This year, GSA's FAST is a speedy moneymaker

Kansas City’s
FAST program for GSA’s Heartland Region has been the strongest earner.





The General Services Administration’s efforts to make the Federal Acquisition
Services for Technology program a speedy as well as profitable fee-for-service
organization are succeeding, FAST’s director said.


“We lost our shirts last year, but that’s changed this year,” said
Claude Garmon, the program’s director.


FAST, which charges a fee for performing contracting services for agencies, has
regained profitability because the regional offices have increased their revenues while
working together better, he said.


In addition, the regional offices have learned to adhere to a standard rate structure
for most products and services and not lower their rates to win business from other
regions, Garmon said.


Directed by GSA administrators to lower their costs, the FAST offices “had to
learn to form partnerships and share in the marketing costs, particularly for large
orders,” he said.


Regional FAST offices dealing with agencies outside their territories have learned to
accommodate the home FAST offices, he said.


“It’s not a hard-and-fast rule” that outside offices have to give way to
the home office, Garmon said.


“We don’t want to kill the competitiveness that we’ve seen,” he
said.


Competition between regional FAST offices became heated in part because of aggressive
marketing in the Kansas City, Mo., office, Garmon said. “I assure you that that has
changed,” he said.


Kansas City’s FAST program for GSA’s Heartland Region has been the strongest
revenue earner.


During the first six months of fiscal 1997, the Kansas City program had $119 million in
sales, while the other regions totalled less than $80 million in all, Garmon said.


During the first six months of this fiscal year, the Kansas City program reported $189
million in sales and the others sold $220 million worth of goods and services as a group,
he said.


The relatively new spirit of cooperation was on display early last month when the
Philadelphia GSA office referred Kelly Air Force Base, Texas, buyers to the Fort Worth GSA
FAST program, said Kenneth Douglas, GSA account executive in Fort Worth.


Also in early June, the Fort Worth FAST office referred a Hawaii federal office to the
San Francisco GSA FAST office, which supports agencies in the Pacific Rim, Douglas said.


Kansas City GSA FAST officials have turned over Kirkland Air Force Base, N.M., buyers,
as well as those from five Air Force bases and one Army post in Texas, to the Fort Worth
office, he said. 

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