GSA Reverse Auction Goes Forward With Success

GSA Reverse Auction Goes Forward With Success

By Nick Wakeman, Senior Editor

SEPT. 29 ? The General Services Administration has held its first reverse auction under its program, and so far it's the largest reverse auction to date by any federal government agency.

Affiliated Computer Services Inc. of Dallas managed the auction that had 15 companies competing for four lots of IT products.Gateway Inc. of San Diego won the auction for desktops and laptop lots; Micron Electronics Inc. of Nampa, Idaho, won for heavy-duty printers; and SR Tech Inc. of Centerville, Va., won for lightweight printers.

GSA estimates that its customer, the Defense Finance and Accounting Agency, is saving $2 million on the purchases of more than 6,000 desktop computers, nearly 1,500 printers and 200 laptop computers.

In total, DFAS is spending $7.6 million for the products.

"Our objectives were speed and value," said Tom Bloom, director of DFAS, regarding the success of the auction. "This is exactly what we hoped for. In just one afternoon, we saved a considerable amount of money and accomplished a major procurement that might ordinarily take more than five days."

The reverse auction was scheduled for an hour, but lasted more than four as lower bids continued to come in. Reverse auctions earned that name because, rather than prices going up as in a traditional auction, prices fall or go in reverse. Competitors in the auction can see each other's bids, but do not know which company is bidding which price.

"We expected the format to accelerate the contract award process and result in the lowest price possible, and this exceeded expectations," said Gary Maxam, director of DFASÌ Contracting Activity.

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