. Best Practices
. What is merchandising?
. Increase Sales Through Base Networking
Increase Sales Through Base Networking
Every military installation in the country is unique in some way, and the BSCs
on the base have the challenge of meetings those unique requirements. However,
one thing is consistent across every base, and that is the presence of
contracts and purchase agreements, that if secured can mean greater sales and
thus an increased number of blind work hours.
Obtaining these contracts offers up to challenge, learning about what these
contracts are, and learning how to obtain them. A good place to begin is with
BPAs (Blanket Purchase Agreement), or the creation of a simplified procedure to
make small purchases from a singular source of supply. By establishing a BPA, a
department on the base creates a charge account with a supplier for a certain
category of goods, such as office supplies. The BPA allows for a bulk purchase
at a bulk price that is distributed incrementally when needed. For example, a
Sergeant may predict that he uses 100 cases of copy paper each year. He
realizes that if he were to purchase them at one time he would save money, yet
he does not have the storage space to keep those 100 cases of paper. By
establishing a BPA he is able to pay a discounted price, but is only given the
amount of paper he can easily store and is able to order more with a phone call
or informal memorandum.
The benefit to your store is that you are ensuring this sergeant is purchasing
all 100 cases of paper he needs through you.
Purpose of this BPA
Authorize callers to exceed $2,500 limit on GPC to $25,000.
To allow purchase of productions beyond Army BPA.
Fundamentals needed in BPA
Agreement term & insuring governments gets fair and reasonable pricing.
Description of Agreement.
Extent of Obligation (authorized callers)
Individuals Authorized to Purchase Under the BPA
Termination of Agreement
Rules of Safety
Environmental and Public Health Compliance
Potential Uses of BPAs with your BSC
Exceed $2,500 GPC limit for some callers.
Large scale regular purchase requirements, which are ideal e for most IEE items
and many Hazmat items, because prices are already established by the government
from GSA & DLA catalogs. The BPA or Contract modification simply places a
handling fee on top of those already government established prices.
Specialty Supplies: PWS or Automotive
Used for building supplies and/or automotive supplies where convenient on-hand
stocks are stationed at the base near requirements
Means for non GPC (mechanics, HAVC installers, etc) to obtain day to day
working supplies without having to be issued a GPC. Also allows for visiting
tenant commands who only have one card holder to shop at your BSC.
The challenge now becomes how to obtain BPAs and other contracts; the answer is
establishing and utilizing a base communication network. To do this, you must
brush up on your networking skills, many of which you have already perfected
during your tenure as a store manager: you possess a friendly, welcoming
manner; you know how to create small talk; you know the importance of
remembering your customers and their individual needs; you are genuinely
sincere about providing your customers exactly what they need; and you are
Recognizing you already possess these skills should give you the confidence to
use them not only in your BSC but in other parts of the base. But where do you
start? Good contacts to have:
Local Contracting Office
Local vendor and trade fairs
MIPR Military Interdepartmental Purchase Request
Military Interdepartmental Purchase Request
Used to support large purchases such as Bill of Materials (BOM)
Internal transfer of funds
Coordinated between Budget and Contracting
Some contractors can participate
Good places to develop these contacts are:
Monthly or quarterly supply department meetings
Participate in monthly or quarterly credit card training classes
Reserve Component Coordinators and Pre Camp Meetings
Small business trade fairs
Local Chamber of Commerce luncheons sponsored by Base Contracting
Advance Technology Council, Federal Business Conference and NCSI Trade Shows
Why is "networking" more important than ever?
You become one of the first to identify new opportunities
You are able to break down of bureaucratic barriers and get a more favorable
opinion from gate keepers and decision makers.
"Share of Mind" - need to raise your profile and make connections
"Ready Resource" - be the "go to person" in problem solving and resource
In the complex government system, if you are able to make the work world easier
for government employees by creating a "safe haven" for your base, your
business is likely to increase. If your store is always "in compliance with
JWOD", TAA rules, etc. the IG and Contracting officers are more likely to shop
Increase your circle of influence, know and understand the needs of your
"farm". Increase your harvest.
Most important part of Networking?
Stay in Touch! It is wonderful to establish a network, but for your store to
reap the benefits, you must continue to reach out to your contacts,
establishing a continual flow of information so that you do learn about
opportunities. Keep in mind each of your contacts has a network of their own,
and then may be able to put you in touch with someone in their network to
establish a contract, but if you don't keep in touch, you will never know what