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CHIPS Articles: NAVSUP Office of Small Business Programs Kicks Off IT Acquisition Roundtables

NAVSUP Office of Small Business Programs Kicks Off IT Acquisition Roundtables
By Hannah Rainey, Naval Supply Systems Command Public Affairs - March 18, 2021
MECHANICSBURG, Penn. - NAVSUP Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP) hosted a NAVSUP enterprise-wide virtual IT Acquisition Roundtable with logistics, IT, and contracting experts to discuss how innovative contracting solutions can speed up the delivery of IT solutions to provide the Navy with the advanced technology it needs to manage logistics and other Navy requirements to enhance readiness.

“This kick-off event will generate and spur interest on the topic, get everyone aligned with the NAVSUP IT Campaign Plan, and let them know where we’re going after this,” explained NAVSUP N63 Division Director Megan Nichols.

The Logistics Innovation Cell (LogIC) forum serves to bring various topics of interest to a broad audience within the command and drive collective problem solving and collaboration.

Senior leadership representatives opened the virtual event. Among them was NAVSUP CIO Brian Laird, who led a discussion of NAVSUP’s ongoing strategy geared toward reforming the way NAVSUP executes the acquisition process for IT Development.

NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center Norfolk Contracting Officer Aaron Martin led a discussion on the available contracting options for successful IT development. Group sharing educated attendees about how pre-award consideration can positively affect the successful outcome of long-term IT development solutions.

“Federal contracting is very good at acquiring recurring services and commercial supplies. It’s what we’re trained on and it’s what the majority of us have done for years,” explained Martin. “It requires a lot of work on the front-end to craft the best contracting solution for our customers, but it’s worth it to maximize the mission impact of the programs that we support.”

“NAVSUP executes over 25% ($1.8B) of its yearly contract actions to Small Business,” said NAVSUP Small Business Director Chris Espenshade. “Small Business brings multiple advantages to NAVSUP’s mission, especially in IT Development. Innovation is a natural product from small companies and it’s critical that we leverage this advantage for increasingly complex IT solutions needed to support the Navy’s supply mission.”

Espenshade also stressed the significance of NAVSUP Mentor-Protégé relationships with small businesses. The discussions provided NAVSUP personnel with additional perspective on key areas that could be tailored within requirement generation and acquisition strategy phases, and ultimately lead to successful IT development outcome. Spurred by the efforts of this innovative forum, NAVSUP will continue working level discussions as they implement their IT Campaign Plan Initiative and improve the acquisition process for future requirements.

The efforts to deepen our partnerships with strategic suppliers through events such as these roundtables directly support the Naval Sustainment System-Supply’s pillar that focuses on shaping the industrial base in order to enhance overall naval readiness.

“The ultimate goal,” stated Espenshade, “is to provide a great forum for knowledge sharing and highlight the intangibles that Small Business brings to the Navy’s mission.”

Headquartered in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, and employing a diverse, worldwide workforce of more than 22,500 military and civilian personnel, NAVSUP's mission is to provide supplies, services, and quality-of-life support to the Navy and joint warfighter.

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