Grand Opening of the LaRC Mart:
Bridging the Gap Between Government and Private Industry
By: AJ Jackson, Logistics Division Manager, Tessada & Associates

LaRC Mart. The Center Operations Directorate announces the Grand Opening of the "LaRC Mart" self service store.

Image Right: From Left to Right: Hank Turner, President Empire Machinery; John Fowler, Graybar Co.; Bill Balderson and Jai Win of Empire Machinery; Brandi Saro and Kevin Watson of JLWS; Brian Saucier of Graybar Co; Andrew (AJ) Jackson of Tessada & Associates. Credit: NASA/Jeff Caplan

In an initiative to enhance better business practices at the NASA Langley Research Center, the self-service store will enable our NASA Langley customer base to experience a desired and beneficial service that will save time, material and resources. The store will offer a wide variety of office, industrial and maintenance supplies at competitive prices and include several value added services such as free office or shop delivery, work order kitting and dedicated on-hand levels for individual organizations.

Budget constraints have caused us to review our current business practices and to improve supply management techniques. We had to take a proactive role in enhancing services with a positive impact to our customer base. With unstable resources and continuous change we had to think outside the “box”. The Self Service Store concept was introduced to the Logistics team and their challenge was to look at the feasibility of establishing a Self-Service Store at LaRC.

The concept is simple, we had to consider material being sold on consignment or the grocery store “milk and bread delivery” concept. Bottom line, we don’t want to own assets until they are needed for use. Think of the Self-Service Store through the eyes of the vendor that delivers bread and milk to our grocery stores:

- They market their products
- They stock the shelves
- They retrieve old stock and replenish stock based on demand
- They invoice the store for the products sold
- The store pays the vendor for the commodities sold
- The asset belongs to the vendor until we buy the product

LaRC Mart. Image Left: Brandi Saro of JWLS. Credit: Jeff Caplan

What Will the Store Provide?

The self service store is a team effort that brings together some of the strongest commercial supply chains available today. We have partnered with strong players in every field to assure high quality with competitive pricing. For electrical and communication supplies the Graybar Company is the lead vendor, in Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) and plumbing we have Ferguson and Grainger. Seals, bearings and gaskets are handled by Hampton Rubber. Empire Machinery is the mechanical guru in this effort. But the list does not stop there, we have agreements with specialty companies in every possible discipline and that’s just the maintenance and facilities area. The office supply arena covers everything from chalk to overhead projectors, recycled paper to cardboard boxes. In short any office supply need you have can be filled by the LaRC Mart team.

How About Convenience?

This is the area of most benefit to our customers. Not only can you stop by the store, located in building 1206, you can also shop and make purchases on-line. We’ve installed a company that will act as the integrator for all team vendors. JLWS Enterprises maintains the daily operations of the store, monitors and tracks all customer orders and administers the on-line shopping carts. By adding dedicated delivery services for office and facility support we cover all the bases in the world of convenience.

We’re having a grand opening celebration and all center employees are invited. That includes both civil servants and contractors.

Where and when:

Building 1206 Main Supply Room
Thursday January 25, 2007
Between 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM

Snacks will be served.

Come out and meet the team!

The Current website for LaRC Mart purchases can be found at: http://www.jlwsenterprises.com/>www.jlwsenterprises.com.
This website will be updated to www.larcmart.com within the next few weeks. The center will be notified when that website is up and running.

To View the LaRC Mart grand opening photos, please visit: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/langley/news/researchernews/rn_MM_LaRCMart.html.

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