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CHIPS Articles: NAVICPmart Marketplace

NAVICPmart Marketplace
By Gina Gilliam - January-March 2002
E-Commerce Web site for General Purpose Electronic Test Equipment (GPETE) provides authorized users with discounts of up to 60% off of new brand name products

The mission of the Navy Inventory Control Point (NAVICP)is to provide program and supply support for the weapons systems that keep our Naval forces mission ready. The NAVICP procures, manages, and supplies spare parts for Naval aircraft, submarines and ships worldwide. The NAVICP is responsible for over 400,000 supply items, $5.5 billion of inventory, and annual sales of $3.2 billion. This mission is carried out by a single command organization operating as a tenant activity of the Naval Support Activities in Philadelphia and Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.

Several years ago the NAVICP began considering ways in which they could continue to grow. It was obvious in order for us to continue to grow we needed to move into the future of e-commerce like our industry partners. It was very apparent that resources were continually shrinking throughout the entire Department of the Navy (DON). We saw this as an opportunity to increase our market share of Department of Defense (DoD) business while at the same time not increase our workload. Additionally, the practice of utilizing e-business as a way of doing business was rapidly becoming a practical solution to so many practices within the DON and DoD.

Under current operating guidelines, the NAVICP cannot process credit card or purchase requests as a form of payment. We thought about how the ease of using government credit cards had become an important part of managing purchases within DoD and government. We also concluded that we had to develop a NAVICP test equipment Web site that was the most progressive, innovative site in DoD. We knew we could leverage all these factors to accommodate our customers' needs. Our answer was to establish a portal that met the needs of every customer for billing, delivery/shipping status, credit cards, engineering, chat room, e-mail, Facts and Questions (FAQs)and much more.

In a partnership with TestMart, a company, which develops and operates buyer-driven, Internet-based marketplaces for the electronics industry, NAVICP was able to achieve all of our objectives. Our e-commerce marketplace, NAVICPmart at www.navicpmart.comwas launched September 19, 2001. We negotiated a series of indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contracts with test and measurement manufacturers for significant savings—up to a 60 percent discount from the manufacturer’s regular list price. These contracts are pre-negotiated and comply with the Competition in Contracting Act (CICA).

NAVICPmart is a private marketplace initially serving the domestic military industrial complex (DMIC) electronic test and measurement instrumentation market. For the government and military test buyer this marketplace is the low-cost leader, providing instrumentation at the lowest available price for contract items. Authorized buyers are now able to purchase from a catalog of high-demand products from more than 30 key test and measurement suppliers such as Agilent, Tektronix, and Fluke. Authorized purchasers include personnel in the armed services, employees of government agencies such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and government contractors performing to authorized contracts. Authorized users have a choice of payment methods including government purchase cards, government or commercial checks, commercial credit cards and online electronic versions of the more traditional MILSTRIP (Military Standard Requisition and Issue Procedures) forms.

By reducing both the cost of equipment purchased and the time required to complete the order, NAVICP expects the new marketplace to drive new efficiencies and return significant savings to the Navy and the entire DoD, during the five-year agreement with TestMart. "NAVICPmart provides further proof of the Navy’s technological advances," said Shekar Gopalan, Director of Consulting with Frost and Sullivan. "By partnering with TestMart, a company with domain expertise in test and measurement equipment, and a proven track record in electronic marketplaces, NAVICP is able to offer the best products and the best prices using a Web-based platform that saves time and money. This test equipment marketplace paves the way for increased and improved outside procurement and more efficient supply chain management within the DoD."

"The e-marketplace allows us to be more customer responsive by giving our users 24x7 access to the catalog of products we offer at substantial discount while simplifying the purchasing processes," said Neil Hanniford, Program Manager for NAVICP. "By deploying this Web site, we expect to improve our supply-chain management while reducing overall costs to the taxpayers."

NAVICPmart integrates powerful Web tools to find, research, compare, and configure products in the catalog, enabling authorized users to purchase the most appropriate test and measurement equipment quickly and in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR). Visit us online at

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