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General Services Administration

Digital customer transformation at GSA's Office of Strategic Communications

Helping GSA to create a customer-centric "portal of portals" to make it easier for small business to do business with the federal government

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About GSA

The General Services Administration (GSA) is an independent agency of the United States government established in 1949 to help manage and support the basic functioning of federal agencies. GSA supplies products and communications for U.S. government offices, provides transportation and office space to federal employees, and develops government-wide cost-minimizing policies and other management tasks.

The challenge

How might we help GSA streamline its web presence and save taxpayer dollars?

GSA helps government agencies with the acquisition of $50 billion of goods and services from more than 20 thousand industry partners each year. GSA is an agency that is known for innovation and technology, however, the current web presence does not reflect that. GSA has 87,000 pages, 37 different logins, and continually hears from vendors and potential vendors that they are frustrated in trying to figure out how to get on a GSA schedule. In fact, a whole industry has arisen to help businesses get on schedule. GSA’s own sites that vendors must visit to complete their journey don’t directly connect to each other. Also, federal agencies find it confusing to buy from us and this leads to them spending more. A better web presence will lead to more small businesses on schedule and more agencies using those businesses, ultimately resulting in a lower tax dollar spent on acquisition and a greater proportion of acquisition dollars in the pockets of small businesses.

The Officer of Strategic Communication is looking for a Presidential Innovation Fellow to lead a multi-stakeholder effort to gather requirements and concerns and develop a beta, customer-centric “portal of portals”. This would require wireframing an ideal web structure, finding ways to utilize a universal login capability, finding ways to nudge stuck vendors and federal procurement officials to progress in their journeys and developing a content strategy to ensure content is always accurate.

If successful, the project would allow for more small businesses to get on – and stay on – GSA schedules, enabling them to do business with the federal government, which would serve as a catalyst for economic growth. Also, this project would allow more federal procurement officials to buy products and services from GSA schedules. GSA uses the buying power of the federal government to negotiate the best prices. However, our system is cumbersome to use leading to federal procurement officials often using other means to purchase products or services. A more efficient system would lead to less money spent on procurement and significant taxpayer savings across the government.