Lee's Summit, MO June 17, 2002 eScout, an e-business solutions provider and marketplaces operator, has announced the completion of a two-part contract with The Veterans Corp. (The National Veterans Business Development Corp.). The contract will enable government agencies, as well as private industry, to exchange products with veteran-owned businesses in a secure, online marketplace: The Veterans MarketPlace.
More than 2.5 million government purchasing agents buy in excess of $200 billion in MRO (maintenance, repair and operations) goods and services every year. Through Public Law 106-50, Federal government agencies have been requested by the U.S. Congress to spend 3 percent of their discretionary budgets, approximately $7 billion, with service-disabled veteran business owners. Before now, finding those veteran-owned businesses has been a time-consuming process. With the eScout-powered Veterans MarketPlace, business owners will be instantly accessible and enabled to transact electronically with government purchasers.
"The Veterans Corp. was created to help veterans capitalize on the high-end leadership experience and cutting-edge technical training they received in the military, and to stimulate the small business sector of our economy with the development of new Veteran-owned businesses," said retired Army Maj. Gen. Charles Henry, president of The Veterans Corp. "In creating The Veterans MarketPlace, we have established an e-business tool for nearly five million veteran-owned small businesses across America, while encouraging the U.S. government to direct at least some of its spending to these enterprises."
The Veterans MarketPlace is integrated to the government's Purchasing Card program, which is the preferred method of payment, allowing current government purchasing agents and payment processes to connect seamlessly to the MarketPlace. Additionally, eScout's reporting capabilities allow buyers to trace purchasing history by supplier, purchase order, and invoice, helping to ensure government dollars are properly tracked and recorded, thus reducing the opportunity for waste, fraud and abuse.
"There are nearly five million veteran-owned businesses that are potentially eligible to conduct business with the U.S. government, but finding them has been a challenge, until now," said Tom Corey, president of Vietnam Veterans of America. "Establishment of The Veterans MarketPlace will enable government purchasing agents to rapidly and efficiently gain access to these enterprises, including a portion of the 350,000 Service-Disabled Vets who own businesses. Additionally, those veteran supplier companies can become buyers in the MarketPlace, allowing them to reap the benefits of streamlined purchasing and efficiencies for their businesses."