ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala -- The Army Contracting Command-Warren (Anniston) Contracting Office recently conducted three consecutive one-day sessions of Procurement Package Preparation Training for Anniston Army Depot employees.

The more than 50 attendees included contracting officer representatives, Acquiline/PR web-authorized users, Advance Acquisition Plan coordinators and others who may be responsible for preparing purchase requests for contracted services, supplies and equipment.

Each session in the training, which was held Oct. 8-10, included a series of formal presentations along with workshop time where contracting personnel were available to assist preparers with questions and documents for particular purchases.

The training covered key aspects of the procurement process, introducing students to the rules, documents and actions needed for a procurement package for requirements generally over $25,000.

When an ANAD organization has a need for services, supplies or equipment (a requirement) which cannot be met through government sources, a procurement package is prepared to bring together the information and documents needed for the contracting office to complete the purchase.

The procurement process includes regulatory requirements for market research, estimating, competition and socio-economic sourcing. The procurement package documents walk preparers through these requirements to ensure these critical steps are covered.

The preparer usually begins by establishing an Integrated Product Team. ANAD's IPT process was streamlined a few years ago through Lean events to make starting the IPT as simple as filling out a short questionnaire and sending it to IPT coordinators through an established group email address, "USARMY Anniston AD TACOM List IPT Coordinators."

The contracting office team -- including the contracting officer, contract specialist, COR manager, quality and price/cost analyst -- is always part of the IPT.

The IPT coordinators represent the various ANAD stakeholders responsible for key functions like facilities, environmental compliance, safety and property management. The IPT members for each buy will be from organizations with an interest in that particular buy.

For example, a piece of equipment may have potential environmental and facilities issues to identify early in order to ensure the item purchased meets standards and can be installed as intended. The Legal Office always reviews statements of work and any justifications to buy from a particular source.

Each IPT is tailored to meet the unique demands of each procurement action. Package preparers work with IPT members and the contracting office to ensure market research is sufficient, the statement of work describes the need, and the independent government price estimate is supported.

Preparing a procurement package is definitely a team effort. The process works best when the right people come together early -- package preparers, contracting professionals, and other stakeholders -- each having an important role in ensuring ANAD gets the right product or service to meet the need, on time and at a fair price.