Beyond sales: Eight reasons why the DOD EMALL works for government

I was asked the question earlier:  “How is the DOD EMALL important other than as a sales tool?”

Apparently, the question took some people by surprise, but not me. The DOD EMALL provides several acquisition services that extend beyond traditional eCommerce (though that is certainly a big part of it).

Here are my top eight reasons why DOD EMALL works for government:

1. Saves money.  Buying online is inherently cheaper than going to a store or writing a contract for each purchase.

2. Global access – 24/7.  DOD EMALL provides a single point of access for users around the world, and around the clock.  This allows shoppers and vendors to work on their own schedules, regardless of time or location.

3. Innovation platform. For years, DOD EMALL has been a launching pad for several, new IT-acquisition practices and applications — resulting in a number of firsts for the Department of Defense:

Establishment of unique Service-acquisition rules like the Army JWOD/AbilityOne and the Army discount policy.
Strategic sourcing of office supply contracts — started by the Army, but now implemented for all the the Services.

4.   DLA enhancements.  DOD EMALL has opened up access to the Defense Logistics Agency’s managed items for Performance Based Logistics (PBL) contractors and state governments.

5.  NAVFAC base services.  For over ten years, the Naval Facilities Command has used the DOD EMALL to support base-services contracts on Navy and Marine bases worldwide.

6.  Government-wide Acquisition Contracts.  DOD EMALL allows  Military Services to grant and gain access to GWAC contracts from other federal agencies, enabling strategic sourcing across the Department of Defense.

7.  Data quality.  DOD EMALL regularly provides Level III credit card data to several Service systems, and soon the Federal Procurement Data System – Next Generation (FPDS-NG) as well.

8. […]

Governments using BPM for optimizing acquisition processes

Last week, Matt Langan of Appian had an excellent post on the emerging use of Business Process Management (BPM) software in the government acquisition process. He stated that, “we are seeing government embrace Business Process Management (BPM) acquisition solutions (versus COTS) in order to gain process transparency, react quickly to change and improve process efficiency; thereby allowing federal purchasing organizations to successfully enhance the entire procurement lifecycle.”

BPM software can guide government acquisition officers through the complex rules of government procurement — saving time and reducing administrative overhead and paperwork.  Each agency develops unique workflow and business-rule requirements, which in turn, are addressed by the application software.

With over 15 years of industry experience, Partnet understands the complexity of the business rules surrounding government acquisition, but also recognizes problems associated with implementing standard BPM applications.

Partnet’s BPM solution is a flexible and easy-to-use business-rules framework and workflow engine that directly addresses problems found in other BPM solutions.  Quartz BPM uses simple, UI-based wizards that allow any end user to design and optimize business rules and workflow for approvals, registrations, permissions, and more. These wizards help non-developers easily identify application trigger points, data entities, users, and other critical process elements. The Quartz BPM interface also generates graphical workflow representations that allow users to see their processes as they’re defined.

In other words, Quartz BPM helps align and continuously improve government and commercial  business processes.

How to Increase Accuracy in Supply Chain Management

Accuracy is an essential ingredient in supply chain management. Without it, managers have a more difficult time making the right decisions for their organizations.

There are three main ways organizations can improve the accuracy of their supply chain system. First, use barcodes and scanners. Second, use inventory management software to organize the data. Third, automatically update the accounting database at the same time as the inventory database.

1. Using Barcodes and Scanners

With the help of barcode software and portable scanners, organizations can easily keep track of their inventory levels, place orders and accurately assess their ever-changing inventory needs.

When new products arrive, workers can scan them in and instantly update their inventory database. This saves time and reduces the risk of errors creeping into orders and inventories. If employees have to type product numbers and quantities into a computer by hand, they are more likely to make errors than if they scan product barcodes.

2. Using Inventory Management Software

Barcodes and scanners are great tools, but unless they have an organized place to put their information, they are useless. Inventory management software helps companies stay up to date on their inventory situation. An electronic inventory database can be instantly updated via barcode scanners so that at any given time managers know how many products they have and how many they need.

Inventory management software is also a good tool for estimating future inventory needs. Based on past sale cycles and changes in consumer demand, the software can help managers order more or less of certain products to maintain a balance between being overstocked and out of stock.

3. Updating Accounting and Inventory Databases

If managers have to enter the same information into multiple databases, they have a higher chance of making a […]

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