Navy awards reverse-auction contracts
- By Bill Murray
- Dec 05, 2000
Naval Supply Systems Command officials tapped two vendors Monday for software
and services to support reverse auctions for five years.
NAVSUP awarded a $13.88 million
indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract to Electronic Data Systems
Corp. subsidiary eBreviate Inc. to provide reverse auctions using its Web-based
Additionally, Procuri Inc. will provide NAVSUP with a $2.25 million
unlimited subscription to the firm's Web-based auction software, which will
enable users to conduct auctions directly from their desktops.
In a reverse auction, an agency that wants to buy a set amount of goods
or services can invite other bidders to participate. Vendors bid for the
agencies' business, trying to beat anonymous competitors by offering the
lowest prices to deliver the goods and/or services. A company such as eBreviate
or FreeMarkets Inc. runs Web-based reverse auctions, which usually last
30 minutes or more.
Defense Logistics Agency and NAVSUP have used FreeMarkets for several
reverse auctions during the past year.
Any federal agency can use the NAVSUP contract, said Andy McCann, an
EDS client sales executive, adding that eBreviate's software enables users
to make purchasing decisions on factors other than price, such as delivery
schedule or warranty. Users can also tap eBreviate for market-research services
to help them determine what vendors they should invite to participate in
their reverse auctions, he said.
While NAVSUP officials predicted savings of 10 percent to 20 percent
on reverse auctions, one observer said the command is not going far enough.
Because the armed services buy many similar goods and commodities, Defense
Department officials should set up Web-based buying cooperatives to enable
vendors to bid for combined DOD buys for such products, said Robert J. Guerra,
president of Guerra and Associates of Oakton, Va.