FAR 8.002 states agencies shall satisfy requirements for supplies and services from or through the sources and publications listed below in descending order of priority. Fifth on that list are the Wholesale Supply Sources of the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA). However, in order to actually find out if inventory is on hand at the DLA a contracting officer or contracting specialist has to physically call a person at the DLA Customer Contact Center and have them verify the inventory in their system. This has to be done prior to ANY acquisition that does not use one of the first four required sources of supply. Calling wastes a huge amount of time because information on the specific item or items in question has to first be gathered from the DLA website located at: http://www.dlis.dla.mil/H2/search.aspx. This is not an easy process as the website is not user friendly and refers to codes that have to be individually researched for their meaning, written down, then given to the Customer Service Representative so that he or she can search for the same item that you just did (duplication of efforts). Unless the DLA has considerable amount of staff dedicated to field such calls, with the volume of acquisitions performed by the Federal Government, I am lead to believe that this requirement is not being followed in every acquisition. Therefore, my idea calls for the DLA website to be redesigned to be more user-friendly allowing for quick and easy online searches of government owned on-hand inventory. This will dissolve the duplication of efforts that is currently being performed by the DLA Customer Contact Center and save time and money and allowing contracting officers to place orders supplies through secure internet connections.
Idea No. 6543