When small businesses struggle to navigate the world of government contracts or a government buyer seeks out responsible vendors, the Defense Logistics Agency and the Procurement Technical Assistance Centers work to bring the parties together.
Funded through cooperative agreements with DLA, the PTACs have a local presence in 49 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and Guam. The centers provide technical assistance, usually free of charge, to businesses as they pursue and perform under contracts with the Department of Defense, other federal agencies, state and local governments and with government prime contractors. PTAC assistance to businesses includes registration in systems such as the System for Award Management, identification of contract opportunities, and help in understanding requirements and in preparing and submitting bids.
The PTACs are staffed with experts in the terms, conditions, procedures, rules and regulations relating to government contracts.
“Without the assistance of Roger Johnson at the PTAC, I would have found doing business with the federal government very difficult. I recommend that anyone wishing to do business with the federal government seek support from the PTAC,” said Darrell Starks, owner of Elkhorn Valley Airboats, a small business in Waterloo, Neb.
Mark Santo, president of Mark VII Enterprises, Inc., a service-disabled veteran-owned small business, also attributed much of his company’s success to the assistance and support he received from the PTAC in Omaha, Neb.
“The PTAC assisted during our origination in helping us to setup as a SDVOSB and go after contracting opportunities,” Santo said. “That allowed us to be successful during the economic downturn.”
Jacqueline Alvarado is president of Century Fire Systems, a woman-owned small business. She reached out to her local PTAC in El Paso, Texas, for help.
“We had the pleasure of working with Julie Suarez and found her to be quite knowledgeable and competent,” Alvarado said. “Because of Ms. Suarez, Century Fire Systems is now certified as a WOSB.”
The PTACs also support the acquisition workforce in identifying responsible vendors and with other market research.
With little time to spare, a buyer with the Defense Commissary Agency reached out to the PTAC in Petersburg, Va., for assistance in identifying small businesses for a requirement that had previously generated little interest. The PTAC helped identify 10 interested vendors, three of which provided a quote.
“Our contracting staff saved valuable time because of your office’s assistance,” DeCA contract specialist Barbara Wright said of the PTAC.
The award was ultimately made to a veteran-owned small business.
DLA and the PTACs support businesses as they grow, offering relevant, current and effective training on many topics pertinent to government contracts.
Northern Wings Repair is a historically underutilized business zone small business started in Michigan 11 years ago with just two employees.† Northern Wings first sought assistance from the local Onaway, Mich., PTAC in 2005. Company President David Goudreau described an early PTAC event the company attended as “the single most contributing factor to our success in developing our customer base within the U.S. government and with prime contractors.”
Today, Northern Wings is working out of a 13,000-square-foot facility and has completed contracts for DLA, NASA, the Department of Homeland Security, Boeing and Lockheed Martin. Still receiving support from the PTAC, Goudreau continues to speak highly of the program, saying that the “PTAC’s are the best business development partners we have.”
“We used them to get started, and they continue to provide key training and services to our employees as we grow,” he added.
The Procurement Technical Assistance Centers Program is executed and carried out by the DLA Office of Small Business Programs.
More information about the program and locations of local Procurement Technical Assistance Centers are available at: http://www.dla.mil/SmallBusiness/Pages/ptap.aspx.
As a Department of Defense combat support agency, DLA provides the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, other federal agencies, and joint and allied forces with a variety of logistics, acquisition and technical services. The agency sources and provides nearly 100 percent of the consumable items America’s military forces need to operate, from food, fuel and energy, to uniforms, medical supplies, and construction and barrier equipment. DLA also supplies more than 85 percent of the military’s spare parts.