Air Force finds savings via auction

In its first test of online auctions, the Air Force saved $88,000 on the

price of computer equipment.

The auctions were held last week, and the results announced Monday.

The service saved about 27 percent off the $325,000 estimated cost for computer

equipment to be used by the Air Combat Command, Langley Air Force Base,

Va. One auction generated more than 35 percent savings from the best available

price on an existing government contract.

The auctions each lasted about 35 minutes. One auction included more

than 40 offers, as five vendors speedily bid against each other for the

lowest price.

The Air Force conducted the auction using an Internet-based application

provided by Frictionless Commerce Inc., Cambridge, Mass., in conjunction

with Moai Inc., San Francisco. The software application was first developed

for the Army.

The Army allowed the Air Force to use the application and provided support

personnel, according to Gloria Cales, an Air Force spokeswoman.

Frictionless and Moai in June announced a partnership to "revolutionize

the U.S. Army's e-procurement process" through the use of the Frictionless

PurchaseSource Unified e-Marketplace, which enables search, selection and

product comparison, and Moai's LiveExchange reverse auction functions.

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