At the end of May, NDIA Iowa – Illinois Chapter hosted the 11th Annual Midwest Government Contracting Symposium (previously called the Small Business Symposium) in Moline IL across the river from Rock Island Arsenal (an active U.S. Army facility located on a 946-acre island in the Mississippi River, between Davenport, Iowa and Rock Island, Illinois).
Some comments from the event:
- The Army is interested in new ideas – but will not consider anything with an increased cost – do MORE with LESS or the SAME. Areas of interest include modernization, war-gaming, talent management, and training.
- For the Army – small business must be able to support READINESS and ability to SCALE UP – it is critical. If they cannot, work will go to large business.
- Expressed commitment to internal talent and training development
- Year-end dollars are available – committed to support of readiness
- A priority – to increase use of metrics and operations to more quickly support the soldiers needs
- Additional concepts of importance – enterprise wide contracts, source selection, category management, scrubbing of policy layers to increase overall efficiencies
- Of course 252.204-7012 was a point of discussion. Comments were made by a couple of primes that if their subcontractors cannot certify to the current cyber requirements, they will be removing them their supplier databases (including question on compliance in supply chair registrations). Other considerations in this area include protest (non-compliance of competitor), appropriate flow down and application of clause (specific vs broad), depth of supply chain compliance. It is anticipated that compliance will become an evaluation factor in proposals. If your business needs assistance in this area please contact Marc Violante at firstname.lastname@example.org or 920-456-9990
- DOD representatives encouraged industry to educate the CO’s on changes where appropriate and needed. Also encouraged industry to share with government their feedback on impact regulatory or other changes have on their ability to contract.
- STRONGLY encouraged responding to Sources Sought and RFI – they are asking. Suggested responding in the negative if the requirement could be improved or is in some way not realistic. Looking for industry feedback.
- Use of LOGCAPS, EAGLE, CHESS, OASIS and other government wide contracts
- SubNet– some of you may remember SubNet – it has been around for a while with limited success. It is a database of subcontracting opportunities posted by large contractors looking for small businesses to serve as subcontractors. https://eweb1.sba.gov/subnet/client/dsp_Landing.cfm. Currently it has limited use, BUT an enhanced site is scheduled for release on September 20, 2018 with the ability to post events scheduled for December 2, 2018.