The Department of Veterans Affairs continues to promote the Veterans First Contracting Program that provides Veteran Owned Small Businesses (VOSB) and Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOSB) a significant competitive advantage when competing on VA solicitations. To be eligible to compete for VOSB and SDVOSB set aside contracts and sub-contracts with the VA, firms must first be verified by the VA.
The verification process can be intimidating. Only 11% of the Veteran Owned Small Businesses that are registered to sell to the Federal government are verified by the VA. Washington PTAC is working to increase that percentage. Businesses that work with a certified PTAC Counselor are more likely to be verified.
“We provide the business another pair of eyes on their application to help ensure that the documentation they provide is in alignment with VA requirements” explained VA certified counselor Darrell Sundell at Green River Community College.
Eleven PTAC Counselors in Washington that have been certified by the VA to guide businesses through the process. To learn more, contact a PTAC counselor near you or visit the VA Verification website.
If you sell supplies to the federal government, or want to sell supplies to the federal government — this information is for you!
Recently, a federal government small business advocate expressed frustration to me after searching the Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS) using a specific manufacturing NAICS code and yielding zero results. Knowing that shouldn’t be the case, I took to DSBS and searched using a keyword instead. I found numerous businesses that appeared to be a possible fit, but they were using all wholesale NAICS codes. Neglecting to add the appropriate manufacturing NAICS code to their System for Award Management (SAM) profile resulted in not being found in a search. Read more
Connections galore occurred at the Alliance NW Conference in Puyallup this March. A crowd of 600 small businesses, prime contractors, and government agencies gathered for workshops, match-making sessions, and networking with nearly 100 exhibitors.
Materials Testing & Consulting (MTC) of Olympia was one of those exhibitors. MTC’s Senior Project Manager Deane Ramsdell said the experience couldn’t have been better. “We’ve already signed a contract for a substantial project that came as a direct result of our attendance and have several more pending,” he said.
MTC performs geotechnical engineering, materials testing, special inspection, and environmental consulting. “This was a very unique experience,” continued Ramsdell. “Typically for our type of business, these events don’t generate business. It was a great success for MTC.”
Workshops were also presented by government purchasing experts and prime contractors on effectively finding, bidding, and winning contracts in the competitive government marketplace. “Alliance NW is by far the one government contracting event of the year that I will not miss. The number of ‘a-ha’s’ I had made it well worth the price of admission,” shared Kathryn Townsend of West Sound Workforce in Gig Harbor.
“Every year we hear about businesses meeting at Alliance and soon after teaming up to bid on government contracts,” said Thurston EDC’s Tiffany Scroggs, the program director for the Washington Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC). “More than ever businesses need to explore collaborative relationships. Alliance brings everyone together to explore these valuable partnerships.” The Alliance NW Conference is coordinated by the EDC in partnership PTAC, federal agencies, and prime contractors.
Key individuals from primes, governmental agencies, and military bases were candid about the best approach for doing business with them. “I was impressed by the willingness of all prime contractors to guide me through their processes,” said Greg Nuber of Big Blok in Vancouver.
If you missed out on this year’s event and the related insights, you’re invited to attend PTAC sponsored workshops and other government contracting events throughout the year, as well as meet one-on-one with a PTAC Counselor. Visit www.washingtonptac.org to learn more.
Lacey Glass is a leader in the translucent daylighting industry throughout the Pacific Northwest. The company provides an integrated design process from early planning to completion of projects, with services including design assistance and budgeting, installation, and LEED credit assistance.
Daylighting involves the use of windows, skylights, reflective surfaces, and control systems to maximize use of natural light. This process can reduce dependency on electrical lighting, thereby saving energy and reducing costs. Applications frequently involve industrial skylights, covered walkways, entry canopies and large translucent wall panels.
Recent trends in the building industry are helping to steer building owners and developers towards green building practices and the pursuit of LEED points. These trends are nothing new to Lacey Glass; they’ve been promoting and providing solutions for green building and natural daylighting since the launch of the business in the early 1980’s and with over 30 years of experience, they don’t come across much that they can’t do. Says Tina Zeutenhorst, “We use cutting edge technology and our team knows what they are doing. We can work with our clients to meet their needs and also keep the project reasonably priced.”
Owner Phil Zeutenhorst estimates that government contracting makes up as much as 80% of their business. They got their start in government work on projects with K-12 schools and began shifting into design/build projects with other state, local, and federal government agencies over the past few years. Their impressive portfolio includes projects at SeaTac International Airport, Joint Base Lewis McChord, Naval Base Kitsap, the Washington State Capitol, Union Station in Portland, and both K-12 and higher education institutions. Government contracting has allowed them to hire a full-time drafter, adding a design arm to the business that provides architectural assistance with design work.
The company employs seven full-time employees in their office and an additional six to twelve installers at any given time.
The Zeutenhorts have a positive outlook for the year to come. From December 2013 through the end of January, the company has booked as much work as they did in all of 2013.
It has come to our attention that some GSA schedule holders have been the victim of fraudulent transactions – mostly in regards to computer and toner sales – thanks to EZGSA. But now is the time for an important reminder for ALL businesses, GSA schedule holders or not, to make sure you have the proper safe-guards in place to protect yourself in not only governmental sales, but commercial sales as well. As a small business, many fraudsters see you as having a target sign on your back, so knowing the warning signs and ways to protect your business are vital. Read more
The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Internet Bid Board System (DIBBS) provides automated access to 85% of DLA’s solicitations, which support America’s combat logistics, including nearly 100 percent of consumable items (ie: food, fuel and energy, uniforms, medical supplies, construction and barrier equipment) and more than 85 percent of the military’s spare parts.
Contractors and public agencies should be aware of a scam that asks contractors for their bank account information.
Contents of Letter: The scammers fax a letter to a contractor on U.S. Department of Transportation letterhead, that has the contractor’s name and address on the letter. Here’s the content of the letter:
Veteran-Owned (VOSB) and Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses(SDVOSB) can apply for the Veterans’ First Contracting Program to prove their eligibility for VOSB and SDVOSB set-asides when competing for contracts or subcontracts with the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA). Participation in this program gives the VA confidence that set-asides are being awarded to legitimate VOSB and SDVOSB firms. Read more
“What makes some proposals stand out while others fall to the bottom of the pile? Development of your overall strategy and message is just as important as careful production of the content, structure, writing, and layout of a proposal. Though there are no guarantees, these keys can make your proposals more competitive and increase your company’s chances of being awarded a contract.”