To understand the new Federal Acquisition Gateway process, put yourself in the position of a federal purchasing manager who has just been given the responsibility to purchase a new computer system for his/her agency. Under the current federal process, this person would need to research a variety of computer systems. From the options they search on the GSA Schedules, they would need to select the best option for the best price. The quality of their decision would be largely depend upon their expertise with computer systems. This process can be long and filled with many potential mistakes.
Now take that same purchasing manager who is given the task of buying a new computer system under the new federal Acquisition Gateway procurement program. The manager would go to the category of IT and the Hallway called computers. In that Hallway or gateway he/she would find a list of government-wide contracts currently available. They could learn how the different contracts have been implemented and their performance history. They could also get expert advice from knowledgeable contract manager who had experience in this category.
The manager’s job was just made easier. The Federal buying managers will have a single place to cost comparison shop across all government agencies. They will be able to see the full range of the prices and contracts–including and beyond GSA Schedules-from which to make their purchases. The results are faster, with better pricing and smarter buying decisions.
This form of category contract management has been used successfully in the private sector for years. The federal government expects to have 17 Hallways available by mid-2015 and over 24 in the next three years. Acquisition gateways and category purchases will revolutionize the federal procurement process.
What does this mean for you? When federal customers start to use this tool, will they find your products and services in the Hallways? You must find a way to get your products included in this new process. The Hallways will be the future for federal buying.
To learn more about this revolutionary change in federal procurement process, give me a call. We can have a conversation on how get your business in front of the new federal buyers.
For more information on these federal changes see the article by Arron Boyd.