Page 8 - FCW, September 15, 2016
P. 8

The FAA’s ten-year old program meets mission needs while delivering on cost and quality.
N RECENT YEARS, the federal government has been building its case for strategic sourcing as a way to buy products and services more cost-effectively and efficiently. The Federal Aviation Administration just might be exhibit number one.
The FAA’s Strategic Sourcing for the Acquisition of
Various Equipment and Supplies (SAVES), which began in 2006, encompasses a portfolio of contracts covering a variety of commodity products and services.
The FAA sees SAVES as a broad enterprise acquisition program aimed at providing the best commodities and technology solutions to satisfy mission needs, while continually improving
the quality of those purchases and vendor performance. It
currently includes seven separate contracts, though the FAA says those can be modified or added to over time, as needed.
“With the SAVES program being a mandatory source for the FAA, our ability to use SAVES as a launching platform for strategic sourcing and category management efforts
has allowed the agency to be agile and have the capability to easily adjust to the changing environment and market,” says Jeffrey Baker, the FAA SAVES program manager.
And that has delivered major dividends. To date, the FAA and other customers have spent more than $1 billion through the program, saving more than $248 million. That is significant for an agency the size of the FAA,” says Baker.
SAVES initially was focused on
the FAA’s buying needs, but since has expanded to include contracts from the Defense Logistics Agency (large equipment and other construction requirements), the General Services Administration (office essentials and maintenance, repair and operations) and the Office of Personnel Management (personnel-related services).
The seven FAA-specific SAVES contracts includes one each for IT Hardware, IT Software, and Video Teleconferencing (VTC), and a related enterprise-wide contract for the purchase of wireless devices such as phones and tablets. Over time, the contracts have also included many of the services needed to configure and integrate products.
With SAVES being a mandatory program for FAA buyers, and also
SAVES Sends Buyers to the Source
One way the FAA cuts down costs through SAVES is by having customers deal directly with the contractors. The FAA SAVES website serves as a portal for each of the vendors, who provide the capabilities for buyers to search and review contract offerings, and order as needed. The majority of SAVES purchases are made using an FAA purchase card, with larger bulk buys done through delivery orders.
“To mitigate FAA costs and leverage vendor capabilities, we do not utilize an agency purchasing tool,” says Jeffrey Baker, the FAA SAVES program manager. “The \[vendor\] ordering tool was actually part of the technical proposal evaluated by FAA for each offeror.”
There’s currently a 0.5% (one half of one percent) administrative fee for purchases made from the various IT contracts and, so far, there’s no plan to change that.
The SAVES program provides outreach to both its users and vendors through agency broadcasts, participation in conferences, and through agency acquisition training and agency group meetings. The SAVES website outlines much of the details on the program and how to order, and the program office also uses social media to get input from users. There’s also a SAVES help desk.

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