GSA puts Advantage out for review

General Services Administration officials are putting GSA Advantage! under the microscope to determine whether they have a smooth operation and also help the agency spell out its e-commerce vision.

The procurement agency upgraded GSA Advantage!’s systems early in 2011. The upgrades modified its search engine and updated the customer interface. Changes continue to modernize its core business systems and reduce operations and maintenance costs. They also want the operations to be more flexible.

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GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service oversees Advantage! The site gives government agencies a place to buy goods and services online. Much like commercial online sites, it allows users to search for what they need and compare prices. They can place orders and manage deliveries and payments. GSA Advantage! has more than 500,000 registered users and provides access to more than 31 million products and services offered by more than 17,000 vendors.

Now, GSA wants to make sure the upgrades have provided the purchasing web site with a strong platform, according to a request for proposal that was released Nov. 7.

The assessment will consider whether the various strategic business parts are aligned as well as a high-level assessment of core capabilities. The search engine is likely to go under the microscope first, according to the solicitation. As part of this process, officials want insights on leading industry models for meeting e-commerce needs.

Overall, “this effort is to assist the government to develop and document FAS’s e-commerce vision,” officials wrote in the RFP.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.


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