2009 Supplier Assessment
Companies that participated in the 2009 Army ManTech commissioned MBE Capabilities Assessment rated as follows:
- Level 1: 142 companies
- Level 2: 143 companies
- Level 3: 156 companies
- Level 4: 4 companies
- Level 5: 0 companies
Each company that participated in the MBE military vehicle supply base assessment was assigned an MBE rating, based on the MBE Capabilities Metric, by NIST MEP. It is important that these MBE capability levels not be thought of as an “MBE grade” – a Level 5 is not an “A” and, more importantly, a Level 1 is not an “F”. There is an appropriate MBE Level for every company based on their products, processes, and customer base – not every company needs to be, or should want to be, at an MBE Level 4 or Level 5. Companies should use available MBE information and resources to determine what MBE capabilities level makes sense for their business. That being said, given that a company must be at an MBE Level 2 in order to receive, consume, and send 3D data, the lowest level at which a company could be considered ready to operate in an MBE environment, in the most basic sense, is a Level 2.
Companies that rated a Level 1 showed no sign of using 3D models, very little computer-driven operations, and little or no electronic, cross-department integration and re-use of data. Of the 142 companies that were rated a Level 1, 66 were due to incomplete assessment information. On the contrary, Level 4 companies showed no indication of using 2D, drawing-based information – everything is based upon 3D data – additionally, Level 4 companies showed significant cross-department, electronic re-use and integration of data with the assistance of software resource planning and data management systems. Companies at Levels 2 and 3 fell in between these two extremes. Level 5 is considered full MBE implementation, utilization, and cross-department re-use and integration – no company was rated at this level during the 2009 MBE Capabilities Assessment.
In order to ensure the validity of the results, the application of the MBE rating was performed by a subject matter expert from the NIST MEP project team and was done so blindly, looking at only the information relevant to the metric, not distinguishing company information. The rating process was repeated multiple times to ensure repeatability and accuracy. Even so, it is important to note that the application of this metric to a company is not an exact science. For example, not all participating suppliers completed the online assessment comprehensively; as a result, a significant number of the Level 1 ratings were due to incomplete assessment information.