GTSI launches federal customer subsites that it says improves searches

GTSI launches federal customer subsites that it says improves searches

By Kevin McCaney

GCN Staff

As the reach of the Web expands, the choices available to prospective buyers can go from ample to overwhelming. Hundreds of vendors, hundreds of sites, tens of thousands of products'it can leave a buyer not knowing where to start or finish.

GTSI's subsites include one dedicated to the 12th Contracting Squadron at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas. The vendor says the sites help attract buyers to the GTSI online marketplace.

Web portals represent one way to narrow a search without narrowing the selection. Individual sites also have developed single-point-of-entry formats, with links to related sites. And GTSI Corp. has another way'customer subsites that cater to specific groups or government locations.

'We like to think of them as buying groups,' said Betty Greene, director of

The Chantilly, Va., reseller, which originally operated under the full name Government Technology Services Inc. and has a long history in government contracting, has added six customer subsites to its expansive government-oriented Web site. Each of the subsites features blanket purchasing agreements and other contracts, often open governmentwide, awarded by the sponsoring agencies.

The current list includes subsites for contracts under the Defense Logistics Agency; the 8th Army Korea; Fort Campbell, Ky.; the Small Computing Division at Gunter Annex of Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.; the Navy Fleet and Industrial Supply Centers in San Diego and Norfolk, Va., and the 12th Contracting Squadron at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas.''A lot more subsites are in the works now,' Greene said.

'We let them navigate in, and when they're in, they have a filtered set of contracts,' she said.

The sites include several search options.

From the ground up

GTSI broke new ground in electronic procurement in 1994, Greene said, after NASA asked the company to automate its Scientific and Engineering Workstation Procurement contract.''Then we added [the General Services Administration schedule], and the rest is history,' she said.

In an approach that is fairly typical in the expanding world of electronic commerce, she said, GTSI hopes to soon handle about 25 percent of its transaction volume via the Web and eventually transact all but its largest orders that way.

'We don't want the $1 million orders' handled online, she said, noting the contracting intricacies involved.

There is still, however, plenty of opportunity for growth in electronic transactions.

'Eighty-five percent of our revenue comes from 15 percent of the orders,' Green said. 'It's the 85 percent of orders that make up 15 percent of revenue that we want to move to the Web.'

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