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Gov contracts

In today’s competitive marketplace, shopping around for the best deal is the norm. Thrifty shopping is facilitated through modern technology, where price comparisons are just a click away. From individual consumers to corporations,  there can be great financial benefits in shopping around and looking at several offers before pulling the trigger on a purchase. The U.S. government should not be exempted from this frugality, and neither should the military.

Since 2010, The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), which facilitates the purchase of various goods and service for federal government agencies, has implemented a program to generate competition when agencies buy office supplies. This competition among the vendors drives down the costs and reduces wasteful spending.

The GSA’s program requires vendors who want to do business with the government to reveal their pricing to both the government buyer and their competition. The ability for vendors to see their competitors’ pricing allows them to lower theirs, saving the government money. It also prevents over-spending on the part of government buyers who, in the past, have sometimes paid more than four times the amount for one product over another.

The pricing bids and purchase receipts are sent to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), which review the purchases made, comparing them to the actual bids. This procedure works as a check/balance system, protecting the government from charges of favoritism or misconduct. It also keeps the playing field level for all vendors hoping to participate in government contracts.

The GAO has urged the Pentagon to do more to safeguard against waste. The GAO contends that promoting competitive contracts, through programs like the GSA’s, can help save the government money, curb fraud, and promote accountability.

Recently, the U.S. Army decided not to seek bids for the contract to purchase 100 new helicopters. Instead, the Army chose to offer the contract to Airbus for 100 Lakota UH-72 helicopters. While the Army has its reasons for granting the contract the way they did, one of which was customer satisfaction with Airbus, the GAO and many other vendors from the helicopter industry were surprised with the decision.

In reality, the lack of competition favors the larger companies by excluding offers from small and  medium sized businesses.

The Veteran and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA) is a non-profit business trade association that promotes and assists Veteran Business Owners, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) and Military Business Owners. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and responsible for job generation. That is why VAMBOA provides its members with Business Coaching, Contracting Opportunities, a Blog that provides information, Networking contacts and other resources. Membership is FREE to Veterans. Join Now!

By Debbie Gregory

 

governmentcontracts

Attention all Veteran owned technology and software firms… there is a huge opportunity coming your way. Starting in either July or August of 2014, the Department of Defense will begin shopping for a company or companies to design and manage a new information technology system to maintain all medical records for service members.

For years, Veterans have had to leave the military with fully completed medical and dental records, only to have to reapply with the VA’s health care system. The transition eats up a lot of time and resources. A new record system that carriesover between the military and the VA is long overdue.

In May of 2013, officials at the Pentagon announced that they intended to install an improved electronic system for maintaining service members’ health records. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel promised to work with the VA in developing a “seamless system” for service members and Veterans. In light of this year’s VA scandal involving backlogs and wait times, the time to implement a new records system is now.

Many heavy hitters in the tech industry will be bidding on the contract. Veteran business owners in the tech industry would be wise to pay attention to this, which is estimated to be a 10 year, $11 billion contract. Whoever wins the contract will most likely be mandated to hire sub-contractors who are Veterans or Veteran-owned companies.

Companies that are expected to compete for the contract include Accenture Plc, Northrop Grumman Corp, Leidos Holdings Inc., Hewlett-Packard Inc., and IBM, who has already announced their plan to partner with Epic Systems Corp in a bid for the contract. Maybe your Veteran owned business can be added to this list as well.

The winner of the bidding gets to claim one of the largest contracts in federal information technology. But after the failed launch of the Obamacare website, bidders and their proposals will be under heavy scrutiny.

But either way, Veterans should still come out ahead through better, faster healthcare, seamless healthcare records, and the potential for subcontracting with the winning bidder.

The Veteran and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA) is a non-profit business trade association that promotes and assists Veteran Business Owners, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) and Military Business Owners. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and responsible for job generation. That is why VAMBOA provides its members with Business Coaching, Contracting Opportunities, a Blog that provides information, Networking contacts and other resources. Membership is FREE to Veterans. Join Now!

 

VAMBOA: Upcoming $11 Billion Federal Contract: By Debbie Gregory

Boots to business reboot

 

Beginning July 11th , the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will host two day entrepreneurship training courses for Veterans in twelve U.S. cities. The sessions will be part of the “Boots to Business: Reboot” program.

Based on the existing Boots to Business program, Reboot is an entrepreneurial education program offered by the SBA in collaboration with Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF). The Reboot program’s curriculum will provide valuable information to Veterans who are interested in starting their own businesses by leading Veteran entrepreneurs through key steps for evaluating business concepts and the tools required for developing a business plan. Participants in Reboot are also introduced to the SBA resources available to help access start-up capital and additional technical assistance.

Representatives from IVMF and the SBA’s resource partners will lead the sessions. The Reboot’s “Introduction to Entrepreneurship Class” will train Veteran entrepreneurs on the essentials of owning your own business. The program will also introduce participating Veteran Entrepreneurs to a network of business support available both locally, and across the U.S. by introducing them to SBA’s network of resources that include: Veteran Business Outreach Centers, Women’s Business Centers, Small Business Development Centers and SCORE Counselors.

Following the initial Reboot training, participants will also be eligible to register for a second training session called “Foundations of Entrepreneurship.” This is an eight-week, online course taught by instructors from IVMF. The course delves deeper into the elements of a business plan, and offers more tips and techniques for starting a business. After completing both Boots to Business: Reboot sessions, Veteran entrepreneurs will have the tools and knowledge they need to identify a business opportunity, draft a business plan, connect with local resources and launch their small businesses.
For more information about “Boots to Business: Reboot”, including schedules of dates and cities, and how to enroll for sessions, please visit www.boots2businessreboot.org.

To learn more about opportunities for Veteran entrepreneurs available through the SBA, visit www.sba.gov/vets.

The Veteran and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA) is a non-profit business trade association that promotes and assists Veteran Business Owners, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) and Military Business Owners. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and responsible for job generation. That is why VAMBOA provides its members with Business Coaching, Contracting Opportunities, a Blog that provides information, Networking contacts and other resources. Membership is FREE to Veterans. Join Now!

VAMBOA: Boots to Business Reboot: By Debbie Gregory

VAMBOA: SBA Amends Policy: By Debbie Gregory

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SBA amends poliy

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) issued an interim ruling on Monday that will adjust monetary based small business size standards for inflation, to allow more small businesses to become eligible for SBA’s financial and federal government procurement assistance programs. These changes mean that adjustments on inflation for figures such as receipts, assets, net worth and income could now play a factor in determining program eligibility.

The SBA is adjusting all of the industry specific monetary based size standards to adjust for inflation since the last adjustment in 2008.  These changes are in addition to the recent modifications made to the small business size standards as a result of the SBA’s all-inclusive size-standards review, mandated by the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010.

The SBA is adjusting its program specific monetary size standards, with the exception of the new alternative size standard based on tangible net worth and net income that applies to the SBA’s 7(a) and 504 loan programs.  The new standard was implemented under the Small Business Jobs Act, and will remain in place until the SBA establishes a permanent alternative size standard for its programs.

The temporary final rule also establishes that the size standard exception for “Leasing of Building Space to Federal Government by Owners” under footnote 9 in the SBA’s table of size standards applies to all industries in the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Industry Group 5311, Lessors of Real Estate.

All of the changes are scheduled to go into effect starting July 14, 2014.  The SBA predicts that at least 8,000 additional businesses will gain small business status under the adjusted size standards, and become eligible for SBA’s financial and federal government procurement programs.  These changes in SBA policy could potentially lead to more than $150 million to $200 million in additional federal contracts awarded to small businesses, and 80 additional loans totaling about $30 million.

The Veteran and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA) is a non-profit business trade association that promotes and assists Veteran Business Owners, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) and Military Business Owners. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and responsible for job generation. That is why VAMBOA provides its members with Business Coaching, Contracting Opportunities, a Blog that provides information, Networking contacts and other resources. Membership is FREE to Veterans. Join Now!

VAMBOA: SBA Amends Policy: By Debbie Gregory

Champions of Change

Data shared by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) shows that Veterans are 45% more likely to start their own businesses than people without active-duty military experience. The SBA’s data also showed that Veteran-owned small businesses have a higher success rate.

Veteran Entrepreneurs utilize a skill set and drive to succeed that they developed through their military service. Their successes boost our nation’s economy. According to data from the most recent U.S. Census, 10% of all U.S. small businesses are Veteran owned. Veteran owned businesses generate more than $1.2 trillion in receipts each year, and employ over 5.5 million Americans, many of them Veterans as well.

In a campaign to boost the economy by generating more Veteran entrepreneurs, the president and the SBA have launched programs that include the Boots to Business program. This initiative is an entrepreneurship training program for transitioning service members that educate them on how to start, develop and maintain their small businesses. The SBA has provided Boots to Business to over 6,000 service members since its inception.

Another way to boost entrepreneurship is by honoring and recognizing the individuals who are making a difference both as Veteran entrepreneurs and those working to advance Veteran entrepreneurs. You can help identify and honor Veteran entrepreneurs, Veteran spouse entrepreneurs, and organizations that support Veteran entrepreneurs by nominating a Champion of Change for Veteran Entrepreneurship by midnight on June 24th.

Honorees receive an invitation to the White House to share their ideas in order to win the future.

Nominees may include:
• Veterans who have started either a for-profit or non-profit business.
• Veteran spouses who have started a for-profit or non-profit business.
• Organizations that support Veteran entrepreneurs by providing them with skills, capital, or other resources.
Nominations can be submitted on the Nominations Page at www.whitehouse.gov/champions
The Veteran and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA) is a non-profit business trade association that promotes and assists Veteran Business Owners, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) and Military Business Owners. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and responsible for job generation. That is why VAMBOA provides its members with Business Coaching, Contracting Opportunities, a Blog that provides information, Networking contacts and other resources. Membership is FREE to Veterans. Join Now!

VAMBOA: Champions of Change Nominees: By Debbie Gregory

 

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