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JOSE program continues to expand, save more taxpayer dollars

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas (AFNS) -- It’s a simple concept producing significant results for U.S. Air Force and Army in Europe; saving hundreds of thousands of dollars and providing needed supplies quickly.

The Joint Office Supply Europe program, or JOSE, is a simplified ordering system built on the Government Purchase Card program, said Nicole Shatto, a procurement analyst with the Air Force Installation Contracting Agency - Europe at Ramstein Air Base, Germany.

Through a set of blanket purchase agreements, JOSE provides better, faster access to office supplies for units in Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom and saved almost $130,000 just last quarter, Shatto said.

“Previously, cardholders would have to physically go to a store – on base or on the economy -- or order online from stateside vendors and wait 1-2 weeks for items to arrive via the mail system,” Shatto said. “Access to U.S. size paper and associated products like folders and envelopes, was also always a challenge.”

Through JOSE, customers simply visit participating vendor websites specifically tailored to GPC card holders and, like other online shopping sites, log in, add items to their carts and pay using their GPC. Orders are then delivered to their offices within three business days.

In fiscal year 2015, the European AFICA team conducted an in-depth analysis of office supply purchases. This records review showed approximately 1,600 GPC cardholders across U.S. Air Forces in Europe bought office supplies from more than 400 different vendors meaning there wasn’t any bulk purchase benefits. U.S. Army Europe office supply purchases were similar – 900 cardholders making more than 9,000 buys from 300 vendors.

Together, the Army and Air Force spent about $13 million without any discounts on their approximately 20,000 purchases.

“As the strategic sourcing opportunity continued to look more promising, the results were shared with our Army colleagues at the 409th Combat Support Brigade through our cross-talks,” she said. “The 409th was so very interested in participating that they offered to conduct the procurement.”

With today’s JOSE program, the Army continues to spearhead contracting activities and the Air Force serves as program management. Together, the services now purchase strategically and continue to look at opportunity for growth and additional savings.

“We have experienced a great partnership with the Army on this program,” Shatto said, with the joint team meeting quarterly to discuss program status.

“It’s been so successful, we have recently decided to pursue a follow-on effort since the original blanket purchase agreements end in May 2019,” Shatto said.

As part of the program, AFICA also receives quarterly business analytics from the three vendors without extra charge. This introduces spend data that isn’t provided from US Bank GPC reports and opens the door to further strategize office supplies, said Marianne Seufert, chief of AFICA’s strategic sourcing operation in Europe.

In addition to the Army partnership, Seufert recently attended the European Contracting Conference in Naples, Italy, where she “extended usage of our savings producing contract to Navy installations in Europe,” she said.

Additionally, she briefed the JOSE program to other Department of Defense and NATO contracting personnel in an effort to expand participation to potentially leverage more buying power and save additional taxpayer dollars.