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Marine Corps Systems Command

Equipping our MARINES

MCB Quantico, Va.
Council emphasizes support for small business contracts

By By Jim Katzaman, MCSC Corporate Communications | Marine Corps Systems Command | January 31, 2014


By Jim Katzaman, MCSC Corporate Communications

Small business owners should focus on submitting winning proposals, according to Dave Dawson, associate director for Small Business Programs at Marine Corps Systems Command.

Dawson was addressing the command’s Industry Interface Council that met Jan. 30 in Dumfries, Va. About 30 small and large business representatives interacted with government officials from MCSC and Program Executive Officer Land Systems to discuss the present and future needs of the Marine Corps.

MCSC has the lead for industry interaction in its role as the Department of the Navy’s systems command for Marine Corps ground weapon and information technology systems. It is also the Marine Corps commandant's agent for acquisition and sustainment of warfighting systems and equipment.

The Industry Interface Council was established in 2003 with the goal of enhancing the command’s effectiveness while gleaning ideas and feedback from industry leaders about improving communication. What began as a meeting with about 10 industry representatives has since grown to more than 30 businesses that provide various products and services in support of MCSC and PEO LS program offices.

For the second consecutive year the MCSC and PEO LS small business program exceeded all of its targets for awarding contracts to companies designated as small business; small disabled business; veterans’ owned small business; service disabled, veteran- and minority-owned small business; women-owned small business; and Historically Underutilized Business Zones.

“We do a lot of outreach with small businesses,” Dawson said. “Everything we address applies across federal, state and local governments.”

Michael Halloran, director of Science and Technology for PEO LS, said the Marine Corps representatives were on hand to help those from industry shape their approach for submitting contract proposals.

“That way you can be successful, I can be successful, and the warfighter can be successful,” he said.

Halloran said businesses need to keep in mind that the Marine Corps needs to do reset and recapitalization of legacy vehicles through what he called “holistic modularity.”

“If you build any system for the Marine Corps, it has to be expandable and scalable,” he explained. “Rather than replace the same old part, why not replace it with a better part with more capability?”

Paul Ortiz, director of the Acquisition Center for Support Services at MCSC, emphasized contract selection.

“We award based on best value not on lowest price technically acceptable,” he said. “However, if you exceed the basic requirement, please explain or justify why what you’re providing is better and what’s the benefit to the government.”

He urged small business owners not to be intimidated by the size of their competitors, adding that most services contracted out are not unique to large businesses.

Small businesses can readily do the job, Ortiz concluded. “We have had competitions between small and large companies, and in some cases small companies have won.”