JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (Sept. 14, 2018) -- In order to maximize effective and efficient execution for food services and dining attendant support to the Army, Mission and Installation Contracting Command officials recently established a center of excellence to provide contracting support for feeding more than 200,000 Soldiers every day.

After successful testing of this approach on other types of contracting requirements, the MICC-Fort Sam Houston Center of Contracting Excellence for Full Food Services and Dining Facility Attendants will be the focal point for processing contract requirements packages submitted by Army customers throughout the nation.

The center will administer solicitations, performance work statements, proposals, negotiations, evaluations and the award of contracts for food services and dining facilities. After award, contracts will be administered by one of 30 MICC field offices for the lifetime of the contract. The command executes more than 500 contract actions for accommodation and food services valued at more than $270 million annually.

An integrated planning team consisting of personnel from Army Sustainment Command, the Joint Culinary Center of Excellence, MICC and Army Contracting Command developed a standardized acquisition approach consisting of an acquisition strategy, performance work statement, quality assurance surveillance plan, performance requirements summary and a cost model for the procurement of FFS and DFA in support of Army units.

"Our team is doing a great job of getting the work streamlined and standardized," said Gary Stevens, a contracting officer for the MICC-Fort Sam Houston COE. "The goal is to realize a significant savings to the Army and provide a great benefit to our readiness to support our Soldiers."

A key method contracting personnel are using to manage resources is category management. This method is the foundation for center acquisition personnel to use as a pre-award planning tool for managing a responsive supply chains, the synchronization between requirements and providing efficient sources for Army requirements.

"Category management is an approach the federal government is applying to buy smarter and more like a single enterprise," said Cyp LaPorte, deputy director of contracting operations for the MICC. "Category management enables the government to eliminate redundancies, increase efficiency, and deliver more value and savings from the government's acquisition programs."

Using this approach allows center personnel to identify core areas for spending, collectively develop heightened levels of expertise, leverage shared best practices, and provide acquisition, supply and demand management solutions.

"Strategic sourcing is a key practice within this process. It is a collaborative and structured process of critically analyzing an organization's spending and using this information to make better business decisions," Laporte said.

Strategic sourcing involves the establishment or modification of acquisition vehicles to better address federal government procurement needs and more effectively leverage spend, market position, market knowledge, and capabilities in contract terms and conditions.

"This process helps agencies optimize performance, minimize price, increase achievement of socio-economic acquisition goals, evaluate total life cycle management costs, improve vendor access to business opportunities and otherwise increase the value of each dollar spent," LaPorte said.

The center will be using the same acquisition strategy, solicitation, contract line item number structure and source selection used for all full food service contracts, with a few exceptions of tailoring respective workloads based on specific requests from the customer.

"Once we start using standardized packages, it's going to save a tremendous amount of manpower for us and our customers, because we don't have to keep reinventing the process," LaPorte said. "We'll already have a 90 percent solution, and they'll just add items that fit their needs. It will be like ordering from the menu."

About the MICC:
Headquartered at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, the Mission and Installation Contracting Command consists of about 1,500 military and civilian members who are responsible for contracting goods and services in support of Soldiers as well as readying trained contracting units for the operating force and contingency environment when called upon. The command is made up of two contracting support brigades, two field directorates, 30 contracting offices and nine battalions. MICC contracts are vital in providing many daily base operations support services at installations, facilitate training in the preparation of more than 100,000 conventional force members annually, training more than 500,000 students each year, and maintaining more than 14.4 million acres of land and 170,000 structures.