Small businesses that want to supply parts and services to the United States military will work directly with the Defense Logistics Agency. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the DLA is charged with oversight of all supplies provided to the U.S. military. They work with vendors to ensure the highest quality products are received at the most cost effective prices.
Potential vendors must compete for jobs via an extensive bidding process overseen by the DLA. Businesses interested in doing business with DLA are required to obtain a DUNS number through Dunn and Bradstreet. This number will identify businesses during the entire contracting process. Likewise, businesses must register for the federal contracting System for Award Management (SAM). This system ensures compliance with all federal contracting regulations and coordinates payment activities for all government contracts. All contractors are required to register through these two programs prior to bidding for military jobs. Lastly, small businesses must meet size standards for their industry as outlined through the Small Business Administration.
Working with the DLA
The DLA regularly holds seminars and events to guide small businesses through the complex contracting process. These events are held nationwide and are extremely informative for businesses just getting into the contracting field as they will improve the likelihood of success in becoming a vendor for DLA. For an updated listing of events in your area, visit the DLA website, click on "Business Operations" and then click on the "Small Business Program Office" link. Businesses that can't attend these events can search for open contracting opportunities by visiting the DLA Internet Bid Board System, or DIBBS.