Small Businesses Discuss How They Can Support the DON
Published, February 14, 2012
Small businesses currently hire 43 percent of high-tech workers, including scientists, engineers and computer programmers. To help the Department of the Navy take advantage of that talent, Randy Cieslak, Command Information Officer, U.S. Pacific Command, hosted a panel to discuss how small businesses and the DON can better work together to find cost-effective, innovative solutions for tomorrow's military needs.
The panel, which took place during the DON Information Technology Conference in San Diego, included representatives from Tilson Government Services, LLC; IT TechPros, Inc.; Abtech Systems; Audavi Corporation; and MetroStar Systems.
According to the panel's discussion, small businesses can work on solutions for future challenges, freeing up large businesses and the military to focus on current problems and the primary mission, according to the panel’s discussion. Small businesses are also able to take more risks, allowing for greater innovation, while generally costing one-third less than a larger business.
During the panel, participants addressed how the DON can better attract small businesses. Panel members asked for more fluidity in contract and delivery management, allowing small businesses to provide imagination and agility. Other advice for the DON included putting a greater share of funds toward working with small businesses, and eliminating arcane systems, like the personnel system, and reallocating those resources to promote small business partnerships.
Cieslak also offered some advice to small businesses on how they can become more appealing to the DON. He encouraged small businesses to find what they can do better, cheaper or faster than others and look for opportunities where that niche can fill a government need. Cieslak also advised small businesses to familiarize themselves with government regulations. Finally, he told small business to ensure that they exceed government expectations when working on a contract, which will build a trusting relationship for the future.