Feds To Take Better Inventory, Buy in Bulk

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Imagine top brass from the Pentagon making a trip to Costco. Try to picture a White House official wandering the aisles of Sam's Club. That's pretty much the idea of a new federal initiative to begin buying in bulk.

Starting this week, the departments of Commerce, Defense, Homeland Security, Treasury and the Social Security Administration will will pool their purchases of printers, copiers and scanners in hopes of saving $600 million in the next four years.

The move, dubbed "strategic sourcing," will force agencies to take better inventory of their supplies. New deals have been struck with Canon, Lexmark, Konica, Richoh and smaller, veteran- or minority-owned suppliers.