By Robert Dozier, U.S. Army Installation Management CommandMay 1, 2012
SAN ANTONIO -- New national distribution contracts in the Joint Services Prime Vendor Program announced April 25 are expected to save money for the Army and streamline enterprise purchases throughout continental United States food and beverage operations.
The Army nonappropriated fund contracting office awarded three contracts for the distribution of wholesale food supplies for all Morale, Welfare and Recreation facilities in the Northeast, Southeast and West regions.
The Northeast contractor is Reinhart FoodService LLC from La Crosse, Wis., and the Southeast and West contractor is US Foods, Inc., from Rosemont, Ill.
The Army is taking this approach based on market research last year to determine if altering the logistics and operations of nationwide manufacturers could achieve significant savings for the Army.
"We were going to identify our high volume categories, then request bids from qualified manufacturers," said Clemente Berrios, program manager for the Joint Services Prime Vendor Program. "After careful evaluation and analysis, we can now assert that savings are likely. What it means is a bigger bang for the buck."
The research was conducted in five main categories: beef, pork, chicken, oil and potatoes. These are the cost drivers for garrison food operations, according to Berrios.
Once the prime vendors are consolidated, JSPVP will be able to better leverage their current supply and distribution operation and achieve substantial savings, which is the goal of their enterprise buy campaign.
Currently JSPVP uses 40 distributors. While these distributors have served the Army well since 2008, it is imperative that all steps be taken to find any possible savings.
"High volume and low price is the goal," said Berrios.
JSPVP covers not only the Army, but also the Navy, Marines, Coast Guard and Naval Exchanges. While the Air Force has been operating independently, they have shown an interest in this initiative as well.
"This restructure will be for the continental U.S. and Alaska," said Berrios. "The prime vendors we use for Korea-Pacific, Europe, Africa, Middle East and the Mediterranean will remain as-is."
JSPVP serves bowling centers, golf operations, community centers and similar MWR facilities. The Installation Management Command, headquartered at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, requires at least 80 percent of a food operation's budget be spent through JSPVP.