JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas –
The award of approximately $2.1 billion in contracts to small businesses in fiscal 2017 drove the Mission and Installation Contracting Command to achieve all five of its socioeconomic goals for the third consecutive year.
Helping lead that success is a group of small business specialists advocating on behalf of American small businesses across the country as the command executed 31,312 contract actions overall valued at more than $4.8 billion during the fiscal year.
“It’s truly an outstanding effort,” said Mark Massie, assistant director of small business programs for the MICC at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston. “We could not have reached the numbers that we reached without that team effort … and dedication each and every day by all of the contracting and small business professionals.”
As a command, the MICC achieved 52.56 percent against a small business goal of 45 percent. That included 31.34 percent against 24-percent goal for small disadvantaged businesses; ll.98 percent against a goal of 9 percent for service disabled veteran-owned small businesses; 10.86 percent against a 9-percent goal for woman-owned small businesses; and 9.27 percent against a goal of 6 percent for historically underutilized business zone small businesses.
Massie, as well as deputy assistant directors at the command’s two brigades and two field directorate offices, monitors each small business category throughout the fiscal year to ensure contracts are awarded in each.
Massie explained dollars awarded to small-business contractors support statutory goals implemented at the federal level by Congress and carried out by through Small Business Administration goaling.
The SBA negotiates with the 24 federal agencies possessing procurement authority including the DOD. Subordinate to the Army Contracting Command, the MICC's small business efforts contribute not only to goals by higher headquarters but also to the Army's overall objective.
Massie said the command’s success in reaching its small business goals is rooted in the acquisition planning process.
“It’s important that small business professionals are involved early as part of the acquisition team,” he said. “That gives us an opportunity to assist with the market research and truly advocate for small businesses.”
He also cites the use of acquisition management systems and small business outreach as effective tools in exceeding goals. Through acquisition management systems, small business specialists gain greater insight on forthcoming acquisitions and support contracting officers and contract specialists. MICC small business specialist and contracting personnel began hosting open house acquisition forecast events a little more than two years ago to inform small and large businesses about opportunities to compete for federal contracts.
Luis Trinidad is the deputy assistant director for the 418th Contracting Support Brigade Small Business Programs at Fort Hood, Texas. He said open house events illustrate the command’s commitment to reinforcing a ready, transparent and accountable organization that is built on trust and respect. Following the success of MICC-Fort Hood during fiscal 2017, the contracting office hosted an outreach event for 25 small businesses as fiscal year was coming to an end to set it up for success in this new fiscal year.
“This event supports small businesses with limited resources in identifying small business opportunities within the Mission and Installation Contracting Command,” Trinidad said. “Small businesses are the backbone of this country’s economy and have helped achieve small business goals over the years.”
Wolf Jouett, the MICC-Fort Hood business operations division chief, added that it is important for small businesses to understand the different programs on which the Army places extra emphasis on setting aside opportunities to meet the service’s small business goals. Small business outreach events throughout the country can be found on the Federal Business Opportunities website at http://www.fbo.gov.
(Editor’s note: Contributing to this article was Capt. Naleya Scott, a contract specialist with the 901st Contracting Battalion at Fort Hood, Texas.)