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Doing Business with Ship Stores
To meet the needs of the afloat Sailor and Marine, Ship Stores carry basic toiletries and sundries, high demand items such as soft drinks and candy bars, and semi-luxury items such as consumer electronics. The limited cube and space on board each ship restricts selection to the most popular items with the highest sale potential being those items that would appeal to young adults 18-22 years of age. Each ship is responsible to determine how best to meet the “retail” needs of their crew from the youngest Seaman to the Commanding Officer. The Ship’s Supply Officer or an appointed Ships Store Sales Officer supervises the purchasing of items to be stocked by reviewing items listed in the Ships Store Electronic Catalog (SSEC) and judging demand based on crew size, potential popularity of the item, and deployment schedule. All stock items available for purchase from vendors by ships are listed in SSEC, published, and distributed by the NEXCOM Ships Store Program. The SSEC contains descriptions, ordering information, sources, and prices. Each item carries a designation as to how the item would be ordered by the ship, either via Ships Store Afloat Contracts or Ships Store Afloat Catalog Listings.
Items under contract are popular brand name type merchandise with a proven history of quality, value, and sales appeal to Navy and Marine personnel. Contract terms are normally for fixed prices, indefinite quantity, and delivery within a specified time period. Not all items listed are “contract items”. Vendors may have items they wish to add to the SSEC that fills a niche or are designed for the target shipboard population. This type of merchandise may be offered to ships under the small purchase guidelines that limit the dollar value being ordered by ships to enable the Ships Store Program to evaluate the popularity of the item or to take advantage of seasonal or promotional items. Ships Store Program personnel will assist potential vendors in determining if their products would be suitable for sale in Ships Stores Afloat.
New items are not automatically added to the SSEC. Vendors must present proposed items to the Ships Store Program for review and determination of quality, value, and applicability for the seagoing retail stores. In order to have items listed, the Ships Store Program requires supplies to submit a letter from the manufacturer stating that the supplier is the exclusive appointed representative for the product submitted. In addition each vendor must submit the manufacturers published price list, minimum order requirements, terms and delivery schedules. Each supplier must agree to limit the amount of plastic packaging and to ensure that each item has either a Universal Product Code (UPC) or Bar Code readable by the program’s point of sale computer hardware. Suppliers must also participate in the Ships Store Electronic Commerce (EC)/Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) programs. If a vendor is not EC/EDI compliant, the Ships Store Program will provide the procedures to enable them to be an electronic business partner with the Ships Store Program once they are approved to do business with the ships. If the item is judged to be acceptable and the vendor agrees to the business rules regarding EC/EDI and bar coding, the Director, Ships Store Program will approve the item for sale to ships. The item may be added to the SSEC, added as a probationary item, or identified as an authorized item but available to ships by special purchase order only.
Special Purchase Order
If a ship wishes to purchase an item identified as requiring special ordering procedures, they will submit a purchase order to the nearest Fleet Assistance Team, and/or NEXCOM Ships Store Program, who will process the order to the supplier. Fleet assistance teams are located in major port areas. Each purchase order will specify the terms the supplier will be required to meet. Inquiries and correspondence should be directed to the Ship Stores Program, at the address and numbers listed at right.
Business Code of Ethics
The Navy Exchange System purchases products and services on the basis of product merit and fair competition. All Navy Exchange System associates are required to comply with the Navy's Standards of Conduct - ethical rules for conducting business and personal activities. Anyone in a business relationship with the Navy Exchange System is expected to abide by the Standards of Conduct as well. Anyone who believes or has knowledge that the business code of ethics is being violated or that fraud, waste or abuse is taking place at any activity of the Navy Exchange System may report their concerns on a special hot line (800) 221-6330. This toll free line is available 24-hours a day and any reports will be promptly investigated. Confidentiality is assured.