Driving Acquisition Excellence through Category Management and the Acquisition Gateway
Category Management is a commercial best practice the federal government is applying to buy smarter and act more like a single enterprise. It is the governance framework for agencies to reach broad agreement on common requirements and develop the sourcing strategy to meet the need. Throughout the process, it involves developing market expertise and leveraging shared best practices, sourcing strategies, and demand management solutions, organized around core categories of goods and services the government buys.
As the Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) becomes the government acquisition marketplace, category management enables FAS to build, develop, and share tools and expertise needed for the government to make the right buying decisions, reduce duplication, and deliver the best value for customers. In this framework, the Acquisition Gateway is the workspace for acquisition professionals to learn, connect, and act upon acquisition information. The Gateway makes solution comparisons, market research tools, expert articles, lessons learned, and prices paid data available to help acquisition professionals achieve better outcomes, faster, at each step of the acquisition lifecycle.
- Customers will enjoy savings through decreased contract duplication and improved access to analytics, pricing, and other relevant information.
- Category Management will become a recognized catalyst to encourage federal cooperation in designing common requirements to allow strategic focus on achieving and improving federal procurement mandates e.g. small business utilization and sustainability.
- FAS will leverage a data-driven business management culture to develop better solutions for the marketplace and drive increases in government-wide spend under management (SUM).
- The Acquisition Gateway becomes the preferred workspace and market research tool for acquisition professionals.
- FAS drives improvements in key business measures including enterprise contracts utilization, Gateway adoption, small business utilization, and FAS utilization.
Progress to Date
GSA has established itself as a pro-active federal partner in government Category Management. We were selected by OMB to lead five government-wide categories and run the government-wide program management office to support category management. Given that important responsibility, GSA stood up the Acquisition Gateway and seventeen category hallways, and refined functionality based upon user feedback. We have developed partnerships with customer agencies including OPM, Army, Air Force, and DHS to avoid duplicative contracts and begin aligning government buying practices; and we have realigned many aspects of FAS’s business planning and operational processes around identified categories of goods and services.