizes customer needs can be employed by test agencies to effect an information exchange system that enhances communication with the weapon developers.
Chapter I discusses some problems common to all government research and development test centers, formulates a hypothesis from those problems and describes the methodology used in the research study. Chapter II describes a typical research and development test center, The Central Inertial Guidance Test Facility. Chapter III defines the modern marketing concept and discusses the application of that concept to government test agencies. Chapter IV documents the need for development testing early in the weapon systems acquisition cycle and suggests new management concepts that can lead to significant cost savings, Chapter V, summary in nature, develops a cost of marketing in the private sector for comparison with the cost of implementing the marketing: function in government test agencies. These costs are compared with the potential benefits that can result 'rom marketing and the findings are applied to the hypothesis.
The results of this study show the cost of marketing to be less than one percent of the operating budget for the Air Force test agencies investigated. Thus the cost of marketing in government test agencies is insignificant when compared to the potential savings that can result from less duplication, more productive utilization of test resources and more effective developmental testing early in the development cycle.
If a research and development test center seriously implements a marketing program as defined by Dr. Philip Kotler's Marketing for Nonprofit Organizations and established based on the concepts advocated by C. West Churchman's Systems Approach, more effective communication between the test center and its public is sure to follow. More effective communication between test centers and weapon systems development offices can lead to earlier and better planning for both parties. Better planning can result in the avoidance of a large measure of costly duplication, in reduced workload instability at test centers, and in effective development testing for significantly more cases than is presently occurring. This ultimately can foster a lower cost for weapon systems development.
Level of Degree
School of Public Administration
First Committee Member (Chair)
Albert H. Rosenthal
Second Committee Member
Leonard Arnold Stitelman
Third Committee Member
Vladmir V. Berniklau
Coulter, Joe E.. "Methods Of Cost Effective Utilization Of R & D Test Facilities." (1976). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/padm_etds/44