New Acquisition Tools | EIS Update | CX Collaboration

The following interviews were recorded on location at ACT-IAC’s ELC23

Revolutionizing Catalog Management: Mike Shepherd Discusses GSA’s User-Focused Innovation at ELC 2023

Mike Shepherd is Director of the Catalog Management Office at GSA discusses the agency’s focus on human-centered design in contracting, highlighting the transition to a user-first strategy. The new Fast Catalog Platform (FCP) unifies tools for suppliers and the acquisition workforce, streamlining catalog management. This shared use platform is anticipated to enhance efficiency and data quality. Shepherd emphasizes the move from a legacy desktop application to a modern, web-based UI, which is expected to significantly improve the user experience. GSA’s approach includes iterative development and responsive adaptation, with the pilot program currently gathering user feedback to refine the platform. The roadmap includes expanding the platform’s capabilities to service communities, labor categories, and rates, signaling a future-proofing strategy.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Emphasis on User Experience: The GSA is prioritizing a user-first approach, focusing on the user journey and identifying problems within that journey.
  2. Shared Use Platform: The new Fast Catalog Platform (FCP) is designed as a shared use application for both suppliers and the acquisition workforce to improve the catalog management process, aiming for a more efficient and higher quality outcome.
  3. Iterative Improvement: The introduction of the web-based user interface (UI) represents a modernization of the catalog management system. GSA is piloting with a small user group to gather feedback and intends to scale up and iterate based on user experience, with transparency about the MVP (Minimally Viable Product) nature of the new platform and future roadmap plans.


Streamlining Federal IT: Laura Stanton Outlines GSA’s Customer-Centric and Supplier-Engaged Approach at ELC 2023

Laura Stanton, Assistant Commissioner for the Office of Information Technology at the GSA, discusses the progress on the Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) contract for telecom and IT services. Her four priorities are customer support, maintaining a compliant and secure supplier base, employee well-being, and internal operations optimization.

Key takeaways:

  1. Customer-Centric Approach: Stanton emphasizes the importance of aligning services with agency missions and public policy goals, including diversity and inclusion initiatives.
  2. Supplier Engagement: Continuous engagement with suppliers is crucial for understanding emerging technologies and ensuring the acquisition vehicles meet public sector needs.
  3. Focus on Experience: Whether it’s through the new Ascend BPA for cloud acquisition or other contracts, improving the pre and post-award experience for agencies is a central goal.
Integrating Collaboration and Resources in Government CX: Insights from Beth Martin at ELC 2023

Beth Martin, User Experience (UX) Designer, Digital Servicesat the Office of Personnel Management sat down with Francis after her panel at ELC 2023, noted misconceptions about customer experience (CX) efforts in government agencies. She stressed the importance of starting with manageable projects and utilizing available resources and people, rather than relying solely on new technology. Martin emphasized the value of a collaborative approach, integrating individuals from various roles into the design team to enhance the overall process and outcomes.

Key takeaways:

  1. Start Small: Focus on significant pain points rather than attempting to overhaul the entire system.
  2. Leverage Existing Resources: Utilize current personnel and resources before investing in new technology for CX improvements.
  3. Collaborative Design Teams: Incorporate diverse professional backgrounds, including general counsel and procurement specialists, to enrich the CX design process.

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