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There has been much written in the media lately by purported advocates for Small business, pitting Smalls against Mids in the hunt for government contracting real-estate. While on the surface, these actions may appear to have merit – in reality they are to the detriment of the Small business community at large, particularly government contractors.

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Saturday, January 04, 2014

REF: B-408936 | Aljucar, Anvil-Incus & Co. @ www.gao.gov

We are in the process of filing a Request for Reconsideration with the GAO, but believe it will ultimately be necessary to file in the Court of Federal Claims (CoFC) – for which we are currently preparing. The risks of Joint Venturing is controlled by the free-market and by virtue of sound Operating Agreements, not by the government picking winners and losers… although it may be at their discretion, there is nothing reasonable about the GSA’s position and we believe the CoFC will indeed find that it does not pass the logical scrutiny test.

Besides subcontracting, Joint Venturing is the only way in which small and mid-tier firms can compete with Bigs in a free-market capacity – so we must press on.

The current GAO ruling seems contrary to certain executive guidance back to 2009 from the White House and OMB over standards to be considered in increasing competitiveness, in particular Public Law 111-240 (also known as the JOBS Act), SEC. 1312, which requires that all solicitations for multiple award contracts above an agency’s “substantial bundling threshold” (currently $5.5M for GSA, see FAR 7.104(d)(2)) include a provision “soliciting bids from any responsible source, including responsible small business concerns and teams or joint ventures of small business concerns.”

Neither I nor the attorneys we’ve engaged see that those standards were expressly applied by the agency or GAO in determining the adequacy of the market research cited. The ruling also seems to be directed to a non sequitur in regard to the proper scope of traditional competitiveness inquiry that the allowable “discretion” ought not cover. Nevertheless, we plan to vigorously pursue this matter on behalf of ourselves and those too big to be small and too small to be big.

Upon our filing with the Court of Federal Claims, the entire library of filings by both us and the government will be published to the Teaming X-change | www.teaming-exchange.com for public review once we receive the ruling on the request for reconsideration.

The post will include the actual business case and interviews conducted by GSA with agency personnel, Large and Small business owners. We are confident that the record made public will show that GSA, and particularly the GSA OASIS Deputy Director Todd Richards, fabricated the results in order insure that Bigs have a clear runway on the Unrestricted version without interference from Smalls or Mid-tiers.

One Voice…

R. Sutherland

www.teaming-exchange.com

 “We are dedicated to our customer’s satisfaction. We have a genuine interest in learning about the customer’s goals and a commitment of time in considering their particular and unique needs/challenges when developing a solution rather than applying unaltered boilerplate solutions.” – R. Sutherland

FUNDAMENTALS

For 2014, we are taking the next step in our evolution beyond GSA OASIS.

Using a shared services back-office model to scale marketing, finance, administration, operations, and human resources; the Teaming X-change leverages the disparate past performance and collective capacity of its members to competitively pursue opportunities that are both Small Business set-aside as well as Full & Open at the federal procurement level.

Our primary goal is to create new and lucrative revenue streams together through cross promotion of expertise, increased geographic foot-print, creation of new and innovative products and services to grow our member businesses strategically. Our members have deep capability and past performance in the following diverse and complementary disciplines and business sectors:

  • Accounting
  • Architect
  • Construction
  • Editing
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Graphic Design
  • Information Technology
  • Legal
  • Marketing
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Program Management
  • Quality Management
  • Staffing
  • Statistical Analysis
  • Transportation
  • Travel Management
  • Waste Management

The X-change portfolio management team has many years of experience in crafting collaborative strategies to help teams of business owners, at various sizes and scales, achieve their goals through innovative joint ventures. And, although governance normally follows equity, we do not require that our members contribute assets to teaming and venture vehicles to give up control of those assets. In all ventures structured through the X-change, shared governance is the prevalent element. Furthermore, the X-change is structured with the flexibility to allow joint venture member firms to participate in projects and contract opportunities according to their individual capability and availability.

For more details on our expanded model, and to create or insure that your current company profile is up-to-date, please visit and login at www.teaming-exchange.com

R. Sutherland, Founder

As we are getting closer to the Federal Acquisition Regulation provisions concerning the WOSB Program being finalized, and finalizing the list of firms we plan to approach for our membership JV; I have decided to start this inaugural discussion thread of a multi-part series because of the many questions that I have gotten from Woman-owned firms.
These questions have allowed me to see that, outside of core competency, many WOSBs don’t have a clue about what a Joint Venture really is or how and when the structure might benefit there firm. And, plain and simply I don’t have the time or inclination to educate individually.
So, let me start by killing a few boogeymen before we get into meat-and-potatoes:
I. It is natural that you would want to discuss profit share – but, let’s focus our attention on the creation of profit… first; shall we? In my experience, Democracy does not work well with full alliances – there must be a dominant partner. Shared-equal management structures simply do not work.
II. The choice of collaborative relationship can be critical. Before I take a deep dive in the JV, it is important to note that it is not always necessary, or desirable, to form a joint venture company. Moreover, besides the more commonly known partial alliances, e.g., Subcontracting, Licensing, and Franchising: there are 10 more that should be taken into consideration, see below:
  1. Informal or semi-formal agreement
  2. Project-focused alliance
  3. Product-focused alliance
  4. Service-focused alliance
  5. Joint design-research-development
  6. Joint/parallel production
  7. Cross-invested operations
  8. Joint-marketing
  9. Joint-branding – and my favorite…,
  10. Supply-chain linkages
Whichever you choose, there should be a clear strategic and operational rationale for doing so.
III. Before deciding whether or not a Joint Venture is the best approach to developing & exectuing your business strategy, you should determine if either of the following four vehicles are better suited to accomplishing your strategic directives:
  1. Organic Growth
  2. Merger
  3. Acquisition
  4. Divestment and/or re-investment
There are specific business conditions that will make each of these vehicles more attractive than the others. I will adress the approriate conditions for each in subsequent posts. I am taking the time to go through these as many times firms have come to me with a desire to form a JV, only to realize upon further review that one of these was better suited. It’s a win-win because it saves firms’ like mine billable time, and it saves firms’ like yours money and collateral opportunity costs.
Many more topically individualized discussion threads to come….
There will be no limit to the number of new discussion threads for this discussion series; as I feel it absolutely necessary that you be fully informed about the JV structure before deciding whether to be part of one or not; particularly the one I am currently setting up to compete in the SBA WOSB program. however, if you choose to simply be a fly on the wall, so be it. At any rate, it is my hope that you all benefit from my “thinking out loud”.
\\rudy
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