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GSA Response to Coalition for Government Procurement’s Comments and Questions

 

GSA Response to the Coalition for Government Procurement’s Comments and Questions:

on the Request for Information (received April 14th)

from Listen to Industry Virtual Meeting (received April 23rd)

 

 

Thank you very much for your interest in the Furniture Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative (Furniture FSSI). We appreciate your input on our Request for Information (RFI) and your participation during our Listen to Industry event on April 15th. We hope that many of your comments and questions were addressed during that session, and we will post answers to the questions that were asked during that session to Interact at interact.gsa.gov/group/fssifurniture.

 

In the first section below, we have reiterated some of the discussion points we had during the Listen to Industry event in response to some of your comments received April 14th and April 23rd. In the second section, we address your specific questions related to the RFI received April 14th.

 

For further information and to provide additional feedback and comments, please be sure to visit the Furniture FSSI Interact site.

 

Section 1 – Response to Select Comments

 

As you suggest, we believe the government can achieve cost savings through demand management strategies, such as reducing “gold-plating”. The term gold-plating refers to the procurement of options on furniture that drive up cost, but that do not provide any additional functional value, meet socio-economic goals, or help meet other requirements, e.g. ADA compliance.

 

GSA understands furniture is a complex commodity with a vast range of products and customer requirements. As such, our collaborative interagency Furniture Commodity Team is working on developing strategic sourcing strategies that can achieve multiple goals. Some of these goals include reducing the Total Cost of Ownership of furniture by eliminating both government and industry costs, maintain or increase Small Business utilization, improve procurement efficiencies.  While, at the same time, ensure ease of use, flexibility, and continuous innovation for our customers so they may meet their requirements.

 

As discussed, the Furniture Commodity Team is focused this fiscal year on helping manage demand through the creation of standard configurations in order to educate furniture buyers on the cost drivers. An acquisition solution strategy is also in the early stages of development. A strategic sourcing acquisition solution does not necessarily need to be a new acquisition vehicle. A solution can be to increase usage of existing solutions or modify existing solutions. Further input from industry through the course of our planning stages will help us determine the optimal path forward for an acquisition solution.

 

In addition to the recent Listen to Industry event and RFI, one-on-one meetings with vendors and associations who have submitted white papers in response to the RFI will be conducted. There is no longer a limit of 25 meetings as we are eager to meet with as many organizations possible. All agencies that are part of the interagency Furniture Commodity Team will be invited to these one-on-one discussions.

 

 

 

Section 2 – Response to CGP Questions

 

1. Cost Savings for the government

a. How will the measure of savings incorporate the administrative costs government and industry associated with managing additional contracts and orders?

A Total Cost of Ownership approach will be used when developing strategic sourcing strategies that will take into account all costs associated with the life cycle procurement of furniture.

b. How will an FSSI strategy consider the complex requirements or services needed to achieve a successful, on time move in?

Services are an integral part of the furniture procurement process and will be considering which services to include in our strategy.

c. Will the services associated with furniture buys be a separate contract?

We are in the very early stages of our initiative. No decisions have been made yet on an acquisition solution strategy.

d. Has there been consideration that furniture buys fall into 2 categories, transactional-catalog and complex projects?

This initiative is looking at a large range of agency requirements, including transactional-catalog and complex project requirements.

e. How will the government implement strategic sourcing - by manufacturer, by commodity, by SIN number, by contract?

As mentioned, this initiative is still in the very early planning stages.  At this time, no decisions have been made on a definitive acquisition solution strategy.

f. Will the FSSI drive costs to individual agencies? How will the government address potential safety issues with data/electrical and multiple parts of systems furniture?

The goal of this initiative is to reduce government’s Total Cost of Ownership. At this time, no decisions have been made on definitive data requirements.

g. Has GSA considered using resources to improve existing Schedules and make the Schedule a better platform for individual agency strategic purchasing without the need for a three levels of competition?

We are looking at multiple ways to streamline the furniture acquisition process.

h. Will industry participants have visibility into the government’s metrics?

 

When the solution is finalized, there will be information shared with the public on the www.strategicsourcing.gov website.  As this initiative is in its infancy, no metrics have been developed at this time.

 

2. Reporting - Data driven purchasing

a. The government should demonstrate it is making full use of the data that it already has through MAS and other contract requirements before requesting additional data. Collecting additional data increases cost to contractors which inevitably results in higher pricing. Small businesses are particularly impacted by additional data reporting requirements.

Thank you, this will be taken into consideration.

b. Will the reporting requirements be consistent with standard commercial practices?

We welcome input from industry on standard commercial practices related to reporting requirements to help streamline the process.

 

3. Improved operating efficiencies- alignment of agency needs

a. How will operational excellence improve?

We welcome input from industry to help the government improve operational excellence.

 

4. Improved social economic utilization

a. What strategies is the government using to ensure socio economic utilization?

One very important goal of this initiative is to maintain or increase small business participation. We welcome input from industry to help us meet this goal.

 
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