A modular approach to Strategic Sourcing or “one size does not fit all.”
The Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative (“FSSI”) is now over five years old having begun in 2005 as procurement partnership between the General Services Administration (“GSA”) and the Department of Treasury (“Treasury”). GSA and Treasury were responding to the Office of Management and Budget’s (“OMB’s”) and Office of Federal Procurement Policy (“OFPP’s”) directive that agencies identify commodities that could be purchased more efficiently through strategic sourcing.
Since its inception FSSI’s acquisition strategy has focused on leveraging requirements across government through multiple award Blanket Purchase Agreements (“BPA”) under GSA’s Multiple Award Schedule (“MAS”) program. The current Administration has embraced FSSI as a tool to obtain savings.
At the same time, the Administration’s focus on FSSI provides an opportunity for a more flexible acquisition strategy. As a threshold matter, the MAS program is the most cost-effective platform for FSSI. It provides a streamlined access to the commercial market place for millions of products and services. However, the use of multiple award government wide BPAs should depend on the facts and circumstances surrounding the market for each commodity falling under the FSSI. In some instances it may make procurement sense to establish a set of government wide BPAs. In other cases the product or service may be so customer centric that it makes more sense to compete an agency wide order. Call it a modular approach to FSSI. Bigger is not always better.
For example, print management services are highly dependent on the customer’s printing practices. MAS contractors craft solutions, including usage protocols, after assessing a customer’s copying and printing patterns, usage levels and number of device locations. It is an integrated assessment that results in a management solution designed to maximize savings while delivering print services. This can be effectively accomplished through direct competition for agency wide orders under the MAS program rather than establishing a set of government wide BPAs and then competing agency wide requirements under those BPAs. The two step process—(1) compete and establish government wide BPAs and (2) compete task orders under those BPAs—takes more time and increases costs for both government and industry. Direct FSSI orders for agency wide requirements will increase competition, save time and facilitate savings based on each agency’s unique requirements. 17
OMB, OFPP and GSA could continue focusing on assisting agencies through the development of FSSI requirements templates, supplemental order guides, management guidelines and tracking tools for measuring savings. In turn, agencies would track and report savings to OMB. This FSSI approach meets the Administration’s objective of a more cost-effective government in a shorter period.
Based upon my research, it appears that FSSI has an “unintended consequence” of displacing small business federal contractors who had previously provided goods and services. The resulting job losses and damage to the US economy will clearly offset any savings. FSSI should be reevaluated in light of its pilot program for Schedule 75 Office Supplies.
GSA never introduced an alternative to FSSI but via below I will present a reasonable alternative vs FSSI.
The 21st Century Open Competition Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative also know as OCFSSI
In a nutshell this is how it works:
On an annual basis each company that holds a GSA Schedule Contract should be allowed to bid on given items so the government can obtain the lowest cost / highest quality on visible paper for all to see. The winning BPA GSA vendor can be rewarded with 5% of the total sales of a particular item/schedule. The other vendors would be required to match or provide a lower item price provided by the winning GSA vendor. Also, the non-winning BPA vendors cannot upload given item(s) to gsaadvantage.gov or offer given item to the government unless they can provide a lower price or match the winning vendor item prices. Hence, reward the winning bidder with 5% total sales of a particular schedule but allow other non-BPA-competitors to offer a lower or same price entailing 95% of total sales.
This GSA procurement solution can be funded via putting all nonessential GSA projects on hold or lay off GSA employees or increase or maintain current GSA vendor schedule fees. No additional taxpayer dollars are required for this project. This procurement solution is only a foundation base to work from and should be changed, tweaked and enhanced via an open inclusive democratic process.
GSA’s current FSSI procurement solution is nothing similar to Corporate Mass/Bulk Purchasing û Walmart has 66,000 vendors and growing. My 21st Century Federal Strategic Sourcing Procurement Solution is the closest government solution that emulates Corporate Mass purchasing in a competitive environment.
For more information go to http://shorttext.com/KwtmIE6w