GSA FOCUSES ON CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE & “NORTH STARS”
Customer Experience (CX) is the new major focus area for GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service (FAS), according to remarks made by Deputy Commissioner Tom Howder at the recent Coalition for Government Procurement Spring Conference. Everything that FAS does will be looked at through the lens of CX. In addition, FAS has three “North Stars”: 1. Deliver value to customer missions; 2. Create and support innovative, compliant, and resilient marketplaces; and 3. Make it easier for industry to do business with FAS. This includes easier contracting and better post-award support from GSA. Howder’s themes were echoed throughout the conference by GSA speakers. Assistant Commissioner for the IT Category Laura Stanton reiterated that her office wants to ensure that small firms not only receive contract awards but are prepared to get actual orders via their contracts. Assistant Commissioner for General Supplies and Services Erv Kohler emphasized the need for GSA and its contractor partners to deliver quickly on customer needs. Although supply chain disruptions can pose challenges, GSA still wants to make sure federal customers receive needed goods in a timely manner. Sheri Meadema, Acting Assistant Commissioner for Professional Services, focused on ease of doing business with GSA. The upcoming OASIS Plus contract (the follow-on for the current OASIS vehicle) will have five small business contract options, maximum on-ramp capabilities, and what GSA hopes to be an easy to understand and qualify for eligibility standard. The Spring Conference also featured discussions on cybersecurity, DOD acquisition, and what comes next for programs like GSA Alliant, the Commercial Platform Initiative, and NASA SEWP. The conference was held mostly in-person and was a welcome return to networking and face-to-face interaction. Attendees learned much from both the presentations and each other.