Army advances reverse auction

Taking reverse auctions one step further, the Army's Communications-Electronics

Command has tested online procurement software that searches for more information

and performs an analysis of the seller.

Cecom , Fort Monmouth, N.J., announced May 25 that it had tested the

reverse auction process, in which contractors jockeyed to provide the lowest

price. The test included the online purchase of two items: a fax machine

and a laptop computer.

Up to now, other military organizations have conducted reverse auctions

online with price as the only factor. But Cecom used software from Frictionless

Commerce Inc. that selects the seller with the lowest price and then searches

the World Wide Web to locate similar requirements, ensuring that volume

discounts are applied to the final purchase price.

Furthermore, the software has a built-in value analysis capability that

analyzes the sellers, their prices, their performance and their compliance

with previous contractual agreements, such as differing capabilities for

varying brands of equipment, said Tom Clarkson, Cecom spokesman.

The online auction resulted in an approximate 50 percent savings, Clarkson

added.

MORE INFO

"Military salutes online auctions" [Federal Computer Week, May 15, 2000]

"Reverse auctions on GSA schedule" [FCW.com, May 1, 2000]

"Bold new bid" [Federal Computer Week, April 17, 2000]

Army CECOM home page

BY George I. Seffers
May 30, 2000

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