Jim Williams: Rebuilding GSA by focusing on customers

The new commissioner of the Federal Acquisition Service said he intends to rebuild GSA’s business by being more in tune with customers and creating new business models.

Jim Williams, the new commissioner of the General Services Administration’s Federal Acquisition Service, said he intends to rebuild GSA’s business by being more in tune with customers and creating new business models — two strategies on which industry experts and GSA appear to agree.

“We have to build our service offerings so they are something the agencies want,” Williams said. “We have to be in tune with what our customers want.”

He added that GSA has few options other than to work through its business problems. “We have some selective trouble spots,” he said. “We have some business models that are not working so well.”

But he said he is ready to tackle his new job. “Frankly, I like big challenges,” he said. “We can’t lose sight [of the fact] that we do this for customers.”

Meanwhile, until its business turns around, GSA might have to offer additional targeted early-outs and buyouts to certain employees, Williams said.

He said he wants to avoid losing employees, but the financial situation at GSA could require it. About 150 employees took advantage of early-outs and buyouts in June. Lurita Doan, who became GSA’s administrator at the end of May, said she would prefer not to further reduce the number of employees but deferred to Williams on that decision. The first round was initiated before Doan and Williams came to GSA.

GSA faces the need to consider offering more early-outs and buyouts in selected, targeted areas to balance revenue and expenses, Williams said. “I have to look at those situations with a realistic eye.”

GSA develops new services
As part of its strategy to adapt and create new business models, GSA recently began offering a new service to help agencies meet their responsibilities under Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12, which requires them to issue secure identity credentials to employees and contractors beginning Oct. 27.

GSA’s HSPD-12 service is based on customers’ needs, Williams said.

GSA officials have said the service will save customers money through bulk purchases of goods that comply with the directive. GSA will also add approved products to its schedules list. How much agencies will save is unclear, however, because prices remain uncertain, officials said.

In addition to providing services, GSA’s HSPD-12 Managed Service Office will handle all Federal Acquisition Service offerings, including products and assisted-service acquisitions.

Challenges mount
GSA faces the challenge of building viable business models as a fee-based agency, Williams said. But more important, GSA has to offer services agencies want, he said. “That means staying very close to the customer.”

In a July interview, Doan said repeat business comes from offering services that customers need, a view that Williams apparently shares with his new boss.

Vendors and industry experts praised Doan’s selection of Williams to head FAS. Judith Nelson, EZGSA’s director of government contracts, noted that Williams has a track record of success in federal procurement. He was previously director of the Homeland Security Department’s U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology program and earlier served as director of GSA’s Local Telecommunications Procurement Division.

Frank Pugliese, a former Federal Supply Service commissioner who is now managing director of government business development at DuPont, said Williams understands the acquisition process, especially for large procurements.

However, Williams is in an awkward position, Pugliese said. He faces a lot of sticky issues at a time when GSA must bring customers back and generate revenue.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.