Veterans Business Resources

a portal for all Veterans and SDV Small Business Owners

The Contracting Decision Cycle

Over the past year and a half or so, we have spent a considerable amount of time talking about “The Process.”  I believe that most of us are able to look at virtually any action, activity or event and identify “the process” involved to make it happen.  Likewise, I want you to now consider another similar concept in that it gives you even more critical insights and information that you can effectively leverage to your advantage.

The concept I want you to consider is the “Contracting Decision Cycle.”  What is the Contracting Decision Cycle?  The decision to contract for a supply or a service is rarely, if ever made in a vacuum.  Typically, multiple players are involved in “The Process.”  When does it happen?  Where does it happen?  Who are the players involved?  What are their considerations?  Who are the influencers?  When are Contracting Decisions made?  Can Contracting Decisions be influenced by outsiders?  If so, how can I influence them?  

When you are able to answer the questions above, you will also be able to insert yourself into the “Contracting Decision Cycle” and potentially influence the Contracting Decision in your favor.  

This concept is a slightly modified version of a U.S. Army Tactics class concept.  All that military training has more civilian applications than some might initially think.  Let me know your thoughts. 

 

See you on the high ground!

 

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Filed under: Government Contracting, Strategy, Woods Consulting Group,

“Critical Point on the Battlefield”

Several years ago, as a young Captain, stationed at “The Great Place.”  Now, if you’re a soldier, you know where “The Great Place” is located.  For those of you reading this post and not somehow affiliated with the U.S. Army, the place I speak of is none other than Ft. Hood,Texas.  The first time I was stationed there, I worked for a boss that often referred to the “Critical Point on the Battlefield” as he taught, developed and mentored the young officers under his command. 

Some of you might be asking yourselves questions like – What exactly is the “Critical Point on the Battlefield?”  Where exactly is the “Critical Point on the Battlefield?”  How does one identify the “Critical Point on the Battlefield?”  Perhaps even a more basic and fundamental question is – “Are we on a battlefield?”  To that I answer with a resounding YES!  Not only are we on a battlefield, we are in a highly charged and critical battle – a battle to provide for the health, welfare and support of our families, our employees, our brothers and sisters in arms and the Veteran-Owned Business Movement itself. 

This virtual battlefield is laden with traps, ambushes, deception, smoke, minefields and other obstacles all designed to cause chaos and confusion on our part and to make us give in and give up.  But, being the strong willed folk I know us to be, we are going to persevere, we are going to put our heads down and keep grinding it out.  Remember, there are many forces out here that don’t want us to be successful, that don’t want us to achieve even the very juvenile SDVOSB goal attainment of 3% of federal contract awards. 

What do you do when you’ve given it everything you’ve got?  What do you do when you’ve gone as far as you can under your own power?  What do you do when continued progress and ultimately success depends on your very next choice?  What do you do when you reach the “Critical Point on the Battlefield?”  At that critical point, it is time to make a critical decision.  The choice is yours and yours alone.  I am confident you will choose well and choose wisely.

 

See you on the high ground!

 

Filed under: Ethics, Government Contracting, Strategy, Woods Consulting Group, ,

Government Contracting IQ

What is your Government Contracting IQ?  How much do you really know about this business you’re about to invest your life into?  Is your Government Contracting IQ lacking in any area(s)?  Is this potential lack of knowledge costing your VOSB missed opportunities?  Even worse, is your lack of knowledge costing you and your VOSB money?  Is someone exploiting your lifelong Veteran status or your 9 year SBA 8(a) status?  How about any of the other Small Business designations?  Does someone you’re in business with or perhaps in competition with understand certifications or designations better than you and leverage them to their fullest potential? 

No one can know everything about everything, period.  Would you agree with that statement?  Let’s take that idea even further; no one can even know something about everything.  At best, most of us can only hope to know something about the things that interest us most.  Typically, we KNOW our jobs and our work very well!  Repetition has a funny way of causing that to happen.  We strive to learn and know about other aspects of our work and passions.  In the military, we often cross trained and knew how to perform multiple jobs or tasks.  That is a very valuable and marketable skill we still possess, don’t discount it. 

What happens when the Government Contracting Environment exceeds your Government Contracting IQ?  How do you continue to move forward with certainty and success?  What happens when you reach that “Critical Point on the Battlefield?”  There are several options available to solve for these questions.  You can “study yourself approved,” you can get FREE help through various support organizations; you can add someone with the requisite expertise to your team or you could even retain the services of a Coach or a Consultant.  The choice is yours.  I am confident you will make the best and right choice for your particular situation. 

 

See you on the high ground!   

 

Filed under: Compliance, Administration & Management (CAM), Government Contracting, Registrations & Certifications, Woods Consulting Group, , ,

A Call to Arms

We have the power to reclaim our Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) Contracting Programs!  That sentence sounds as if we’ve already lost them – that statement, from a purely factual basis, is not true – we have not lost our programs – at least not YET. 

Allow me to share some information for your careful review and consideration.  I make the following statements with the full and complete belief that everyone reading this post knows about the VOSB and SDVOSB federal contracting programs.  Since we already know about the programs, we also already know why other less scrupulous individuals would try to snake their way into position to tap into the $3.5 billion in fiscal 2010 procurements these programs represented for the VA alone!  Now, think about all the other federal agencies that make VOSB and SDVOSB contract awards – the total dollar spend gets quite sizeable indeed.  Obviously, this slice of the procurement pie is just too tempting for the GREEDY to pass by.  These GREEDY people place us and our program in danger – please read on.   

The VA OIG conducted a 2 year investigation and found the VA annually awarded at least $500 million in contract dollars to companies fraudulently claiming to be Veteran-Owned and controlled.  That same report said that over the next 5 years, the VA will award about $2.5 billion in VOSB and SDVOSB contracts to ineligible businesses if it does not strengthen oversight and verification procedures.  

Well my friends, the VA has stepped up to the plate!  Has anyone reading this tried to get their business registered and verified in the Vendor Information Pages (VIP) lately?  If so, you also know the burden of proof requirements have gotten considerably tougher.  So, where do we fit in?  We can support the VA’s efforts to strengthen the program – we can police ourselves as necessary – we can continue to “Study Ourselves Approved,” as a friend of mine loves to remind us.  When we’ve reached the limits of our own understanding and we’re still faced with a challenge, a dilemma, or a problem – we can reach out and get help. 

Let’s keep VOSB and SDVOSB dollars where they belong – in the Veteran community.

See you on the high ground! 

Filed under: Government Contracting, Support Our Troops, Veterans Affairs, Woods Consulting Group, , ,