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    Default Help with GOV contracting.

    Hi!

    My name is Jack from SDS Engineering in LA - I wanted to pick this forums about government contracts. I've been trying for a year to bid on gov contracts, understanding the system, and i've just become more confused and frustrated. I've tried going to the small business assistance programs listed on DoD websites, and they're all lousy and don't know anything about machine shops and contracting or the types of portals used like Dibbs, or Fedbizopps. What resources do you guys use when getting and bidding contracts. What sites do you use to bid, are there middle men that you use to get work. How have you found success in getting government jobs. Would love some direction.

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    Gov used to offer seminars you could go to and learn the methods. The ones that will beat you blind are the female veterans 100% disabled non white mostly native Indian that speak Spanish. Then there's the ones who are more than likely to slide right in there and take it type with inside track such as if your father is a politician. Other than that you probably wouldn't qualify to make springs for wooden clothes pins at 3 cents a thousand.

    What you can do is find the ones that get the contracts and make a deal with them to do the work and let them collect the money while they go killing whales or whatever they do.

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    Your local PTAC (Procurement Technical Assistance Center) will run classes on selling to the government, as well as help you get set up with SAM, etc. They are funded by the DoD and free to the users. Ours is very good with industrial customers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DanielG View Post
    Your local PTAC (Procurement Technical Assistance Center) will run classes on selling to the government, as well as help you get set up with SAM, etc. They are funded by the DoD and free to the users. Ours is very good with industrial customers.
    Yeah i've approached my local PTAC and they haven't been too helpful. Would try to contact them again, but the consultants there were not too familiar with part manufacturing and were barely able to answer my questions with a straight forward answer. One of the other options is just cold emailing the representatives that are connected with buying the product, but I'm nervous of annoying them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JackatSDS View Post
    but the consultants there were not too familiar with part manufacturing and were barely able to answer my questions with a straight forward answer.
    Making the parts is your problem, those people are there to help you figure out the paperwork side of it.
    How do you bid on it, how do you bill it, how do you get paid for it.. How to get all the stupid numbers
    you need to even be able to bid on a contract.. Etc... Nevermind the endless packaging specs.

    Cold calling buyers isn't going to help you at all if all your ducks aren't in a row, weather
    you want to sell them toilet paper or computer programs or missile parts. If you don't have
    all your ducks in a row, they can't hand you the job anyways.

    Making the parts is the easy part, its all the other BS, and I haven't dealt with it
    in years, and I know its just gotten more difficult. Used to be when the paperwork
    weighed as much as the parts, then you could ship it, now I think the paperwork has
    to weigh twice as much as the parts.

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    Most community colleges have free classes sponsored by the S.B.A. and D.O.D. on getting setup to bid on government projects, At least over on the east coast. I went to several in TN, FL, and GA and came to the conclusion it was a futile process without some sort of minority advantage. For me it was just better to have salesmen hit up pre-established government contractors and piggyback off of their certifications rather than scroll through hundreds of thousands of items that were going to someone else before it was ever posted.

    In 07 when Boeing got the contract for the new A-10 wings they outsourced the job to several other contractors who intern outsourced what they got. I can remember a shop that was AS and ISO certed in Atlanta that my salesman hit up sending me a packet full of prints to bid. I managed to get the job with a hand written faxed sheet of legal pad paper. I'd rather have a salesman out in the field rather than spend my time thinking I can sit at a computer trying to pick and choose the jobs I want. Even when I put my Asian wife on and listed the company as a dual minority it was almost impossible to win something on Fedbizopps.


    Kind of OT but I have been in a discussion on another forum for a few weeks addressing sending jobs to companies with "Engineering" in the name. They did a poll and out of around 100 shops that send out work less than 10 would use a company with engineering somewhere in the name. The reason that most people gave for not wanting to use and engineering company is it basically gave them an uneasy feeling about the company. Most think that is is a subconscious conclusion that engineers can/would copy items. Others,,, Well, they felt that dealing with engineering could lead to unauthorized changes to products. And other shops felt that dealing with the original engineer of the part was enough interaction.

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    Bidding on gov't work is a full time job on it's own. We've had a little success partnering with another company (run by an engineer, naturally) who would handle the paperwork, and we would make the parts.

    Do you have any contact with end users? Like the guys actually using whatever you want to make? This is the long game, but if you can understand what they need/want and then create it the business will come to you. Orders under $5,500 can normally come straight from units, over that it might be direct contract or it may go up for bid, but the the business ultimately comes to you if you are the sole source of that product.

    And it doesn't have to be revolutionary. Not talking about a new rocket, but maybe a wrench to install the fuze in the rocket.

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    We've done a fair number of government contracts over the years. It was a real pain to get started, and sometimes the bids are pretty long and detailed, but it isn't too bad once you've done it a couple of times. Despite what you hear, you do not need to be a minority or have "connections" -- we're owned by an old white guy (me) and have been successful on every bid we've made.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
    We've done a fair number of government contracts over the years. It was a real pain to get started, and sometimes the bids are pretty long and detailed, but it isn't too bad once you've done it a couple of times. Despite what you hear, you do not need to be a minority or have "connections" -- we're owned by an old white guy (me) and have been successful on every bid we've made.
    On every bid? Time to raise those rates 😎

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    Working for both some very large companies and the government has enough paperwork burden, that it can take otherwise profitable jobs and waste enough time to be unprofitable. Specialize in this type of work, and get good at jumping through the hoops, and it can be very profitable. Just recognize you might want a near full time government contracts person -- and enough work to keep them productive.

    It was a different arena (process consulting rather than machining), but half a dozen times over my career a DOD manager would convince me to bid a quick consulting job. The work and the people I worked with were always fine. But half the job always seemed to turn out to be paperwork. I'd vow never to do it again (till the next time . . . slow learner).

    Somewhere around the mid eighties some larger companies got just as bad; wanting certifications, with a new army of corporate lawyers drawing up ridiculous contracts that needed to be re-negotiated, and the accountants essentially wanting to audit my business before job one. Example: work for IBM started with a handshake and went that way for over a decade, with both sides happy. Eventually, various IBM departments became a major impediment. It was no longer feasible to do any sort of quick and efficient work.

    Could be part of why manufacturing struggles a bit in the US? More of the major contracts are from large enterprises and the government -- but so is more and more of the red tape.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Justaguy11 View Post
    On every bid? Time to raise those rates ��
    You can’t charge the government more than you charge anyone else for the same goods or services, so you have to be mindful about price increases.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
    You can’t charge the government more than you charge anyone else for the same goods or services, so you have to be mindful about price increases.
    No, you can't charge more for the manufacturing side, but, I would think you CAN change the terms if the PAPERWORK burden increases two or three fold.

    Is this not true?

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    I have a friend near Ft.Benning. His work from factories was dying as they did. He looked into getting work from the base. He was told upfront to make his wife co-owner. When he found out the amount of paperwork needed just to apply he gave up. The Marine Base near us has a Redskin business always advertising for help in logistics and IT. They no doubt are the brokers for palefaces to get work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thunderjet View Post
    No, you can't charge more for the manufacturing side, but, I would think you CAN change the terms if the PAPERWORK burden increases two or three fold.

    Is this not true?
    You can't charge more because it takes extra time to register as a government supplier, prepare a bid, or prepare an invoice.

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    Since they make trolls moderators now, I will no longer contribute like I used to. So all I can say is, use the search function. There is a lot of bad info in this thread from people who have not walked the walk and talk out of their backsides. Plenty of members, including myself, have played the government contracting game at one time or another, listen to them, not the people with opinions based on hearsay.

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    You're going about this all wrong... Before you can even get started these days you need the following


    Register with Sam and get your cage code
    Register with dibbs and verify via post card
    Pay to get your itar registration
    Get iso 9001:2015 registered
    Get setup with JCP so you can view technical documents via cfolders on dibbs (takes 6+ months)


    Then....you can finally see documents and bid on dibbs. Lots of money to be made, nearly half of our revenue is through the DOD either by dibbs or by using small business set asides dealing with tier 1s that have $7,000,000+ contracts like ratheon, Boeing, etc.

    If you have any further questions please let me know. There are also local gov agencies that can help prepare your bid packets. We don't prepare any of those packets.....they do it for us.



    Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by as9100d View Post
    You're going about this all wrong... Before you can even get started these days you need the following

    Register with Sam and get your cage code
    Register with dibbs and verify via post card
    Pay to get your itar registration
    Get iso 9001:2015 registered
    Get setup with JCP so you can view technical documents via cfolders on dibbs (takes 6+ months)
    Only the first item on your list is required for general government contract work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
    Only the first item on your list is required for general government contract work.
    Wrong. A cage code is require for ALL dod work.

    And if you're going to be a sub contractor doing DOD set asides you need a cage code as well.

    Boeing, ratheon, and others all have our cage code on file and we get credit for the DOD work we do for them.

    Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by as9100d View Post
    Wrong. A cage code is require for ALL dod work.
    Not ALL government work is dod work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by as9100d View Post
    Wrong. A cage code is require for ALL dod work.
    That's what I stated. Only the first item on your list is required for government contract work. The other items on your list are not required.


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