Treasury speeds IT buys
- By Dan Caterinicchia, Dan Caterinicchia
- Apr 24, 2000
Treasury Department workers can order computer products online via a first-of-its-kind
electronic procurement World Wide Web site, according to the terms of a
blanket purchase agreement announced last week.
The site was designed and is maintained by SMAC Data Systems Inc. to
serve as a "one-stop shopping" service where authorized Treasury employees
can purchase desktop computers, notebook computers, servers, printers and
networking equipment from companies including Toshiba America Information
Systems Inc., Cisco Systems Inc., Lexmark International Inc. and SMS Data
"We became aware of this opportunity around Christmastime, got the BPA
in January, and the site was up and running [the week of April 10]," said
Ashok Mehan, chief executive officer and president of SMAC Data. "This [system]
is a major breakthrough in the often cumbersome federal procurement process."
Mehan said SMAC Data handled the project completely in-house but did
experience some bumps along the way. "We struggled with the format of the
schedules that came from the different vendors," he said. "The vendors use
different formats, and we had to put them all together in a way that would
be easy to use from the browser standpoint and seamless for the user. That
was a big challenge on the back end."
The new system also enables Treasury employees to track orders and purchases
throughout the procurement process. Employees can use bar codes from UPS
or Federal Express to see exactly where their product is at any given time,