Navy issues strategic sourcing policy for office supplies

Starting May 1, Navy employees will have to use the Defense Department's e-commerce Web portal to place office product orders.

Delores M. Etter, the Navy's assistant secretary for research, development and acquisition, recently signed an acquisition policy mandating that employees use the DOD EMall or local self-service supply stores to purchase most office supplies. Etter said the move would save the department money, improve opportunities for small businesses and provide the Navy with spend analyses.

Exceptions to the policy include deployed ships and units.

There are more than 300 office product suppliers on the DOD EMall, including 260 small businesses, Etter said in a news release. The local self-service supply stores, also known as ServMarts, are primarily operated by the National Institute of the Blind.

The DOD EMall was developed for military personnel to search for and buy supplies. Users can search by military or manufacturer stock number, manufacturer name or product category. In a process similar to that used by commercial online stores, users fill virtual shopping carts with items they want to purchase.

The policy was developed after a Navy commodity council examined how more than $100 million was spent by Navy divisions on office products. During the analysis, the council sought commercial best practices.

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