GUIDE TO DOD CONTRACTING OPPORTUNITIES
A Step by Step Approach to the DoD Marketplace
There are several basic steps every company should do to increase their ability to contract in the marketplace. Becoming a government contractor can increase your company’s growth in many ways. Follow the links to prepare for doing business with the government.
1.Identify your product or service.
It is essential to know the Federal Supply Class or Service (FSC/SVC) codes, the Product Service Codes (PSCs) and North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes for your products, services or industry in which your organization normally does business. Many government product/service listings and future procurements are identified according to the PSC. or NAICS Code.
The North American Industry Classification System or NAICS is used by business and government to classify business establishments according to type of economic activity (process of production) in Canada, Mexico and the United States.
2.Obtain a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Number and register in the System for Award Management (SAM).
You must register your Entity (business, individual, or government agency) to do business with the Federal Government. If you do not have a DUNS Number, contact Dun and Bradstreet to obtain one at http://www.dnb.com/us/. After obtaining a DUNS number, you should register in the System for Award Management (SAM) for contracts at www.sam.gov. A DUNS Number and SAM registration are prerequisites for any contract award. SAM is the Official U.S. Government system that consolidated the capabilities of the Central Contractor Registration (CCR), ORCA, and EPLS. It is a database designed to hold information relevant to procurement and financial transactions. SAM affords you the opportunity for fast electronic payment of your invoices. Entities may register at no cost directly from the Website. User guides and webinars are available under the Help tab.
3.Vendors must obtain a Contractor and Government Entity Code (CAGE) or NATO Contractor and Government Entity (NCAGE) Code.
The CAGE Code (for U.S. vendors) and NCAGE Code (for foreign vendors) is a required piece of data for registering in SAM. If you are a vendor located in the U.S. and do not have a CAGE Code, a CAGE Code will be assigned to you when you register in SAM system for the first time. The CAGE Welcome information page is at https://cage.dla.mil/ A foreign vendor must contact its country representative to receive its NCAGE Code assignment. A list of country representatives can be found at http://www.nato.int/structur/AC/135/main/links/contacts.htm. The NCAGE Code request form is at https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/scage/CageList.aspx.
4. As a small business, explore programs with the Small Business Administration (SBA).
DoD Small Business Specialists are located at each DoD buying activity to provide assistance on how to market to the DoD. See https://business.defense.gov/ and under the tab “for Small Businesses” click on the link for “Doing Business with DoD,” and to “Locate a Small Business Professional.
The SBA offers assistance and certification in preference programs to small business concerns, go to https://www.sba.gov/. Procurement Technical Assistance Centers are located in most states and partially funded by DoD to provide small business concerns with information on how to do business with the DoD. See http://www.dla.mil/HQ/SmallBusiness/PTAC.aspx. The PTACs provide training and counseling on marketing, financial, and contracting issues at minimal or no cost.
The General Services Administration (GSA) helps small businesses stay competitive in the federal market. Online and onsite federal experts offer small businesses the training tools to succeed, visit: http://www.gsa.gov/portal/category/21983.
5. Identifying current DoD procurement opportunities.
Businesses should first visit Federal Business Opportunities, or FedBizOpps, and register at the website to be notified of newly posted opportunities in their industries. FedBizOpps is the official Website that allows the private sector to electronically access government-wide procurement opportunities. FedBizOpps provides a comprehensive database of all major government solicitations, contract awards, subcontracting opportunities, surplus property sales, and foreign business opportunities with the federal government and is located at http://www.fedbizopps.gov. Many agencies, military departments and contracting offices also have procurement Websites. Check the individual sites for other possible sources of information.
6.Familiarize yourself with DoD contracting regulations and procedures.
Familiarize yourself with the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) https://www.acquisition.gov/?q=browsefar and the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) http://www.acq.osd.mil/dpap/dars/dfarspgi/current/index.html.
7.Investigate Federal Supply Schedule (FSS).
As the centralized procurement arm for the federal government, GSA offers products, services, and facilities needed by federal agencies for serving the public. In turn, GSA offers businesses the opportunity to sell billions of dollars’ worth of products and services to those agencies.
The GSA Schedules (also referred to as Multiple Award Schedules and Federal Supply Schedules) Program, establishes long-term government-wide contracts with commercial firms to provide access to over 11 million commercial supplies (products) and services. These can be ordered directly from GSA Schedule contractors or through the http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/104677 online shopping and ordering system.
While the GSA Schedules Program is only one of GSA’s procurement vehicles, it is one of the largest programs and the most preferred for commercial products and services. Contact the GSA for information on how to obtain a schedule contract, go to http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/197989.
8.Explore FedMall Contracts.
FedMall is an eCommerce ordering system for DOD, Federal, State, and authorized local Agencies to search for and acquire products from government reserves and commercial sources. Buyers have access to over 29 million individual items of supply, including centrally-managed DOD and General Service Administration (GSA) assets as well as commercial off-the-shelf products. Buyers can use MILSTRIP or Government purchase card and have reconciliation power at their fingertips.
The FedMall website https://www.fedmall.mil provides information on how to become a supplier for FedMall. Suppliers are able sell on FedMall without a contract through FedMall MarketPlace, using a GSA Schedule, and/or a FedMall awarded contract through the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Contract Support Office (DSCO).
FedMall provides the transparency, velocity, and versatility that today's DoD buyers and suppliers demand. Suppliers must have a CAGE code and not debarred or banned from doing business with the Government.
9.Seek additional assistance, as needed, in the DoD marketplace.
There are several important resources that are available to assist you in the DoD marketplace:
The DoD Office of Small Business Programs has a website providing information on doing Business with the DoD at http://www.acq.osd.mil/osbp/sb/dod.shtml
The Defense Pricing and Contracting (DPC) website http://www.acq.osd.mil/dpap/index.html. DPC is responsible for all Contractingand Procurement policy matters including e-Business in the Department of Defense (DoD). Click on the “eBusiness” tab for more information on a number of systems with which you should be familiar.
The Federal Procurement Data System-Next Generation (FPDS-NG) at https://www.fpds.gov/fpdsng_cms/index.php/en/ is the official web site for all federal procurement data and reports. This site requires registration for a user account and is free to the public.
10.Look for Subcontracting opportunities.
Regardless of your product or service, it is important to consider our very large secondary market. We encourage you to consider contractor teaming arrangements.
The SBA’s SUB-Net http://web.sba.gov/subnet/search/index.cfm is a valuable source for obtaining information on subcontracting opportunities. Solicitations or notices are posted not only by prime contractors, but the SUB-Net is also used by other government, commercial, and educational entities. We encourage you to investigate potential opportunities with these firms many of which also have websites that may be useful.
11.Investigate other DoD programs.
There are several other programs that may be of interest to you, such as the DoD Mentor-Protégé Program, the Small Business Innovation Research Program, and the Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Institutions Program.
Information on these and other programs is available on the DoD Office of Small Business Programs website, http://www.acq.osd.mil/osbp.
12.Familiarize yourself with the DoD's electronic invoicing capabilities.
Wide Area Workflow (WAWF) e-Business Suite is DoD's primary system for the electronic processing of invoices and receiving reports. By submitting your invoices and receiving reports through the Web, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), or File Transfer Protocol (FTP), they will be routed electronically, resulting in more efficient payments to you. More information on WAWF can be found at https://wawf.eb.mil/.
13.Market your product or service well.
After you have identified your customers, researched their requirements, and familiarized yourself with DoD procurement regulations and strategies, it is time to market your product or service. Present your capabilities to the DoD activities that buy your products or services. USASpending.gov at http://www.usaspending.gov also contains current DoD procurement data. This data can assist your marketing efforts. Realize that, like you, their time is valuable, but if the match is a good one, you can provide them with a cost- effective, quality solution to meet their requirements.