Independent Testing adds value and can save Billion$ – Just ask the Defence Force.

Independent Testing adds value and can save Billion$ – Just ask the Defence Force.

In the 33 years that Enex TestLab has existed we have been constantly amazed at the diversity of technical evaluation that we are asked to perform. From broadband, laptops and printers to testing an environmental setup for one of the world’s largest fast-food chains to crayons for a global manufacturer all the way through to niche specialist industry devices, some we cannot declare. In essence, Enex TestLab has tested a wide array of equipment from every industry sector. From ICT to material sciences, our expert testing is considered, rigorous, robust and independent.

The importance and value of independent testing and reporting should not, and cannot, be underestimated, it saves lives, time, money and careers. Reflecting on this one area where Enex TestLab undertakes much independent evaluation and reporting work is Procurement Testing. This serves many useful purposes for both vendors, offering their services and buyers alike.

For vendors the mere mentioning of the use of Procurement Testing gives them confidence to put forward their best offer and best solution, knowing a rigorous evaluation will be undertaken that is both robust and independent. Some vendors are confident enough to even proactively lead with an independent testing report validating their product or service claims, more on that another time.

For buyers in procurement, having a second expert perspective provides depth, breadth and technical expertise in a hands-on report that supplements in-house resources and augments their desktop based financial and commercial assessments. As a precursor to evaluating tender responses Enex TestLab can even assist in revealing a different perspective that reduces the risk associated with the purchasing decision. For example, obvious considerations can be assumed or overlooked in the buying process. Sometimes the simplest questions suggested by our experienced team can reveal as much as the complex technical questions.

There can be no more critical purchases, perhaps only medical equipment, than defence materials procurement. The defence of Australia in 2021- 2022 was budgeted at $44 billion or 2% of Gross Domestic Product* and reflects Defence Department investments are large and complex. Therefore procurement evaluation and subsequence product acceptance need to be at the core of every purchase.

This is starkly reflected in a recent article from ABC – Brake problems delay Defence’s billion-dollar Hawkei tactical vehicle project.

Essentially a $1.3 billion purchase is now delayed “amid concerns over brakes”, and the additional back story of critical assessment leading up to the project with the following statement “Defence has not clearly demonstrated that the acquisition provides value for money, as it did not undertake robust benchmarking in the context of a sole source procurement.”

Yes, the importance of independent evaluation and testing should not and cannot be underestimated, as it saves lives, time, money and careers.

* Australian Strategic Policy Institute



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