BY MAUREEN N. MARATITA
The Office of Small Business Programs has an eight-step process — with videos — at https://www.secnav.navy.mil/smallbusiness/Pages/DBWD.aspx.
Jimmy D. Smith, director of the U.S. Navy’s Office of Small Business Programs, said the page is carefully organized to be user-friendly
“Every step has its own segment, and you can rewind it and play it again. It gives you a complete understanding of what it takes to be procurement ready for the government, not just the Navy. It walks you through sam.gov, walks you through the DUNS number, the cage code. … “
Smith said completing the process prepares businesses for further discussions with program managers and contracting officers.
“We want to make sure that you’re already established by way of step-processed to doing business with the government.”
Smith’s job and desire is also to remove roadblocks.
“One thing that troubled me in Saipan was the physical address. You can’t register on sam.gov if you don’t have a physical address. A PO box number won’t cut it.”
Smith contacted the U.S. Small Business Administration while he was still in Saipan during his September visit. “I [sent] off an email, asking for a work-around to mitigate this problem, because it’s creating a barrier for us to do business with small businesses.”
Upcoming opportunities are posted on his site, Smith said. “We put that work on our long-range acquisition forecast.” That’s before requests for information or proposals are posted on sam.gov, he said. “You get to see years in advance of the things that we’re thinking about contracting out.” The size of the documents are huge, he said, and readers should go to the right area. “If you’re interested in construction, you go to the Navy Facilities Engineering Command portal; if you’re interested in supplies, you go to the Navy’s Supply Systems Command portal …” All activities are represented, he said with some updated every quarter and every six months.
Information on strategy and what type of company previously received an award is also available, he said.
Smith also said businesses should watch for off-island opportunities in their areas of expertise. “Don’t limit yourself to work on-island. You can compete for work in different locations.”
Within the excel spreadsheets, Smith said businesses can search by their DUNS number to find relevant opportunities. “You don’t have to go all 87 pages.” He said businesses should be mindful of which is the relevant military customer. “And then you can deep-dive into their long-range forecast to your heart’s desire.”mbj