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What is a Base Supply Center?

How we work on-base to help the military serve

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We throw around the term “BSC” a lot here at IBVI, and we realized not everyone is familiar with our operations on military bases. BSC stands for Base Supply Center and with BSCs on 14 different military bases, we employ an additional 58 people throughout the country. A Base Supply Center is similar to any other office supply store you can find off base—but what these stores supply to the military is what makes them different.

More than office supplies

The need for BSCs started when on-base military personnel found themselves without any on-site stores where they could walk in and buy important daily supplies. After realizing this, the AbilityOne® Program—which mandates that government organizations buy from companies who employ those with disabilities—saw an opportunity for more job opportunities and started opening stores staffed by AbilityOne providers (BSCs) right on bases.

On the AbilityOne website, they define the purpose of a BSC as, “providing efficient and effective sourcing on base, reduced procurement workload, short-notice contingency operations support, liberal return policies and enhanced security by minimizing the number of delivery vehicles entering the installation.”

In other words, military personnel can rely on BSCs to get the supplies they need when they need them, at the high-quality standard they expect. But not just anyone can purchase products from a BSC—they must be a certified General Services Administration (GSA) Purchase Cardholder.

Why we work with the military

The AbilityOne Program is the nation’s largest employment provider provider of employment for people who are blind or have significant disabilities, including veterans. As an AbilityOne provider, IBVI helps provide our soldiers with the federally compliant supplies they rely on so they can fight for and defend our country—like janitorial and office supplies or even mission-critical supplies like military tool kits.

Through this partnership, IBVI not only helps serve our military, but also creates more jobs for the blind and visually impaired.

 

How all the pieces fit together

The U.S. government uses the AbilityOne Program for the services and supplies it needs. The AbilityOne Program, on the other hand, uses the federal government’s purchasing power to create jobs for participating, community-based nonprofits nationwide. A majority of these nonprofits are part of the National Industries for the Blind: a conglomeration of allblind and visually impaired organizations that work with AbilityOne—including IBVI.

Ask any IBVI employee, and they’ll tell you the same thing: They’re proud to help the U.S. military in any way they can. In fact, they make it their mission. Because at IBVI, we are proud to serve those who serve us.

To learn more about AbilityOne, please visit their website at https://www.abilityone.gov/index.html.

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