The Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support Medical supply chain’s “best in class” Electronic Catalog program reached unprecedented heights with $1 billion in sales for fiscal 2020.
Partnerships with the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Health and Human Services and continued warfighter support also contributed to approximately $220 million in cost avoidance for customers, Medical Deputy Director Beth McMaster said.
“On average, ECAT avoids 20% of the purchase price of items when compared to the catalog price a vendor would normally charge,” McMaster said. “By working with warfighters and federal partners to understand their requirements, we can aggregate acquisitions to negotiate lower prices with ECAT’s current 215 vendors.”
For the Medical workforce, it’s not just about the numbers either – it’s about the more than 7,000 customers worldwide, DLA Troop Support Medical Director Army Col. Matthew Voyles said.
“Our DLA Troop Support Medical team is extremely proud that ECAT has become a mainstay of the Medical Logistics System,” Voyles said. “It takes a lot of work, but the team takes solace in knowing their hard work relieves pain and suffering while strengthening the ability of warfighters to defend our great nation.”
Since ECAT is fully integrated with the Department of Defense’s Joint Medical Materiel Supply Chain System, DoD customers can easily find what they need, order and even set re-order lists, ECAT integrated support team chief Charles Reimer said.
And for non-DOD customers, ECAT’s standalone web-based ordering capability provides the same logistics and cost avoidance benefits with only a computer and internet access.
“The full spectrum service for ordering 1.1 million medical items make it a great tool for our customers,” Reimer said. “Our partnerships with the VA and HHS give them the same access and ease, while also increasing DLA sales which in turns provides more purchasing power. And the savings that generates goes back to the customer. It’s a win-win.”
Customers like the VA who purchased approximately $170 million in supplies through ECAT last fiscal year are also supporting small businesses.
“Currently, 57% of the 215 vendors that participate in ECAT are a type of small business,” said Eileen Motta, ECAT division chief. “DLA is also promoting partnerships with additional Service Disabled Veteran Owned and Veteran Owned small businesses.”
Even though the bar has been set high with the new $1 billion record, the Medical team is committed to increasing sales in order to bring more savings to more government customers, said DLA Troop Support Medical Director of Supplier Operations Daniel Keefe.
“We’re working with HHS and the Department of Justice to expand their ECAT use in fiscal 2021,” Keefe said. “We are also working with the VA medical equipment buyers to expand the number of commercial equipment suppliers on ECAT to meet a variety of the VA’s logistics needs.”