Despite the strain and challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Lighthouse, with great leadership and incredible support from our customers, corporate partners, and donors, has been able to not only persevere, but even expand. We are excited to announce that The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc. has been awarded a significant 4th Party Logistics (4PL) contract through the AbilityOne Program. The contract will serve the General Services Administration (GSA), the Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Public Works Department (PWD).
This is a huge accomplishment and speaks to the success the Lighthouse has had in operations management. The Lighthouse’s superior logistics skills, previous 4PL experience, and great record of supplying mission essential products to military customers up and down the West Coast through our BSC program position us well to serve GSA with this new endeavor.
What the Contract Covers
The newly awarded contract allows the Lighthouse to open six new locations. Two of these locations will be specific to transportation products and services. They are set to open on January 4, 2021. Stores will be Naval Base San Diego (NBSD) Transportation and Naval Air Station North Island Transportation.
Four remaining non-transportation locations will open later in 2021. They will be in Coronado, NBSD, Naval Base Ventura County, and Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake.
These store locations will function similarly to the 11 AbilityOne Base Supply Centers that the Lighthouse operates. Some of the new locations will have stocked product similar to BSCs. Others will function more like a kiosk, small office space, or warehouse space where base customers are served. Customers will be able to go online to view contract items and current inventory levels. Orders will be routed to a local GSA Representative. Order assistance and product sourcing will be directed to the dedicated Lighthouse support team. The team is made up of Sales Associates, Purchasing Associates, and Store Managers.
What is a 4PL solution?
A Fourth Party Logistics (4PL) solution integrates all companies along the supply chain under a single point of oversight. With 4PL, GSA acts as a facilitator of suppliers, such as vendor partners. They provide products through a retail storefront where they retain ownership of the inventory until the point of sale. The 4PL program operates as the single contact for the flow of products, financial data, and other pertinent information to the customers.
The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc. will deliver a comprehensive supply solution to support NAVFAC Southwest PWD.
What This Means for the Lighthouse Mission
Each step the Lighthouse takes towards growth, supports the mission to empower people who are blind, DeafBlind, and blind with other disabilities by creating diverse, sustainable, and meaningful employment opportunities.
This contract means more jobs for people who are blind and additional revenue to help pay competitive wages. It also means more funding for employee and community support services like assistive technology training for our workforce. All of this while simultaneously fulfilling the needs of our government customers.