The Feds: Taking Sourcing Seriously

I've had a number of conversations with various folks in the past month about the evolution of Spend Management in the Federal government. This is not a new issue here at Spend Matters. You can read our previous thoughts on the subject as well as an interview with Raj Sharma, President of CEO of Censeo Consulting, here and here. The good news is that the Feds are finally starting to take action. While many agencies and departments are still years behind the private sector, some are making the effort to catch up. Govexec.com recently featured a story on how the "Treasury Department and General Services Administration kicked off an interagency effort ... to target five commodities for strategic sourcing, a cost-savings technique that leverages the government's buying power." This program is starting with "copiers, cell phones, office supplies, information technology products and express delivery." I've got to admit that I got a chuckle out of that last item, given that the US Postal Service might be a supplier in a competitive event to other departments and agencies. Regardless, these sound like the types of indirect spend categories that AT Kearney has been strategically sourcing for well over a decade. But late is better than never – especially if it saves taxpayers money. And I'll grant that sourcing in the Federal sector is more complex than in the private, as the Feds do have different rules to follow (thanks to the FAR).

-Jason Busch

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