Savings on Army IT hardware magnified through Consolidated Buy program

Semiannual sale offers even steeper discounts

The Consolidated Buy (CB) program managed by the Computer Hardware, Enterprise Software and Solutions office requires Army organizations to make any purchases of desktop and laptop computers twice a year, from January to March and from June to September.

Reporting to the Army Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems, the CHESS CB program is open and accepting orders, and it will run through Sept. 30. During this period, Army Desktop and Mobile Computing-2 (ADMC-2) vendors supply consolidated buying discounts on top of prenegotiated low prices for commercial off-the-shelf IT hardware and software solutions.

The CB program offers Army personnel around the globe a variety of desktop and laptop configurations, with available options and upgrades, from various manufacturers and resellers that include CDW Government, Dell, Emtec Federal, Hewlett-Packard, ITG, NCS Technologies, Telos and Transource. All desktop and laptop computers are delivered preloaded with the latest standard baseline configurations embodied in the Army Golden Master program, according to CHESS officials.

A little background

In 2005, to increase the Army’s IT savings, CHESS established the CB program to provide the Army a window to leverage its buying power twice each fiscal year. According to Army officials, during the CB open period, CHESS’ ADMC-2 contract suppliers offer additional discounts on prenegotiated prices for state-of-the-art COTS desktop and laptop computers and monitors, each with a wide selection of options and upgrades.

In fiscal 2010, the CHESS CB program shipped nearly 70,000 units, for sales of $58 million and a cost avoidance of $7.7 million, according to CHESS officials. Total sales since the inception of the CB program have topped $715 million, with a total cost avoidance of $275.8 million.

Contracting officers can visit the CHESS website and view side-by-side comparisons of specifications and prices and evaluate different systems in accordance with their procedures. They can also place orders, officials said. Army organizations take advantage of the CB program to net substantial savings regardless of the quantities procured. Even a single user who orders only one system benefits by receiving the same reduced price as larger volume purchasers. The savings possible varies but has exceeded 40 percent per system purchased, based on each vendor’s pricing and the options selected.

In accordance with Army Regulation 25-1, “Army Knowledge Management and Information Technology,” CHESS is responsible for implementing consolidated buys of desktop and laptop computers for the service at the enterprise level. The CB process is the most cost-effective approach to fulfilling user requirements for these products. The CB is also in direct support of the Army CIO's strategy for acquiring products that are fully compliant with Federal Desktop Core Configuration regulations and Defense Department and Army security and interoperability standards.

Standard product delivery via the CB program is 30 days for orders in the continental United States and 35 days in other countries. Customers who require alternate or expedited delivery must contact the vendor before placing the order. International orders outside Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Belgium, Turkey, Puerto Rico, the  United Kingdom and the Netherlands are listed as remote outside the continental United States.

CB products come with a standard three-year warranty. Warranty details for each vendor are on the CB Products and Prices Web page. Additional information about each vendor’s products is also on the CB Products and Prices Web page. Customers who require different warranty coverage should contact the vendor for a price quote.

About this report

This special report was commissioned by the Content Solutions unit, an independent editorial arm of 1105 Government Information Group. Specific topics are chosen in response to interest from the vendor community; however, sponsors are not guaranteed content contribution or review of content before publication. For more information about 1105 Government Information Group Content Solutions, please e-mail us at