U.S. Department of Education, Federal Student Aid

By adopting a more business-driven approach, Federal Student Aid has worked towards vendor management optimization by adjusting current contracts and shaping future acquisitions. Key contracts enable and affect an agency’s ability to deliver on it’s mission, but often lock-in a long-term approach that constrains the organization’s ability to adjust to changes. By performing a ground up strategic analysis and implementing a more consistent approach to critical contracts, significant cost savings can be achieved. 

Why This Matters To You

Contracts start out as tools to make things happen but quickly become part of the inertia that slows enterprise transformation. When technology and business services are acquired, either directly or embedded within larger contracts, acquisition decisions lock in a long-term approach to acquiring and managing those services. An organization can end up being driven by a contract model rather than the other way around.

Most Federal organizations are facing similar services being procured on multiple contracts with different cost bases, terminology, and levels of information. Additionally, the lack of a unified acquisition strategy in most organizations drives inefficiencies and confusion, and too much time spent on contracts management.

Ultimately, too many contracts, too many vendors, too many redundant purchases, and too much complexity in general drives a lack of efficiency and lack of overall responsiveness. In today’s budget climate, these inefficiencies are not affordable and are increasingly damaging. 

How We Helped

Phase One worked with agency executives to develop an enterprise view of all critical contracts, the services delivered by each, costs, expiration dates, and negotiation points for current contracts, as well as key milestones, transition overlaps and implementation plans for proposed acquisitions.

Functional commonalities were identified and quickly developed to sufficient detail to ensure subtle but critical differences were understood, validated, and accounted for in the analysis.

Phase One developed a toolset to not only focus on contract scope but also the business needs that drove the acquisition decisions. Phase One identified opportunities to use acquisition and contracting decisions to not only identify opportunities for economies of scale but also drive toward a new agency operating model.

Additionally, the same toolset built a common frame of reference that has led to faster procurements, improved performance management, easier cost comparisons and consistency, and improved mission performance.