GSA plans Advantage upgrades

Contractors will be able to immediately modify their General Services Administration schedule contract listings once a planned change to the agency's Advantage online shopping system is complete.

GSA plans to launch the new feature, called QuickMods, on a pilot basis in the spring, said Roger Waldron, director of GSA's Federal Supply Service's Acquisition Management Center. Currently, companies have to submit changes such as new prices, new items or the removal of existing items, to the agency, which then makes the modification.

Once QuickMods is available, agencies can make the changes themselves, Waldron said. "We're trying to create a more dynamic market," he said, speaking this morning at a breakfast hosted by National Business Promotions and Conferences Inc.

GSA is setting up customized versions of Advantage for specific agencies. The Defense Department's Virtual Information Technology Marketplace is part of the system.

GSA is working on a business case analysis for Advantage, as recommended in a March General Accounting Office report, Waldron said. The report stated that less than 1 percent of GSA's sales go through Advantage.

"When GSA Advantage started -- it seems like a lifetime ago -- it was when the Internet was just starting," he said. The original developers "accomplished a heck of a lot. They built the foundation. But now it is time for us to do a business case, make sure we understand what people use it for and where we should go with it."

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