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Federal and Government Contracts

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by ams, Sep 28, 2018.

  1. ams

    ams Very Active Member

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    Virginia
    Has anyone done any military signage contracts? I went through the background check, vehicle inspection checkpoint, etc on a base today so that I could bid on a job. It seems very complex and the information on what I am bidding on is very vague. I was wondering if anyone has mastered these things and any tips you could give me?
     
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  2. SightLine

    SightLine Very Active Member

    Be prepared to spend a LOT of time putting your proposal together. They tend to be vague and unsure of what exactly it is that they want. You can be their consultant at no cost basically and help them spec everything but it is time consuming and then you still might not get the job. Also depending on the size of the job you almost might need to get setup in a bunch of systems like SAM, DFAS, WAWF, all of which have their own requirements. You will need a DNB number as well and figure out what your cage code is. Its a lot and it can be very complex. Enough so that it discourages many from trying. I've put 40 hours in a proposal before that was close to 30 pages long....

    The forms are a lot of fun too. You need to certify that you are not transferring technology to North Korea, not using child labor, no collusion, etc, etc, etc. You basically have to attest to a hundred different things. lol

    All that being said, because they are sometimes so complicated, there sometimes will not be another bidder or only one or two others. When you are small and just getting your feet wet with federal work, it can be very intimidating. They can also be very profitable. Getting paid can be a slow process too as it has to go through the contracting officer and multiple approvals that the jobs is completed to the requirements outlined in the scope of work.

    Also once you get setup in SAM. You will start getting spam and calls from hundreds of companies who will offer to get you setup in all the systems for you, for a price of course. They really want to push to get you on schedules. Those are set pricing contracts.....
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    Sounds like you'd need a full time person to presue those jobs.

    All the DOD jobs I've got, ordered like anyone else and were easy to deal with and paid upfront with CC. They have all been small, under 5k jobs. Nice thing is you dont need permits or anything...city got no control of their land.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. SightLine

    SightLine Very Active Member

    Yup..... its the bigger ones where they put out an RFQ or RFP where it can get very complex. Again, while tedious it can be very very lucrative. One tip - on certain things, you can give it your own name (personalize it, your own branding, design, whatever) and if its is something they really like and want, you can just about name your price. Since you are the only place they can get it, they can bypass the rules for getting bids and "single source" purchase from you. There are some limits of course and you cannot pull that off with just anything.
     
  5. ams

    ams Very Active Member

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    Some years ago I got certified with SAM, Swam, DBE, SB, etc. So I am qualified, but actually getting the correct information and to the right person is the tough part.
     
  6. ams

    ams Very Active Member

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    That is my favorite part, no sign permit. So I can propose some super awesome things.
     
  7. tooler82

    tooler82 Member

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    Then you got people like me in the military that make signs on the base, the Army, and the whole state of Mississippi. A little hint, if you want to get into this for the military, Convoy Ahead, Convoy Commander, and Convoy Follows is a big one. They cost a lot of money to order through the system and a 6 week turn around. They get me to make a lot because of that. You need to tell them you can do them. I’m attaching an example of one that rips off the government with their price.

    https://www.shippersmall.com/convoy-signs-package-deal-popular-mix
     
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