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Small Business Is Big Business at AMC

 

 

Despite downsizing and a reduced level of combat in Southwest Asia, part of the Army Materiel Command’s (AMC) job is to ensure the Army and its Warfighters have the equipment and services needed to be prepared to respond at a moment’s notice to any new conflict, whatever the size, nature, or location.

AMC is in charge of nearly 70 percent of the Army’s annual acquisition dollars, with 50 percent of the U.S. contract dollars awarded to small businesses. AMC did $8.4 billion in small business in 2013 – about half of the Army’s total small business contract awards.

As a result, Nancy D. Small, director of AMC’s Office of Small Business Programs, sees the current environment as an opportunity to “reset and continue to advance over any potential enemies” with a large part of opportunities being awarded to small businesses.

“Last year, for the first time ever, AMC met all of our small business goals. As a result for the first time, the Army also met all [its] goals, as did DOD [Department of Defense], for the first time ever,” she said. “There is a lot involved in doing that. The key is commitment on behalf of the Army to ensure we award a fair portion of our contract dollars with small business, then by AMC to do effective engagement and communication with industry at the commanders’ level to help encourage their senior executives to meet those goals.”

Gen. Dennis L. Via, AMC commanding general, has been one of those leaders encouraging partnerships with small business.

“Small business is big business at AMC. Even in declining resources, business opportunities will still exist, especially in the small business community,” Via told a small business forum at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, in 2014. “We could not accomplish our mission without what you do in small business.”

An Army Small Business Seminar at the 2014 AUSA Annual Meeting, Oct. 15, 2014. U.S. Army Office of Small Business Programs photo

An Army Small Business Seminar at the 2014 AUSA Annual Meeting, Oct. 15, 2014. U.S. Army Office of Small Business Programs photo

AMC uses the North American Industrial Service Code definition for what constitutes a small business, in dollars or people. Services contracts usually go by dollars – up to $37.5 million for a small business; manufacturing typically is classified by the number of employees, with small businesses having 1,000 or fewer.

“Through the Small Business Act and Congress, we are responsible for reporting both prime and subcontracting goals, although they are totally separate. The prime goals are direct contracts with small business; the subcontract reports are what a large business does with small business through what we call ‘Small Business Participation,’” explained Small. “We assign the primes goals to meet in supporting small business. Throughout DOD, we probably did well over $50 billion in small business subcontracts in FY 14.”

AMC is in charge of nearly 70 percent of the Army’s annual acquisition dollars, with 50 percent of the U.S. contract dollars awarded to small businesses. AMC did $8.4 billion in small business in 2013 – about half of the Army’s total small business contract awards.

Notwithstanding the significant decline in AMC’s contract dollars in FY 14, the dollars awarded to small business actually increased from $8 billion in FY 13 to $9 billion in FY 14. AMC awarded 22.7 percent in FY 14 to small businesses, which represents the largest percentage in AMC’s history.

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J.R. Wilson has been a full-time freelance writer, focusing primarily on aerospace, defense and high...