Sole Source Justification Tutorial

Author: John Honovich, Published on Mar 02, 2012

The sole source justification is a very powerful yet controversial way of specifying products. Vendors love them because it eliminates competition and all but guarantees higher profits. Users often want them to simplify complex contracting procedures. However, often these justifications are abused and manipulated. In this note, we dig into sole source justifications sharing a recent practical example betwee BRS Labs and a US city.

What It Is

*********, *********** *** ***** ***** ********* *** *********** ******* ********* to ****** *******. **** ******* ** ***** ********** *** ********* requires ******* *** **** *** ** *** ****** ****, ** any ********* **********. **** ** **** ** ****** **** ********* are *** ********** ** ******* *******, ********, *******, ***.

**** ****** ************** ***** ************* ** ********* *********** ******* *** approved ******** / ********. ** ** **, ***** ************* **** justify ******* * **** ******, ****** **** * ******* ** *******, *** meet *** ************'* *****. **** ****** ************* ************ ************* ** **** ************* ********.

*********, * **** ********** *** **** ** ******* * **** source:

  • ****** ******** - * ******* ** ******* **** ** ***** organization *** ******** ******* (*.*., ******** **** ********)
  • ********* ************* - **** *** ******* *** ** **** **** works **** **** *** ************ ******* *** (*.*., * *** already *********)
  • ****** - *** ******* ** ******* ** ****** **** ******* and ****** **** *** ****** *********** **** ****** (*.*., *******, natural *********, ***.)

*** ************ **** ****** *** *************, ********* **** *** **** of *** ****** ***** *********. ** **** ** *** ****** organization ** ******* ** ******* *** *************, ** ********* ** approved. ****** *** **** ****** ************** ********** ******** ** ********. Indeed, ** ** **** ********* *****, ***** ** ** *********.

Why ******* **** ****

* *********** *********** ******* ** ******* *** *******, **** ** they *** ********* ** ******:

  • ******: * ****** *** ******* *** **** * - * months ** ******, ************* *********** *** ***** ******* *** ****** it **** ********* *** *** *******.
  • ****** ********: **** *** ****** ** *********** *********, ******* **** **** pressure ** ****** ***** *******, *** ********* ***** *******.
  • **** ** ********: ** **** ******* ********* *** **** **** * ***** vendor **** ***** ** *** ***** * **** ********* ** alternative ********.

** ********, ** * ****** *** *** *** ***** ** sole ****** ***** ********, *** ****** ** *********** ********** *** business, *** ****** * ****** ***** *** *** ******* *** business ******.

Buyer **********

***** *********** ******* ** ******** ** ******* ******, ********** ** the ******* **** *** **** ****** ************* ******** ********** ** buyers ** ****:

  • *** **** **** ****: ****** ***** **** * ********* ****** *** **** **** a *********** ******* *** ***** **** ** ** **** ** unknown ******** **** ***** *** ** * ************ *** (****: this ** ************* *** ***** **** ***** ** ****** ****).
  • ****** ****: ******* * *********** *** *** ** ********* *** **** consuming *** *** *****. ** *** ***** '*****' **** **** want, **** ******** *** ********* **** **** *** *******.

Practical ********

******* ********* **** ** ******* ***** ** ********** ** ********* compatitability:

  • **********: **********, ******* ** ******** ************ **** ******** ****** ** sole ****** ******* *** ************* ** ***** ********. ****'* ********* ** *** **** ***** **** ******* *** * $***,*** USD *******. *** ***** **** ********* **** * ****** ******* ** patent ** *** ******* ** *** ***** ** *** *************.
  • ********* *************: ******* ** ***, ****** ******* ******** *** **** **** typcially ***** **** ** *** ********* ** ** *** ***********, often ** ******** **** ********* ** **********. **** ** **** because **** **** **** ********** **** ****** ********* ****** ** the **** ****** ************* ** ***** ******** ** *** ******.

Misuse *** *****?

*** *** **** ** ******** **** ****** **************, ********** **** it ***** ** '******' *********. * **** ******** ** **** aware ** *** ***** ** ******** ***** '******' ********. *** technology *****, ** ** **** ** **** ******** **** **** one ************ ***. ****, **** *** ****** ****** ** ****** as ** **, ****** *** *** ****** ** ******* ** questionable *****. ** * ****** *** *** ** *** **** excited ***** ***** ********* *** ********* ******, ********** **** ******** as '******' ** *** ****.

** ** **** ********* *** *********** *********** *** ******* ***** justifications ** ***** ********* ** *** ******** ** '******'. *********, the ******** ***** ** ******** **** *** ***** ** *** buying ************. *******, **** ** ************** ********** *** ******* **** technological ********* **** *********** ****** ***** *** **** ** ******* niche *******. *** *******, ** *** *** **** ****, ** BRS **** ***** *** **** ******** **** *** **** *** needs ** *** ** **** ***** *******? ************** ***** ******? ***** ******* ** ******* ****** ***** ********* implementations **** *** ***** ******* ** ****? **** *** ** as ****** ******* ** ** **** *** ** ** ************ determine.

**** ****** ************** *** ******** ***** **** **** ** ** carefully ********** ***, **** *********, ******** ** **** ********.

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