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PSC Selected by HHS IDEA Lab Ventures Board

PSC has been selected by the HHS IDEA Lab Ventures Board to develop and implement an innovative project, an online marketplace for lab supply acquisitions using an e-commerce model, to streamline the acquisition of lab supplies.

logo: H.H.S. Idea Lab

HHS Ventures Fund

The HHS Ventures Fund invests in and supports bold ideas to transform HHS operations. There were 39 applicants — a new record! This was a three-part competition, and the PSC project team made it to the final round with the top seven groups. PSC presented their innovative project to a panel of HHS judges in convincing fashion on February 17.

“Congratulations for being selected for this prestigious award,” remarked Al Sample, Director, PSC. “This is a significant accomplishment for the supply chain management team and reflects very highly upon the preparation, thought, and outstanding teamwork that went into achieving this award.”

The Idea

The PSC initiative, called Streamlining Acquisitions for Lab Supplies, is about improving the business of lab supply chain management by using PSC procurement vehicles and leveraging automation. HHS currently spends about $290 million annually for laboratory supplies using a variety of methods that may be potentially expensive, inefficient, and duplicative. PSC’s proposed lab-supplies acquisition method will provide for greater efficiencies, reduced costs, and eliminate duplicative processes.

PSC is developing an end-to-end process to acquire laboratory supplies by creating an online marketplace to be used by laboratories across HHS. By applying proven supply-chain and category management methodologies along with state-of-the-art technology, HHS can reduce inefficiencies, improve consumer satisfaction, and improve business processes. This approach is scalable to other commodities purchased across HHS and the federal government. The same engine could later be used to order other supplies such as medical surgical supplies or pharmaceuticals.

“This is a significant accomplishment for the supply chain management team and reflects very highly upon the preparation, thought, and outstanding teamwork that went into achieving this award.”

― Al Sample, Director, PSC

The idea is to make buying lab supplies easier by providing a one-stop shop for purchasing laboratory supplies for HHS using an e-commerce procurement and delivery model. It would utilize a proven, commercial off-the-shelf software package solution. The team has looked at approving a system and is exploring various options.

The Process

PSC would create a number of indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contracts with pre-negotiated best pricing and terms and conditions for lab supplies, and load that data in a robust and dynamic warehouse and distribution infrastructure. HHS users would have access to the lowest possible pricing since all the demand would come through one place. The benefits would include lower costs, more availability, shorter lead and order cycle time, a simplified process, and aggregate orders. PSC can leverage its expertise in supply-chain management, acquisitions management, as well as shared services with economies of scale for lab supplies.

“By bringing all the demand data together from the divergent sources, you can get a better picture of the demand and, thereby, a better price negotiation,” said Mark Burchess, Deputy Director, Supply Chain Management Services. “It is the very definition of shared services. We will bring shared services expertise to lab supplies.”

The Team

PSC project team members include: Lori Frederick, Director, PSC Supply Chain Management Services; Mark Burchess, Deputy Director, PSC Supply Chain Management Services; Doris Gibson, Director, Office of Acquisition Program Support; Patrick Joy, Head of Contracting Activity, PSC; and Jd Walter, PSC Director of Customer Relationship Management. Project champions include Al Sample, Director, PSC; Bill McCabe, Chief Financial Officer, PSC; and Mike Saunders, Director, PSC Real Estate and Logistics Portfolio.

For more information, go to the HHS news release with the announcement by HHS Secretary Tom Price, M.D., and the HHS IDEA Lab Ventures Fund website.

Congratulations to the PSC team on this fantastic, innovative project!