Home' Army Acquisition Logistics and Technology Magazine : Army ALT January-March 2016 Contents Dawn Halfaker
President and CEO
Halfaker and Associates
What surprised me most after winning my first contract
award was the big role that geography can play in your over-
all success. We’re headquartered in Arlington, VA, and our
first big contract was located in Kentucky. We needed to work
twice as hard to build the close customer relationship needed
to deliver a high level of service.
Also, one of the major obstacles in expanding my business
with the Army was not having a facility security clearance
that the majority of the contracts with the A rmy required.
It was a Catch-22 situation of needing a facility clearance to
win contracts, but also needing contracts to obtain the facility
clearance. We were able to move past this obstacle by building
relationships with other companies, which allowed us to gain
enough relevant experience as a subcontractor to be able to
win work and obtain the facility clearance needed to expand
our presence with the Army.
President and CEO
TRINE Environmental Inc.
The advice I’d give to any small business trying to work with
the Army is [pay] attention to details. If you’re prior service,
you’ll easily understand this concept. If you’re not, learn it. To
overcome obstacles, you must know your “enemy.” The enemy
for most small business is the RFP language. I had to learn to
thoroughly read each RFP, look up each FAR clause —which
is painful but beneficial— and then respond exactly as it’s
requested in the RFP.
Another key is to have no fear. Do not let the fear of being a
young business deter you. If you can build the right team, age
does not matter. A final key is to respond to sources-sought
requests. Contracting officers pay attention to respondents.
It’s also a good way to encourage them to set aside potential
solicitations. To date, I have two USACE [U.S . Army Corps
of Engineers] contracts and [am] bidding on two more, one
of which is a SDVOSB [service-disabled veteran-owned small
Managing Partner and CEO
Covington & Associates, LLC
There is no open door currently that we have found that will
allow new software to be reviewed and tested within the Army
environment. What I mean by this is we have a dynamic solu-
tion and we have no door to open. We believe we have a niche
market, but it’s not working. We don’t have a door to get into
to present our solutions. Large firms have multiple doors that
we just don’t see.
Net work Runners Inc.
As a new small, disadvantaged business back in 2009, what
surprised me the most was the importance given to the small
business sector in the federal government procurement process.
Our contracting officer was very supportive and understood the
need for us to learn the process of working with the govern-
ment. What I have learned since 2009—or, rather, have had
reinforced to me—is the critical importance of small busi-
ness performance. Without strong and reliable performance,
we would not still have the work with the U.S. Department
of Agriculture/National Institute of Food and Agriculture
(USDA/NIFA), which was known as USDA/Cooperative
Research, Education and Extension Ser vice back then.
Jacqueline K. Johnson, CFM
Owner and CEO
Mercy Medical Supply LLC
Being a small business owner has taught me to respect busi-
ness owners and their businesses both small and great. I have
learned that it ta kes a community. It is with this realization that
I give my perspective of the small business set-asides, which are
programs set up by the government to help small businesses
to succeed. One of the greatest incentives that set-asides offer
is that they gives minority-owned businesses, women-owned
small businesses, 8(a), economically disadvantaged women-
owned small business and SDVOSBs the opportunity to do
business with the government. Set-asides give small businesses
the opportunity to compete with larger businesses, and the
opportunity to help grow the economy by creating jobs.
President and CEO
The Severson Group
As a small 8(a) and SDVOSB firm, we add the more direct
and personal interface to the government in a way that large
businesses will never be able to. Small businesses add superior
response time and robust capability without the red tape and
many approval processes for large business.
From Page 131
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