Recently, DoD has made some unprecedented changes that favor small businesses in government contracting. This has tipped the scale in their favor and many previous large-business opportunities are being set-aside for small businesses.
When Ashton Carter was appointed Deputy Secretary of Defense last year, he set in motion a series of events that have empowered small businesses. Convinced that large businesses were sometimes expensive and rigid in their approaches and solutions, he pledged to increase small businesses role in competition.
I heard RDML Coetzee, Deputy Assistant secretary of the Navy for Acquisition and Procurement recently address some of the tangible ways they are pushing these small businesses to the forefront. Senior management oversight of small business utilization has never been higher: before, during and after the acquisition. Contracts that are approaching re-compete are being ruthlessly scrubbed to see if they can transition to small business set-asides.
Meanwhile, tools for information dissemination from DoD acquisition professionals to the small businesses continue to improve and the transparency of upcoming opportunities can be both exhilarating, and a little overwhelming at times. Most small businesses do not have the resources to glean the nugget of relevant information from the deluge of data available to them. No small business should, however, feel that that do not have access to information on the upcoming pipeline.
The DoD pendulum will eventually swing back towards a more balanced approach between small, medium and large businesses. But right now, today, it’s a great time to be a small business owner serving DoD.