Small Business

Best Practices Of Prime Contactors

Establish team or working group to assign advocates that act as extension of Supplier Diversity program office. They will spread "the gospel" to their co-workers.

Utilization of Manufacturing Engineer to visit SDBs that had contacted SBLO regarding business opportunities. Form was developed to allow clear rating of capabilities of each prospective source visited. A high rating resulted in business opportunities on both commercial and Government contracts. Also increased buyer confidence that new companies being added to the bid list will perform.

Publication of supplier diversity news.  Internal communication used to motivate staff to keep supplier diversity in mind. Articles are written and published regularly and targeted to reach those who often make sourcing decisions.

Appointment of business advocate. A woman employee is appointed to a temporary, one-year, term as the women-owned small business advocate for the company. Person attends procurement conferences and meetings. This rotational assignment increases awareness among employees.

SBLOs formed a committee to better prepare subcontractors to do business with their companies. Group provides free training to small business on business etiquette, how to fill out interest applications, and any topic determined to help small businesses that attend. They have a graduation ceremony for small businesses that attended five of the six scheduled training sessions. The SBLOs have their Vice Presidents of Purchasing attend the graduation and the small businesses are given an opportunity to provide an oral presentation of their company to the audience.
  Inclusion of small, disadvantaged and women-owned businesses in every procurement. Company procedures require solicitation of at least one company from each SB category on every procurement. If buyer doesn't solicit at least one, authorization to proceed can only be obtained by going through the SBLO.

Identification of where expenditures occur so everyone, not only the buyer, knew to be on the lookout for small business sources in those areas. Analyzed procurement cycle and categorized purchases and suppliers involved.  Identified opportunity areas and then focused outreach efforts to optimize spending impact.

Approval to award to SDBs that were not low bidder. Approval given by a Corporate Vice President committed to success of the SDB program which gave approval to award to SDBs that weren't low bid. Not an open checkbook but reasonable application.

Formation of re-sourcing team to establish policy and procedures to resource materials from one supplier to another. Team consisting of members from quality assurance, purchasing and SBLO evaluate parts to be re-sourced, analyze impact to subcontract goals and attempt to include at least one supplier capable of qualification in each of the small business categories.

Technology utilization. Outreach to small business using the internet and electronic application processes to do business.