I suggest you...require all federal orgs to add the C.A.R.T. (Capital Asset Reutilization Tool – the “C” means something else for us locally, but “Capital” would be a good substitute for mass application) to their organizations and intranets, with a requirement for all personnel to review C.A.R.T. prior to placing a purchase request. My org developed and has already installed this system. I am suggesting a wider use of the concept by sharing a best business practice.
This online tool is actually a page on our intranet Gateway (contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further details if desired) that enables local users to review what surplus or out of use office supplies, equipment, or furniture is available in other departments before placing a buy request. Shopping your own local “internal flea market” so to speak for free surplus has saved money and time. Ex: If x-dept gets a new printer and their current stock of printer cartridges no longer fits the new printer then the following avoidable costs may result:
1) Org loses the investment in the unusable cartridges
2) Costs incurred unnecessarily to properly dispose of hazardous material
3) Costs incurred unnecessarily for time to call all departments and describe the items in detail to determine if another dept can use the cartridges
4) Costs incurred when other people are interrupted unnecessarily to field a call about the surplus items when both parties could have accessed the intranet at their own convenience.
5) Costs incurred if unusable cartridges are just stored, moved, worked around, and accounted for, in the back of a closet with the boxes of other unused items collecting dust (Some departments probably would not need as much furniture if they were not storing unused surplus).
6) Costs incurred for the safety hazard of keeping and storing unused surplus items
7) Costs incurred by other departments who buy new cartridges that are the same as the ones being disposed of, or stored indefinitely
8) Costs incurred for processing unnecessary purchase orders and for shipping fees
C.A.R.T. publicizes the availability of all surplus items complete with relevant details, a point of contact, and even a photo in some instances to all who have access to our intranet. We have our own online free flee market.