GSA decides to close six warehouses

GSA decides to close six warehouses

MARCH 21'After months of deliberation, the General Services Administration announced Monday that it will close six of eight supply warehouses in an effort to streamline its operations.

Facilities in Palmetto, Ga., and Fort Worth, Texas, as well as forward supply points in Franconia, Va.; Auburn, Wash.; Chicago and Denver will close by April 2001, GSA officials said. Supply depots in Burlington, N.J., and Stockton, Calif., will remain open.

GSA did not reveal how many employees will be laid off as a result of the decision.

"GSA's Federal Supply Service distribution centers have provided a cost-effective source of products to federal customers over most of the last 50 years. However, the long-term declining trend in sales, intensifying competition from commercial sources, and an increasingly complex array of customer demands create business issues which require our attention," said GSA administrator David J. Barram and FSS commissioner Frank P. Pugliese in a statement.

GSA officials tied their decision to a study by Logistics Management Institute of McLean, Va., and two consultants that showed the agency would save money and maintain current service levels by reducing the number of distribution centers [see story at www.gcn.com/vol19_no4/news-briefs/1378-1.html].

The agency will form two new organizations within FSS: a Supply Business Line and a Business Planning Unit. Those organizations will be responsible for the transition to the new way of doing business, officials said.

The warehouses have been an issue since GSA announced last summer that it was closing all eight in favor of a virtual platform that relied on online ordering [see story at www.gcn.com/vol18_no23/news/303-1.html].

The American Federation of Government Employees, however, was able to block the closure because GSA did not properly consult with the union before making its decision [see story at www.gcn.com/vol18_no35/news/847-1.html].

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