I’ve had the pleasure of being involved with the Commercial Platforms marketplace initiative since its inception. To make it easier for federal agencies make routine commercial product purchases, we partnered with multiple online platforms to modernize the buying experience. Through these partnerships we have made significant progress, and I’m excited to share more details on where the program is headed.
The Commercial Platforms program launched in August 2020 with four initial agencies and approximately 350 cardholders who could log in and purchase from any of our three participating platforms. I’m happy to report that agency interest is very strong, and the program has grown to over 20 participating agencies and over 40,000 total eligible cardholders.
The Commercial Platforms team actively works with the platforms to identify ways to support administration priorities in the areas of:
- Supply Chain Risk Management (SCRM),
- Green Products,
- Small Business,
- Made in America, and
- Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility.
There is a continued emphasis on customer experience and direct feedback from buyers and program managers to better understand how the program can improve. Check out the new Commercial Platforms infographic for more FY21 highlights.
I’m pleased to share that GSA’s Northeast and Caribbean Regional Commissioner Jeff Lau is the new Executive Sponsor of the Commercial Platforms program. I will continue to provide guidance and support in a consultative role, but Jeff will manage the team and help shape the future of the program.
Jeff recently shared that he sees “a great deal of potential and opportunity within this program to modernize and streamline routine commercial buying. I am excited about growing the program and broadening the number of platforms participating in future contracts. This will be a significant focus area as part of my leadership.”
Work is now underway on the next acquisition for the Commercial Platforms program, with existing contracts in place until June 2023. The team released a Request for Information (RFI) that asks for feedback from industry stakeholders on requirements and capabilities to support future program contracts.
As the market and our understanding of the e-commerce landscape evolves, buyer feedback will continue to play a significant role. The buyer’s experience is emerging as the top priority area, and we will keep learning from industry’s insights, feedback, and commercial practices.