SEWP Contract Guide

Anywhere in the world you can go to to find the products you need from the suppliers you trust at a price you can afford.

One of the great things about the Worldwide Web is it literally can take you around the world in the blink of an eye.

One of the many great things about the worldwide SEWP website is you can do product research, present your RFQ, make your award from anywhere in the world – and read the “SEWPism of the Month”.

“Often happy, but never satisfied” is the SEWPism for June  2008 and it also happens to be one of SEWP PM Joanne Woytek’s favorite phrases.

“I’m happy with the website, but we have a long list of things we need to do,” said Woytek. “But over the last year, we’ve significantly improved the site.”

To do that takes a lot, because the SEWP website was already a hit with buyers.

“The fact that I could have those product numbers and just load them in there and find out that they are on the SEWP contract, that’s a big help to me, said,” said Air Force’s Tom Moseley during the 2008 SEWP Conference.

“I don’t have to pick up the phone and call somebody. Everything is there,” added Justice’s Vanida Thompson.

Enhancing Your Experience
Look for an enhanced Manufacturer Lookup Tool that makes it easy to find the company, the item and if they are authorized resellers. “With a couple of clicks on the website, get a whole lot of information on companies on the contracts” explained Woytek. “When you have 2000 suppliers you have to do that easily. And when you have 1 million line items, how do you help customers know what’s available? All of that has been improved.”

“We’ve also improved the Fair Opportunity interface to make it even better than before,” added Woytek.  And improvements to the RFQ tool will continue. “Next FY we will have a whole rewrite of RFQ tool; we have so many new ideas we want to make it better.”

The website also houses a very informative Glossary that gives users a practical explanation of all the different terms associated with SEWP.

No wonder Moseley said, “What I find interesting and appealing to me is the receptiveness of the SEWP program people to listen and to put these changes into motion.”

The Always Improving RFQ Tool

GlobeThe RFQ tool is being continually improved according to Woytek. “We are finding new things to do with it. For example, we have the ability to indicate that an award has been determined so people can say ’I’ve done my RFQ and I’ve made my award’ and the ability to verify that items are on the contract so customers can do the award.”

SEWP works hard to provide tools the customer can make work for them. So the RFQ tool is nice, because it’s not “you have to do it this way” explained Woytek.

“It gives you options. It gives you the option of ‘what do you want back?’ Do you want to just ask questions for market research? Or do you want a full formal quote? And you can use the same tool for both. Do you want the response sent to you by email, or do you want to track everything on line. We give you nice options throughout the process.”

That includes giving you the new option of putting in a secondary contact so you can have somebody else know what is going on.

“Either way it works. It’s all in one nice tool,” noted Woytek.

“The same tool provides market research capability as well as the ability to do a final quote,” said Pat Logan, SEWP deputy program manager.

“So the user can just go in there and put in general questions and get feedback; then come back the next month and actually put a final quote through. So they are using the same system. It serves as market research and it also for the
final quoting.”

The SEWP Web Site is an information rich resource,
which includes VA and DOD web pages for agency specific
policies and information.

Whether customers are looking for product information or product purchasing, they can rest assure the SEWP database is current. What makes SEWP work is that from the beginning there has been a high technical standard and a high contract standard because of the NASA involvement. There are a lot of technical capabilities built into the system; it’s highly database and electronic process oriented according to Logan.

And the SEWP team has made sure that staff can be anywhere in the world and interact with that data.

According to Logan, one of the things that set SEWP apart from other GWACs is the SEWP database.

“We have a very dynamic database. It’s real time. So if you are searching, it’s real time. You don’t have to worry, if this the most current database of information, because it is,” said Logan.

“It’s accurate to that moment and we have the ability to update it almost immediately. So I think another reason why people come to SEWP is that they know we have the most recent technology,” noted Logan.

“We want to make sure that as the technology industry changes daily, we want to be right in line with that. Everything really spins from the database record and we spend a lot of time on it to make sure that it is current and up-to-date.”

Electronic Addition
The reason SEWP can add products so quickly is based in the fact of what the SEWP RFQ tool asks of the customer and its electronic processes.

“We are not a catalogue,” explained Woytek. “We don’t give you the information, you have to go and query it.” Plus when Contract Holders add items, it’s done electronically. Contractors can send SEWP a file without any human interaction.

Woytek explained that emails are sent back to them that summarize the information in a way that indicates: what the product is; what the prices are; how they compare to other people’s prices; if there’s an increase or a decrease in the price; what the description is; and if other people had that product on contract.

“It makes it very easy to go through and look for discrepancies, things that pop out, such as this is 5 times the price of anybody else’s,” said Woytek. “We can quickly glance through and in fact we are going to make it quicker in the future, because there will be more artificial intelligence.”

“The only other question is ‘it is in scope’? As a matter of fact you can only add products from manufacturers that we have already identified as being in scope,” added Woytek.

“So we’ve already identified products as being in scope, thus we’ve built in a gateway to make sure that what manufacturers are sending is already in scope.”

The Right Combination
“You can go in to the tool and you can go to one vendor or all of them and say ‘I have a customer who is interested in this type of solution, can you give me that type of information?’” noted Woytek.

“We just use that to start an information flow between the contractor holders and customers. It doesn’t have to go right from, ‘I need something, get me a quote.’ Often times it goes:  ‘I need something, let me get an email, let me get some information and then I’ll come back later and do a quote.’ And our system is geared to allow for that multi-step process.”

Logan agreed. “It’s the combination of electronic processing and a contract outline built based on a discount structure on top of list price, and then continuing to have communication and competition throughout the process.

Save Time Using SEWP’s Personalized Online Tools 

Find what you need quickly with SEWP’s easy-to-use online tools:

* Search for product, manufacturer and pricing information
* Product offering updated within hours
* Conduct market research RFI’s and submit RFQs
* Track orders online
* Retrieve order history – including previous quotes