By Capt. John P. Cross, 639th Contracting Team leaderNovember 22, 2017
FORT BRAGG, North Carolina (Nov. 22, 2017) -- Soldiers from the 900th Contracting Battalion's 639th Contracting Team partnered with a FedBid Inc. mobile training team to provide interactive training for contracting team leaders and contract specialists Nov. 16 at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
The purposes for the e-commerce marketplace training event were twofold.
The first goal was to ensure contracting professionals understood how their customers can leverage the Simplified Acquisition Threshold Supply Procurement Program, also known as S2P2, for both acquisitions stateside and, in some cases, use as an enabler in contingency operations.
The S2P2 program was established to reduce the procurement lead time and touch labor associated with the purchase of supplies under the $150,000 simplified acquisitions threshold. S2P2 allows requiring activities supported by the Mission and Installation Contracting Command to post their requirements directly to FedBid e-commerce marketplace where sellers compete.
Battalion leaders said contracting professionals throughout the MICC are at the forefront of customer education. While the S2P2 program is designed for the customer, an understanding by contracting officers on how and when the S2P2 program is used allows them to provide customers with well-rounded acquisition advice and support.
"The training was interesting. We get questions from customers about the S2P2 program, and now we are better equipped to address their concerns. It helps build trust between us and the customer," said Capt. Paul Kilgore, the 608th CT team leader.
The second goal of the training was to introduce the Fort Bragg contracting community to the capabilities and updated features of FedBid. Its e-commerce marketplace features more than 83,000 sellers combined offering full-service support.
A FedBid mobile training team from Washington, led by Anita Nawab and Josh Beardsley, provided insights into how contracting professionals can leverage the marketplace and its support staff to conduct market research, seek vendor pools and manage blanket purchase agreements. The training event prompted several productive discussions and allowed students to think of creative ways that the platform could be used to procure services that were atypical.
"I just didn't know that I could use FedBid to help my market research efforts. It saves a lot of time if you can be pointed toward a capable vendor base," said Capt. Justin Tahilramani, the 717th CT contract management officer. "The platform is very user friendly."
An in-depth overview of how the platform can be used to track options and manage BPAs was provided along with instruction on setting up and managing a master BPA.
"Having a one-stop shop to create, compete and manage BPAs is very useful. I thought the training was very timely since my team is in the process of creating a master BPA for the 82nd Airborne Division," added Staff Sgt. Gregory Gunn, a 639th CT contract specialist.
The 639th CT is co-located with the 82nd ABN DIV headquarters and provides general contracting support to the division. On order, the team provides direct support to the 82nd ABN DIV's Global Reaction Force.