In these days of criticizing our civil servants, we forget when they do something really terrific.
Imagine, for a moment, the gargantuan size of our U.S. Government. Consider all the departments, agencies, divisions, sections and subsections – each trying to fulfill their own mission and all looking to buy just about every product and service under the sun. Now imagine the size and staggering cost of managing the tens of thousands of contracts involved, each one of them unique. If you picture the complexity as a truckload of warm spaghetti spilled all over the freeway, you’re not even close.
A while back, someone in the much-maligned GSA had the brilliant idea of bringing all these contracts and suppliers together. The plan was to come up with categories that could fit all the suppliers, centralize the supplies like a giant Sears catalog, and make them all bid competitively ONCE. Instead of giant seething morass of a half a million constantly-competed and constantly-evaluated, dismally duplicated bidding wars, the GSA would end up with a big book of the best suppliers and best value in the nation – saving the taxpayer billions. It was dazzling.
How do I know this? Because after two years of hard work (and wasting business time and taxpayer dollars competing for and winning a grab-bag of random contracts, all much the same) our company, Team Results USA, has finally won a place on the GSA Schedule. For us, it means more time doing what we love and less time typing the same old proposals. For the taxpayer, it means that you only pay for us to be rigorously evaluated ONCE, and then centrally checked and rated every year.
More government should be like this. GSA chief Dan Tangherlini – who didn’t invent the GSA Schedule but is its strongest advocate in years – is an example of a public servant who deserves applause. The same applies to the men and women of the GSA Schedule, working hard to save us taxpayers time and money every day.