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USPS Supplying Practices Process Step 4: Deliver and Receive Requirements


An order is a request made directly to a Supplier to deliver specific products or services under certain terms or conditions, some or all of which have been established in advance. A requisition is an internal request for equipment and supply items across commodities that are stocked internally or ordered directly through the Material Distribution Center (MDC), the Express and Priority Mail Supply Center (E&PMSC), Mail Equipment Shops (MES), and elsewhere.

An order or a requisition is submitted via a Postal Service electronic tool. The priority of sources is:

Excess material

Requisitions from Postal Service catalogs

Orders against existing contracts or agreements

Modifications to existing contracts or agreements

New contracts or agreements

Credit card purchases

Ordering and Requisitioning Channels

Several channels are available for the placement of Client orders and requisitions:

Mechanism Channel Description
eBuy Internet Excess, on-catalog and off-catalog
Material Distribution Inventory Management System (MDIMS) Facsimile Maintenance, stockrooms, direct supplier, retail products, specialized stamps, or wholesale
Touch-Tone Ordering System (TTOS) Phone Subset of MDIMS with phone accessibility
Electronic Maintenance Activity Reporting and Scheduling (eMARS) Automatic Maintenance stockrooms

Handbooks and guides containing the procedures and instructions for preparing and submitting requisitions through these various channels, as well as instructions and restrictions for the use of purchase cards, are provided in the Tools & Techniques section.

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Federal Standard Requisitioning and Issue Procedure (FEDSTRIP)

FEDSTRIP is a system of processing government agency requisitions for supplies from the General Services Administration (GSA) managed National Supply System. For orders from GSA or another agency, refer to Handbook AS-701, Material Management, for procedures regarding FEDSTRIP.

Contract Vehicles for Ordering

Not all contracts lead to the immediate delivery of products and services. While some contracts contain concrete schedules for supplier performance, other contracts and all ordering agreements spell out time periods for the future delivery of products or performance of services upon the receipt of an order. An indefinite-delivery contract or ordering agreement can be used to expedite related future contracts. As Client needs for the requirements arise, the Contracting Officer may request delivery from a Supplier by issuing orders against the original contract or agreements.

See the Select Contract Type topic in the Develop Sourcing Strategy task in Process Step 2: Evaluate Sources for more discussion about contract types.

Indefinite-Delivery Contracts and Delivery Orders

Indefinite-delivery contracts are used when the desired period of contract performance is known, but the exact time of delivery is unknown at the time of award. Indefinite-delivery contracts typically apply to contracts for products. For example, if the Postal Service purchases a high-resolution printer, it may establish an indefinite-delivery contract for future printer accessory purchases from the Supplier to reduce administrative lead time and inventory investment.

A delivery order is an order from the Postal Service to a Supplier to deliver products under an existing indefinite-delivery contract. During the contract term, delivery orders are issued by the Contracting Officer or designated ordering official.

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Ordering Agreements and Task Orders

An ordering agreement is a contracting vehicle primarily used for ordering services. It is a written agreement negotiated between the Postal Service and the Supplier that contains terms and conditions that apply to future contracts between the parties.

Task orders are principally placed against an ordering agreement. It is the responsibility of the Contracting Officer to issue the task order; the Client will issue task descriptions, as its needs arise; and the Supplier will estimate the cost, based on the labor rates and other applicable costs that are established in the ordering agreement. The Contracting Officer may either accept the estimate of costs and schedule or negotiate with the Supplier to reach agreement.

Fixed-Price Task Orders

Fixed-price task orders are appropriate for services that can be defined objectively and for which risk of performance is manageable. For such task orders, performance-based statements of work (SOWs) and measurable performance requirements should be implemented.

Performance-Based Statements of Work (SOWs)

Task orders should include a performance-based SOW to accurately assess resources required and risks involved. A performance-based SOW is a description of the tasks to be performed by the Supplier in terms of required outcomes or results. With a performance-based SOW, accountability for the final outcome is more clearly defined; the Supplier remains responsible and accountable for achieving the required results, based upon internal technical approaches, management approaches, and internal processes that are not Client-dictated. As a result, the Supplier has greater flexibility in its proposal, but absorbs a commensurably greater share of the risk of contract performance. Additional information on performance-based SOWs can be found in the Start Request for Proposals (RFP) Development topic of the Prepare Project task of Process Step 2: Evaluate Sources.

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Order Content

A typical order contains:

Item number and description, quantity, and unit and total price

Place and date of delivery or performance

Packaging, packing, and shipping instructions (if not already established in the contract)

Accounting and fiscal data

The following should be included as appropriate:

Price ceiling limiting the Postal Service's obligation

Additional terms and conditions specific to the order and not already included in the contract or ordering agreement

Any other pertinent information, including a statement of work (SOW) or statement of objectives (SOO) that describes the services to be performed (additional information can be found in the Start Request for Proposals (RFP) Development topic of the Prepare Project task of Process Step 2: Evaluate Sources)

Communications plan for resolving potential conflicts (for major purchases)

Order Pricing

Some ordering agreements and indefinite-delivery contracts have prices established at the time of contract award, while others do not. Depending on the circumstances, orders may be made based on preestablished prices or must be agreed to by both parties before the order is effective.

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Order Issuance

Depending on the circumstances, the Contracting Officer may appoint ordering officials to place orders.

Other Topics Considered

Start Request for Proposals (RFP) Development topic, Prepare Project task, Process Step 2: Evaluate Sources

Supplier Disagreement Resolution topic, General Practices

Clauses & Provisions

Clause 2-39: Ordering

Clause 2-40: Delivery-Order Limitations

Clause 2-41: Definite-Quantity

Clause 2-42: Indefinite-Quantity

Clause 2-43: Requirements

Provision 2-6: Credit Card Order Acceptance Requirement

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