I recommend changing the "S" in FMS to "C" for Customer. There is a simple explanation for the difference between marketing and selling. Selling is getting rid of what you have in your inventory. Marketing is understanding your customer before you build your inventory. Pushing a product, or hard selling, is not marketing. Marketing requires customer focus and provides a product or service that is tailored to the customer's continually changing needs. The "win win" of marketing is a satisfied customer who trusts the supplier to continue to provide a quality product or service.
Foreign military sales is governed by the Foreign Assistance Act 1961, as amended, and the Arms Export Control Act 1976, as amended, and is implemented by the Security Assistance Management Manual which authorizes sales of defense articles and defense to foreign customers to equip their forces services to further United States security objectives. With approval, the law states that U.S. government can sell what it has in inventory. Selling inventory is how FMS has operated in the past. Today, the majority of foreign customers demand a defense article or service that is customized to fit their unique requirements. The key word is "customer." How do we meet the needs of FMS customers and stay within the guidelines of public law and policy? According to the concerns expressed by FMS customers, simply delivering a defense article or service does not meet all of the expectations of the foreign customer.
Foreign military customers are asking for increased involvement in the requirements definition and contract definition phases of the acquisition process. FMS customers are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and are less likely to accept the U.S. government's historical reluctance to involve FMS customers in the acquisition process. This reluctance often translates as patronizing, and sends a mixed and negative message: "you're not smart enough to get it; I don't trust you enough to share information with you; you're an outsider; I don't like your politics."
OSD Deputy Secretary of Defense Policy Memoranda
Dr. John J. Hamre, Deputy Secretary of Defense, has been listening to the complaints of foreign military customers who feel disenfranchised with the FMS acquisition process. Foreign customers want greater participation and increased insight and understanding of the U.S. government procurement process. On 26 January 1999, Dr. Hamre issued a white paper entitled "Process Transparency." The introduction emphasizes the requirements of the foreign military customer:
Process transparency in security cooperation is intended to provide foreign customers and U.S. industry greater visibility of what traditionally have been internal U.S. government activities. Our foreign customers and industry believe an increased level of access will promote teamwork, increase customer satisfaction, and assist in the streamlining of the security cooperation system.
On 23 March 1999, Dr. Harare issued a policy memorandum entitled, "Department of, Defense Customer Participation in Foreign Military Sales (FMS) Contract Preparation and Negotiations. " As a result of this memorandum, the OSD Director of Defense Procurement proposed an amendment to the Defense Federal Acquisitions Regulations Supplement (DFARS) 225.7304 intended to increase FMS customer visibility into the contract formation phase of the FMS acquisition. If requested by the FMS customer, the contracting officer should permit the FMS customer to observe price negotiations and should provide the FMS customer with information regarding price reasonableness. The safeguards built into the proposed DFARS rule require the contractor's written consent and foreign customer agreement not to disclose any proprietary contractor data. Further, the foreign customer must agree not to undermine the authority of the contracting officer by discussing any issue related to the …