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Another Agency E-Commerce Portal Continues to Grow

UPDATE 5/16/2018: DLA is planning a major IDIQ for medical supplies, known as Foreign Military Sales Medical Surgical (Med/Surg). Click here to read more about the new Tailored Logistics Support contract. 

After covering the expansion of FedBid and the billions of dollars spent by Federal agencies on the “reverse auction” platform, and explaining GSA online procurement portals like eBuy  and GSA’s governmentwide vehicle purchasing portal known as AutoChoice, EZGovOpps will now cover a recent announcement regarding new contracts for DLA’s own e-commerce portal: ECAT.

Nora Steigerwalt, Medical supply chain director of customer operations, meets with Air Force medical service corps officers at DLA Troop Support.

Nora Steigerwalt, Medical supply chain director of customer operations, meets with Air Force medical service corps officers at DLA Troop Support. (Photo via Shawn J. Jones/DOD)

Short for electronic catalog- ECAT is, by DLA’s own definition: “an online ordering, distribution and payment system providing DoD and other federal customers access to multiple manufacturer and distributor commercial catalogs at discounted prices.” Specifically, ECAT is used for express purchase and delivery of pharmaceutical, laboratory, dental, optical fabrication, and commercial medical and surgical equipment items. Contracting specialists at DLA Troop Support (where other big contracts like the Tailored Logistics Support programs are handled), award contracts to commercial product offerors for what are typically discounted product prices.

After signing the contract (usually an IDIQ), DLA then allows the products to be listed with a “Total Delivered Price” in the electronic catalog. This Total Delivered Price includes the base discounted price for the product, as well as transportation and access fees, meaning that the entire cost to the customer is illustrated in the catalog price. To DLA, the advantage is clear in having “best of both worlds: the convenience of purchasing from local vendors while still benefiting from the volume discount prices associated with central procurement systems.”

Since a first-year ordering total of only $2.6 million in 1999, ECAT reached $390 million in sales in FY15, according to DLA. The advantages of ECAT don’t only extend to DOD customers, as DLA Troop Support last year described a recommendation by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to use the system.

Most recently, DLA released a solicitation in August 2017 for “Laboratory Supplies and Wares” to be ordered through ECAT. This opportunity is intended to build a library of indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contracts, with a primary NAICS code of 339999 — All Other Miscellaneous Manufacturing, and a period of performance of 5 years. DLA estimated contract awards to hit almost $492 million, but estimated a ceiling of up to $983.6 million. While awards would be made after the first solicitation period, DLA will allow for on-ramps during the 5-year performance period. Using the ECAT system, awardees would provide, among other supplies, the following: reagents, diagnostics, chemicals, biologicals, appratus, equipment and instruments, but DLA leaves room for other items.

DLA announced the first award for the standing solicitation on February 9, 2018, with a $48 million IDIQ going to VWR International, based in Pennsylvania. VWR hold contracts with GSA, DOE, VA, NIH and was already awarded a DLA ECAT contract in 2016, for similar supplies. No further awards appear to have been announced.

Interested in learning more about DLA programs down to the award and task-order level, or tracking other DLA Troop Support procurement opportunities like the Tailored Logistics Support contractsSign up for a free trial with EZGovOpps. As the premiere market intelligence platform, EZGovOpps can provide the information needed to follow procurement trends, produce personalized opportunity forecasts, and provide custom analyst-updates for a complete understanding of the Federal contracting market today.

Don’t forget to view our full GovCon News section for more intel.


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