Resources & Media


Doing Business with The Federal Government

The model for most small business typically does not involve supplying to the Federal Government. It is always a target or focus account, but the complexity and knowledge needed is quite different from the typical business model. It is important to fully understand how the government system works prior to entering the market. The time and effort needed to fix issues post award can be quite costly and introduce severe delays when trying to complete contracts in a timely manner. There is a basic format for getting started which will be summarized in this article.

Lokos Electronics has been supplying specific NSN (National Stock Numbers) to the US Government for many years. The volume has increased substantially based on our technical capability and our ability to produce products which have reached a mature stage or “End of Life”. We did not realize the complex system and requirements needed to be a major supplier to government installations. In our previous company, the percentage of revenue coming from direct business with the government was less then 5%. It is important to understand every potential issue that can cause a delay in supplying products to the government. As we grow, we have learned many “Do’s and Don’ts” while providing products to the Federal Government.

We will provide the following basic summary for getting started:

    1. D&B (Dunn and Bradstreet) information updated and complete
    2. Apply for Company Cage Code
      1. 5 letter/numeral code
      2. Used for Tracking anything with the government/company
    3. Set up Company Profile SAM (System for Award Management)
      1. Company Information
      2. Contact Information
      3. Payment Information (WAWF/Electronic Payment)
      4. Product type to supply
    4. NSN (National Stock Number)
      1. Type (Example: 5955,5915)
      2. Review different NSN types
    5. Download Bids
      1. DIBBS (DLA Internet Bid Board System)
      2. FBO (Federal Business Opportunities)
      3. NECO (Navy Electronic Commerce Online)
    6. Review Bid Requirements
      1. Set Asides
      2. Source Approval Requirements
      3. Open Bids
      4. Technical Data Supplied
    7. Submit Bids
      1. Review Bid Requirements
      2. Review Sections applicable to business
    8. Contract Award
    9. Review Contract
      1. Type of contract
      2. Inspection Required
      3. DCMA (Defense Contract Management Agency)
      4. Packaging Requirements
      5. SQAP Requirements (Supplementary Quality Assurance Provisions)
    10. Ship Contract
      1. Packager Required
      2. Invoice Format

This is a quick summary with more explanation needed for each specific area. The most critical part of supplying to the government is to review over and over before submitting any information regardless of what it may be. In many cases the government systems are automated and a simple error will cause delays for any part of the summary listed above.