GSA admits demand-based model no 'silver bullet'

The General Services Administration’s Demand-Based Model won’t solve the procurement agency’s growing cost of running its Multiple Award Schedules program, but it is a good first step, a GSA official said July 27.

“It’s not a silver bullet,” Houston Taylor, associate commissioner of the Federal Acquisition Service’s Office of Acquisition Management, said about the new business model. “It won’t fix everything, but it will allow us to start focusing and concentrating on the customer.”

Taylor spoke at the Multiple Award Government and Industry Conference in Arlington, Va.

GSA is instituting the Demand-Based Model to align its resources with areas of greatest need. Officials can direct attention to those areas where demand is increasing, and, on the other hand, they can pull resources away from areas where demand has fallen off.

Over the last several years, the number of companies seeking schedules contracts has roughly doubled and the volume of contract modifications has roughly tripled. Some of the growth is from new services and products, but too much of it isn’t, in the agency's view.

While those numbers are increasing, Taylor said GSA Schedules’ market share isn’t going up. The Schedules really don’t show a lot of growth.

The cost of business is going up for everyone. Customer agencies have pushed GSA officials to lower their prices and be more flexible, in light of the tough budgetary circumstances, he said.

GSA is also being pressured to reduce its cost of operations and find smarter ways to do business. The Demand-Based Model will help GSA lower some of its costs, but challenges still remain, Taylor said.

About the Author

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

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