Dec 31 2009

Why GSA is Implementing a CRM process

The U.S. General Services Administration
(GSA) measures its bottom-line success by
truly understanding the missions, values,
goals, behaviors and challenges of our
agency customers. The closer we get to that
ideal, the better we are able to develop
strategic alliances that fully enable GSA to serve as trusted
advisors supporting our clients' future success.

That's why GSA is implementing a customer relationship
management (CRM) process throughout the agency. What
began as an effort to vigorously enhance associate involvement
evolved into an enterprisewide CRM program to coordinate
information about customers, sales, marketing effectiveness,
responsiveness and market trends as a way to improve our
ability to meet customer needs. It has also taken on another
goal of critical importance: preserving the intellectual capital
of our current workforce and sustaining processes and best
practices as employees who are eligible for retirement do
so during the next few years.

As such, utilizing CRM is not
just a top business priority at
GSA. It also helps numerous
agencies answer the president's
call for rapid, significant and
sustainable improvement in
work on behalf of the
American people.

So far, the program has
delivered on these goals.
High customer satisfaction
ratings indicate that
customer agencies
understand and appreciate
the value added by GSA's
acquisition activities. Still, our
customer agencies need us to become
more proactive in meeting their
requirements. That's where the CRM
process comes in.

GSA is using this process to gather
relevant information about each
customer agency's programmatic
direction and to understand the
ramifications of their requirements for
GSA's assistance in the acquisition of
workspace and workplace solutions.
This forward-looking, proactive
approach enables GSA to work in
partnership with agencies, allowing us
to apply our expertise in the early stages
of acquisition strategy development in
order to obtain the best results.

Building Partnerships

A prime example of this proactive
CRM approach involves our efforts to
help establish the new Transportation
Security Administration (TSA), which
works to deter the threat of terrorism
at our nation's airports. Established in
November 2001 when President Bush
signed the Aviation and Transportation
Security Act, TSA quickly established
screening procedures to restore
confidence in the security of
U.S. air travel.

Officials from GSA's Public Buildings
Service, Federal Technology Service and
Federal Supply Service met with TSA
officials to discuss their requirements.
These included the need to quickly
acquire the following: space and
supplies at 440 airports across the
United States and the American
territories; more than 14,000 telephone
lines, 400 satellite connections, and
some 17,000 telephones and cell
phones; $120,000 worth of fleet
vehicles; and a host of other items.

The GSA team took on the
acquisition activities and began to make
things happen, thus freeing up TSA
officials so they could focus on
establishing screening procedures,
staffing and a variety of other core
functions. Within a few months, TSA
was up and running at all locations.

At GSA, we had the great satisfaction
of knowing that our agency worked
hand in hand with TSA officials to
negotiate the leases and handle the
acquisition activities that established
this new arm of government and
deterrent to terrorism.

The TSA project provides an
excellent example of how the CRM
process enables GSA to be proactive
in working with customer agencies.
By gaining a quick understanding
of agency needs, our associates can
develop the most appropriate
acquisition strategies. This, in turn,
frees agencies to concentrate on
their core missions.

The CRM program touches on
two of our most important goals:
to operate in coordinated fashion
as "One GSA," and to form strategic
alliances with our federal agency
clients to improve our performance
in providing the best value to
customers and the best service
as stewards of taxpayer dollars.

To achieve these goals, we are
enhancing the flow of communication
and ideas; establishing unifying goals,
objectives and shared challenges;
providing training agency-wide; and
utilizing joint measurement.

Supporting our efforts is our greatest
and most abundant resource: a
nationwide army of 12,700 public
servants dedicated to helping federal
agencies better serve the public. By
approaching customer relationships in
a cohesive fashion, we are leveraging
the capabilities of all GSA associates,
maximizing our competitive advantage,
and enabling us to recognize, create and
seize new business opportunities.

Planning for the Future

Looking forward, one exciting new
opportunity is our partnership with
the U.S. Census Bureau to support
Census 2010. Key members of all
three GSA services, as well as the
Census Bureau, are teaming up to
proactively plan for the next census.

This extensive effort will provide the
bureau with a total workplace solution.
That includes leasing space, establishing
hundreds of offices nationwide, and
outfitting those offices with required
information technology systems,
supplies and telecommunications.

Census 2010 will enable GSA
associates to learn CRM by doing it:
to learn how to put into practice
CRM methodologies and processes,
utilizing CRM information technology
tools. It is especially important to
both GSA and the Census Bureau
to establish a blueprint for such
long-lasting future initiatives.

The knowledge management
capabilities that CRM provides will
enable us to effectively and seamlessly
manage this project in spite of the
inevitable turnover in team members
that will occur during its seven-year
lifecycle. The new process also will help
us preserve the intellectual capital of our
current workforce, many of whom will
retire in the coming years.

The CRM process will be a key factor
in maintaining historical information
and enhancing communications
pertaining to all facets of this long-term
project. On a broader scale, CRM will
enable us to continue evolving our
services to meet the changing needs
of our agency customers.


GSA is the federal government's premier acquisition agency.
It provides expert knowledge of government regulations and
procedures, as well as authoritative information on how to obtain
the best value in the complex supply markets for workspace and the
endless list of products and services that agencies need to acquire.

GSA's core functions are property management and acquisition
services. The agency provides more than 1.1 million federal workers
with workspace, information technology, telecommunications
systems, equipment, furnishings and supplies—literally everything
they need for the successful operation of their agencies. By relying
on GSA for excellent acquisition services, agencies can focus on
their core functions and on the challenge of getting to "green" levels
of performance on the President's Management Agenda scorecard.

The GSA team is strongly committed to high performance,
continuous improvement and unmatched service. Our mission
calls on us to "…provide, at best value, superior workplaces,
expert solutions, acquisition services and management policies."
We have a long track record of success in the past and a solid
foundation for success in the future in meeting the ever-changing
and ever-increasing requirements of federal agencies.