SeaPort-e is the Navy’s electronic platform for acquiring support services in 22 functional areas including Engineering, Financial Management, and Program Management. The Navy Systems Commands (NAVSEA, NAVAIR, SPAWAR, NAVFAC, and NAVSUP), the Office of Naval Research, Military Sealift Command, and the United States Marine Corps compete their service requirements amongst 2400+ SeaPort-e IDIQ multiple award contract holders. The SeaPort-e portal provides a standardized, efficient means of soliciting offers from amongst the diverse population of large and small businesses and their approved team members. All task orders are competitively solicited, awarded and managed using the SeaPort-e platform. Since nearly 85% of its contract–holders are small businesses, the SeaPort-e approach to acquiring services provides opportunity that fuels the Nation’s engine of job growth.
The Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) procures over a half billion dollars of Professional Support Services (PSS) each year for its headquarters’ Directorates, Program Executive Offices (PEOs), and field activities. In order to meet the Navy strategic sourcing wedge, NAVSEA committed to $250M in savings by procuring PSS more efficiently. Coupled with this need, the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) directed that 50% of all support services be procured using performance based contracting by the year 2005. Furthermore, NAVSEA had more than 450 separate PSS contracts supporting its requirements. Most of these efforts were not integrated from a Command perspective, utilized a multitude of different processes in which to procure the services, and did not leverage corporate buying habits or e-business to facilitate the processes. In addition, the services were predominantly procured via level of effort vice performance-based terms.
NAVSEA established the SeaPort Office to meet these the NAVSEA strategic sourcing wedge and the OSD performance based contracting directive while bringing order to NAVSEA PSS acquisitions. The vision was to provide a faster, better, and cheaper means in which to procure PSS. The strategy developed in October 2000 involved a product line solution containing three components:
(1) Develop and award Multiple Award IDIQ contracts (MACs) using innovative acquisition techniques to achieve the NAVSEA strategic wedge, to conform to the OSD performance based contracting directive, and to bring order to PSS acquisitions.
(2) Exploit existing e-business opportunities and create an automated, intuitive, web-based, e-procurement portal to provide services quickly and easily in an “amazon.com” environment.
(3) Create a web site continually refreshing customers and suppliers with new information, opportunities, training, metrics and useful links to associate sites.
An important tactic used to implement this vision and obtain “buy-in” was to involve senior leadership and working level representatives in the design and implementation of the MACs and the portal through multiple “Integrated Product Teams (IPTs)”. These IPTs continuously and aggressively communicated the vision, strategy, and status to leadership at all working levels.
On April 2, 2001, in an unprecedented period of less than 6 months, SeaPort became a reality when all three of these initiatives converged. The MACs were awarded to twenty-one exceptionally well qualified industry partners, the e-business portal became operational, and its front door web site was launched. These components combined to provide a faster, better and cheaper process to acquire PSS within the Command.