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.  Self-service. DOD EMALL provides a number of self-service tools for its logistics customers.

  • Order-status tracking support for all DLA-managed items
  • Supportability Analysis and Stock Out Reports (SA-SOR), allows logistics planners to research and support critical, weapons-system items.
  • Specialized functionality for Critical Item Lists, Critical Readiness Drivers, and Priority Requisition Lists (CIL/CRD/PRL).

Over the last ten years, DOD EMALL’s sales volume has grown from virtually nothing to nearly $1 billion annually.  Though only fraction of DOD’s overall annual spending, it is clear that DOD EMALL — and Government eCommerce, in general — has proven itself  a valuable acquistion tool in ways that extend beyond dollars and cents, while moving the DOD forward into the digital era.