One of the pleasures of managing programs at GSA is seeing traditional concepts given new life in response to changes in the commercial marketplace or within government itself. We’ve seen that with the word “requisition.” At its core, requisition is an inter-agency transaction. This term can simply mean the fulfillment of a product order between government agencies. For military customers, that might mean requesting uniforms, ammunition or other supplies from Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) or another function within the Department of Defense.
As a key element of the National Supply System, GSA Global Supply fulfills requisitions from military and civilian customers around the world each day. Whether it’s office supplies, tools or some other common, consumable item, we arrange for those products to be picked, packed and shipped to end users anywhere from Kansas City to Kandahar. And since our customers are other government agencies, we accept their government purchase cards as payment or arrange direct billing using an Activity Address Code (AAC) or equivalent.
For more than 65 years, GSA has fulfilled customer requisitions and offered a simple alternative to purchasing from commercial sources. But as we transform our supply business, GSA is responding to the changing needs and capacities of our customers, our vendor partners and the information technology infrastructure that allows us to manage thousands of transactions every day.
In recent years, GSA has been at the forefront of the Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative (FSSI). By leveraging the buying power of the federal government, we’ve been able to achieve greater savings for federal users on everything from office supplies to package delivery services. Now, we are preparing to take the savings and other benefits that FSSI brings and apply them to our traditional requisition fulfillment business.
Later this year, we will incorporate the results of an aggressive competition among office supply vendors into our GSA Global Supply operations. GSA has made awards to six contractors under the Office Supplies Third Generation (OS3) Requisition channel, and these selected vendors will assist us with fulfilling customer requisitions for office supplies, including paper products and toner cartridges. GSA continues to accept and process customer orders for office supplies and our new FSSI partners will take over packing and shipping customer requisitions for hundreds of our most popular items.
Increased visibility to the supply chain, including the ability to track orders end-to-end for the customer base, will be a significant benefit in this transition. Due to the rigorous competition for this business, including multiple reverse auctions, we are confident that our customers will see significant savings, while retaining the simplicity and easy compliance of ordering through GSA Global Supply. At the same time, five out of six awards were made to small businesses, so GSA’s commitment to the small business community is affirmed. These awards also allow us to continue our long history of support for the AbilityOne network of agencies employing people who are blind or have significant disabilities, as well as maintain our commitment to sustainability by offering “green” options for our customers.
Looking ahead, we plan to use this same concept, expanding the savings to Maintenance, Repair and Operating (MRO) supplies, as well as Janitorial and Sanitation (JanSan) products. This way, the simple and traditional concept of a “requisition” is modernized, with commercial partners fulfilling many of the tasks formerly handled by GSA distribution centers, while ensuring customers can save time and money and focus on their core mission. As we move toward expanding this modernized requisition concept, we’ll provide updates on its scope and schedule. To learn more about GSA Global Supply and how we’re changing to meet your needs, visit us at gsa.gov/globalsupply.