Get ready for another installment of This is Govable, a series that will highlight positive government examples of improved collaboration through technology and design.
The U.S. Air Force Small Business program has implemented several Web-based initiatives to improve connectivity between the small business community and small business specialists. A “Contract Opportunities” tool features a user-friendly interface for small businesses to search and view not only current opportunities but forecasts of projected contracting needs for the coming years. The information and search requests can be easily filtered and sorted by geographic areas such as State or Air Force Base as well as by dollar-value ranges, by purchasing organization and by solicitation type.
Once you identify current opportunities through the search tool, small businesses can also sign up to receive email notifications to help them track each opportunity.
The “Locate a Small Business Specialist” tool enables companies to connect with the correct small business specialist within the Air Force.
Other Web-based tools that are not accessible to the general public provide U.S. Air Force Small Business program staff with actionable information and summaries about:
- Questions that have been received through the website’s “Ask a Question” tool.
- Geographic areas where small businesses have requested meetings via a “Request a Meeting” tool.
- Geographic areas where registered small businesses are located and a monthly breakdown of new registrants.
- The total number and status of contract opportunities within each purchasing organization.
To aid in OMB’s recent request to collect and publish best practices and small business success stories, the SAF/SB website will also now enable companies to reach out to the Air Force and share that information. Companies are encouraged to submit quantitative results illustrating the cost savings and increased productivity that they have delivered through their contracts with the Air Force. As a result of having this tool available on the website, the Air Force will be able to identify key data and best practices that otherwise would have remained unnoticed.
These tools and other communication initiatives have directly and positively impacted the ability of the U.S. Air Force Small Business program to transform, modernize and promote successful practices with respect to engaging small businesses. The Web-based tools have improved and streamlined key business processes, resulting in greater efficiencies with respect to the utilization of human capital and other resources.
Overall, what the U.S. Air Force Small Business website does very well is blend a high level of technical functionality for its users with a clean, consistent design.
*Disclaimer: My employer, CorpComm, Inc., currently provides communications support to the U.S. Air Force Small Business program.