A change in strategy: Long-time AVID contractor losing Y-12 role

photo (5)Apex Office Systems, a woman-owned small business in Oak Ridge, is losing its long-time AVID (Accelerated Vendor Inventory Delivery) contract at the Y-12 National Security Complex.

The current contract is due to expire in June, and it will not be renewed, Y-12 contractor Consolidated Nuclear Security confirmed. Apex has held the contract — providing next-day delivery of needed office supplies to Y-12 — since 1995.

There have been reports that CNS, a Bechtel-led team that last year took over the combined management of the Y-12 and Pantex nuclear weapons plants, plans to do away with all of the AVID contracts locally held at Y-12. However,  contractor spokeswoman Ellen Boatner said the contracts are being evaluated on a “case-by-case” basis.

So far, the Apex contract is the only AVID contract that CNS has acted on, Boatner said.

Consolidated Nuclear Security plans to use a national contracting mechanism to provide office supplies for Y-12 and Pantex, Boatner said.

“In anticipation of the expiration (of the Apex contract), Y-12 Supply Chain Management personnel evaluated options for procurement of office supplies,” she said via email. “In order to pursue a single-entity strategy that incorporates Y-12 and Pantex and also attain the maximum stewardship of funds, a decision was made to join a DOE-wide agreement established through Integrated Contractor Purchasing Team (ICPT) sponsored by DOE HQ in Washington, D.C.”

Boatner said the ICPT is a long-standing agreement already used by the Pantex Plant.

“The agreement leverages the power of hundreds of thousands of consumers rather than a few thousand at one site,” she said in a statement. “It also incorporates local distributors for efficient delivery of materials. The local distributor (for Y-12) is a veteran-owned small business in the East Tennessee area.  NNSA also has begun developing national business agreements for their enterprise through their Supply Chain Management Center operated through the Kansas City Office. Local vendors also are encouraged to bid on distributor roles for their areas.”

Boatner did not immediately have the name of the new distributor for office supplies at Y-12. She said Apex (founded by Betty Hurt in 1979) would continue to be listed in Y-12’s vendor database and “will be called upon to quote on various procurements when they arise.”

She added: “CNS values what has been provided during the multiple-year AVID agreement with Apex and looks forward to future opportunities to utilize the services of Apex Office Systems.”

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About Frank Munger

Senior Writer Frank Munger covers the Dept. of Energy's Oak Ridge facilities and many related topics — nuclear weapons, nuclear waste and other things nuclear, environmental cleanup and science of all sorts. Atomic City Underground is, first and foremost, a news blog, but there's room for analysis, opinion and random thoughts that have no place else to go.