Two main themes emerged from today’s Teaming Suggestions Webinar with Lockheed Martin’s Bob Gemmill: As a small business looking to partner with a large integrator, do your homework; and don’t be vague and tell a Prime that you can “do whatever they need you to do.”
[Editor’s Note: Bob’s archived video can be found on the original post. Also, you can register for a reminder to view a rebroadcast on January 13. Plus, Bob will be responding to questions in the govWin Questions Forum through January 14.]
According to Bob Gemmill, Director of Global Supply Chain Management at Lockheed Martin, vague and pacifying affirmations that you can do anything may sound like they’d be appealing to a large integrator, but in the new reality of government contracting, it’s best to be specific about exactly how your company can increase their probability of winning contracts.
The reality is that past performance and qualifications are the key drivers to increasing the probability of wins. For startups or other small businesses just entering the government contracting space that want to immediately start teaming with a large integrator, this can be a tough pill to swallow. In many cases, it might be better to start a little smaller.
Gemmill used an iceberg as a metaphor for the government contracting world: On the surface, you see the tip of the iceberg, which might represent the largest five prime contractors and integrators — Lockheed Martin included. “Under the surface, there are literally thousands of small companies supporting those large integrators.” A large layer of those companies have partnering experience; below that layer are even more companies that don’t.
Gemmill suggested that small businesses looking to gain experience should look first at that middle tier of subcontractors to gain knowledge, experience and qualifications to help them become attractive to the larger integrators. “Invest time to build relationships with the smaller supplier companies for the primes. You can use them to establish qualifications and performance. They support our larger missions.”
Additionally, he explained that in order for small businesses to be successful in teaming with Lockheed Martin or other large integrators, they need to do extensive homework before they reach out to small business liaison officers (SBLOs), who are focused on identifying companies and potential partners and are typically inundated with partner requests.
…continue reading this article on govWin.com
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