SEWP Boosts Customer Experience While Cutting Its Fee

Den Rise/Shutterstock.com

The vast majority of customers seem to be happy with NASA’s IT acquisition vehicle but the quest for better customer experience never ends.

People seem to be happy with NASA’s governmentwide IT procurement contract, Solutions for Enterprisewide Procurement, or SEWP, according to an internal survey of customers. But that hasn’t stopped the program office from trying to improve the customer experience.

The recent survey showed 89 percent of SEWP customers are happy with the way the program operates. But it’s that 11 percent that nags at Program Manager Joanne Woytek.

“90 percent of our customers are happy,” Woytek told Nextgov. “So, we’re talking about the 10 percent that weren’t.”

To improve the customer experience, SEWP managers have rolled out two new features and are announcing a drop in the order fee, from 0.39 percent to 0.375 percent.

By statute, SEWP is not allowed to turn a profit, so any surplus in the budget is put into program improvements or lowering the fee, which is now the lowest among the governmentwide contract vehicles. When SEWP launched in 1993, the fee was 2.4 percent, Woytek said. By comparison, Health and Human Services’ NITAAC contract has a 0.65 percent fee for the unrestricted vehicle and 0.55 percent on the small business vehicle, with a max of $150,000 for both; and the General Services Administration’s IT Schedule 70 carries a 0.75 percent fee.

Woytek’s goal is to get SEWP’s down to 0.25 percent.

“I want to make it as meaningless to our customers as possible,” she said. “We want to make sure our tools make it … so the cost of acquisition is the cost of getting what they want, not the cost of figuring out how to get it.”

To that end, the SEWP office has rolled out two new features. The first is an updated order status tool that collects all order history for an agency customer or industry seller in one place. This has the potential to save customers a lot of time, Woytek said, as this information wasn’t accessible in a central place before.

The second is a new question and answer tool designed to help companies interact directly with the agency buyers to discover exactly what their procurement needs are.

In a similar vein, it can be hard for SEWP managers to discover what their customers’ needs are, both government and industry.

“The customer doesn’t usually come to us and say, ‘I want this,’” Woytek said. In her experience, the best way to get input from customers is by conducting the training herself.

“I do a lot of the training myself. I use that as one of my main customer input points,” she said. “If you see what they’re doing or you hear their questions or you read their emails, you realize where you can help them.”

Woytek said she also spends time scanning the help desk tickets for nuggets of feedback she can use to improve the platform. And, since SEWP uses an agile, iterative form of development, those improvements can be wrapped into the next cycle.

And that last 11 percent?

“They mostly don’t like the fact that we are not just a static catalog,” Woytek said. “We don’t just sit there and say, ‘Here’s the products, go buy them.’ We ask the customers to tell us what they want and then we get them that through our catalogs.”

Unfortunately, that’s exactly the strength of SEWP, from Woytek’s perspective. Rather than project managers spending time finding the right solution, they can work through SEWP to discover options they might not have thought of. But still, some would rather just be able to buy what they want.

“Some customers don’t like that. That’s OK,” she said. “For people who either don’t understand the process or don’t like the process, we’re trying to find ways to provide a view into the products we have while still allowing for flexibility.”

Editor's note: This article has been updated to more clearly reflect the fees for different governmentwide contract vehicles.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.