Air Force reaps savings

The Air Force announced last week that it saved $88,000 by using online

reverse auctions to buy computer equipment.

Through the auctions, held earlier this month, the service shaved 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 a more than 35 percent savings from the best available price on

an existing government contract.

Each auction lasted about 35 minutes. One auction included more than

40 offers, as five vendors speedily bid against one another for the lowest


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 Commerce and Moai announced a partnership in June to "revolutionize

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

Purchase-Source — a suite of products that enables search, selection and

product comparison — and Moai's Live-Exchange reverse auction functions.


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