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OMB "Single Door" Policy is One Step in the Right Direction; BPM Software for Federal Procurement is Another

Ben Farrell
November 11, 2011

Federal CIO Steven VanRoekel is pushing a "single door" policy for contractors doing business with U.S. federal agencies through the creation of vendor management organizations (VMOs). Federal acquisition/procurement is something we think about all the time at Appian, for a number of reasons.

First, like the rest of the country, we are concerned about federal fiscal policy and wringing out wasteful spending. Second, we believe BPM software provides a new opportunity to transform agency acquisition practices. Our Acquisition Business Management (ABM) solution allows federal purchasing organizations to increase the efficiency, visibility and mission-alignment of all pre-award, award, and post-award activities within the acquisition lifecycle.

Speaking last week at a meeting of the President's Management Advisory Council in Washington, Mr. VanRoekel talked about "greatly reduc[ing] the complexity of interacting" in order to "streamline and produce a buying phenomenon that we don't see today."

Agency-by-agency VMOs are a good start, but their existence alone will not solve the heart of the federal acquisition problem. The actual purchasing processes in use today are antiquated, manual, loosely-structured and opaque. This creates mountains of paperwork, a lack of oversight and accountability, and ultimately, costly delays in provisioning the goods and services that agencies require to complete their missions.

Federal purchasing organizations in the Marine Corps., Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), Defense Acquisition University (DAU) and many others are realizing substantial performance gains and cost-savings using ABM. And the best part of all is that ABM is a modular solution that is configured, not coded. This means no costly rip-and-replace, and it enables the rapid evolution of a flexible solution, tailored to each agency's unique requirements. For more details on ABM in action, view our on-demand webinar, "DISA: Streamlining DoD Procurement."

-Ben Farrell, Director, Corporate Communications