DATE: March 20, 2014
VA’s Mission
“To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and
for his widow, and his orphan, by serving and
honoring the men and women who are America’s
Veterans.” --Abraham Lincoln
VA Organizational Structure
•  Veterans Health Administration (VHA)
•  Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA)
•  National Cemetery Administration (NCA)
•  Staff Offices
VHA Structure – “VISNs”
Veterans Integrated Service
VA Hierarchy of Small Business
Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned small businesses
Veteran-Owned small businesses
Women-Owned Small Business,
HUBZone firms and 8(a) participants
All others (including general small business)
Direct Connect Program
•  How can the OSDBU Direct Connect Program help Service-Disabled
Veteran-Owned Small Businesses, Veteran-Owned Small Businesses, and
the Small Business Community?
Direct Connect Program
The Direct Connect Program will provide the Small
Business Community with Awareness, Access, and
Risk Management.
Direct Connect Program
  Awareness: The goal is to cultivate awareness in order to
reflect and respond to challenges and opportunities rather
than react to them. Conscious awareness is a process of
recognizing what is happening in an organization, the effects
of decisions, and actions in the organization, and how complex
and diversified the organization is, such as VA, when it comes
to Small Businesses marketing their products and services.
Direct Connect Program
  Access: The goal is to provide easier methods to market to VA
by providing VA PDMs in different industries to brief and
engage with Small Businesses through the use of Opportunity
Showcases, Industry Days, workshops, and conference events.
Direct Connect Program
Risk Management: The goal is to provide solutions that can help
reduce problems a Veteran Small Business may encounter when
doing business with the Federal Government, and can help solve
and reduce problems the Federal Government may have doing
business with a Small Business.
Opportunity Showcase Purpose
“To increase Small Business access to Program Buyers and Procurement Decision
*To assist Small Business with the task of becoming procurement ready.
Opportunity Showcase
What is an VA Opportunity Showcase?
Opportunity to connect VA’s Procurement
Decision Makers (PDM) with multiple Small
Business (SBs) creating quality collaboration and
added value to VA’s mission.
Small Businesses Value
  Gives Small Businesses opportunity to connect directly with
Procurement Decision Makers.
  Learn more about future opportunities.
  Demonstrates their abilities and capabilities.
  Allows Small Businesses to provide past performance.
  Enables Small Businesses to position themselves for future
partnerships and teaming arrangements.
What is Procurement Ready?
• Procurement Ready is the assurance that small businesses have positioned their
companies to compete in the Veteran Affairs (VA) acquisitions and contracts
procurement process.
• Ensure acquisition eligibilities thru appropriate registrations, certifications, and
verification procedures coupled with documentation compliance and readiness.
• Provide VA a clear, focused, and structured approach to delineating its mission
capabilities through research, marketing, and knowledge of industry specific
requirements and solicitations.
Checklist for being Procurement Ready
(not all inclusive)
  Complete SAM registration. (CCR and ORCA) Update on a regular
basis for accuracy.
  Veteran-owned businesses should register in VetBiz and obtain
SDVSOB/VOSB verification.
  Subscribe to government websites for current contract opportunities:
FBO, FedBid, and GSA e-Buy (FSS contract-holders).
  Monitor the VA Forecast of Contracting Opportunities for future
contract opportunities. All actions valued at more than $3,000 are
listed on the Forecast, whether being procured via FSS or open
Checklist for being Procurement Ready cont.
(not all inclusive)
  Analyze the procurement history of your products/services. At no
cost, you can data mine the FPDS records for your NAICS code and/or
geographic and then position your prices accordingly
  Become familiar with the FAR and VAAR to better understand
solicitations and contracts. The local PTAC or Small Business
Development Center has classes at least monthly.
Procurement Ready Strategies
Understand the benefits and limitations of marketing:
Capability statements should be clear, concise and easy- to-digest by government staff One page
length is ideal.
List your NAICS codes, display your CVE logo, include a short list of recent contracts and a link
to your website and/or FSS catalog. Submit at least annually or whenever your info changes.
Marketing material is not used to pre-qualify vendors. Vendors must demonstrate their
professional qualifications, experience, and past performance as specified in each solicitation.
Understand that procurements are governed by to the Competition in Contracting Act (CICA).
Awards are not based on personalities or marketing material, but are the end product of a
transparent, competitive process to assure that VA receives the best value for patients and
Characteristics of a Successful Vendor
•  Competitively position their products, services, and prices based on a
careful analysis of VA procurement history and the state of their
industry as a whole.
•  Submit innovative ideas in a professional manner that supports VA’s
•  Monitor business opportunities via the Forecast, FBO, FedBid, and eBuy as applicable to their business.
Characteristics of a Successful Vendor cont.
•  Establish a strong financial capability to ensure ability to perform if
awarded a contract.
•  Plugged in with your local PTAC, SBDC, and Veteran Business
Opportunity Center (VBOC).
•  Offer competitive bids/proposals that clearly present the best value
to VA.
•  Address each line item requested in the proposal solicitation.
Characteristics of a Successful Vendor cont.
•  Address each line item requested in the proposal solicitation.
•  Become familiar with industry representatives that may purchase your
services or goods.
•  Research the current contracting firm or incumbent.
•  Be willing to team with other small business to increase capabilities and
•  Look for subcontract or joint venture possibilities to expose your
Prime & Subcontracting
•  Open market requirements published at
•  VA Forecast of Contracting Opportunities: https://
•  Small Business Administration’s Sub-net:
Improve Your Chances
Become verified.
Register on all applicable Government websites.
Review Agency Forecasts of Contracting Opportunities (FCO).
Ensure your information matches on all of these sites.
Register in SAM for the NAICS in which you hold expertise.
Obtain FPDS Account.
Identify appropriate Federal Supply Schedules.
Accept Purchase Cards.
Sharpen Your Pencil-Competitive Pricing.
Take Advantage of Capacity Building resources: (e.g. PTAC and
•  Know Your Customer.
Direct Connect Program
Contact Information
Lorenzo C. Hobbs
[email protected]
Direct Connect Program Manager
U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs
Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU)
Phone: (202)461-4255 or (202)461-4448
“I Care”
Integrity, Commitment, Advocacy, Respect, Excellence
VA Core Values
VA Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization
Center for Verification
And Evaluation
Coming Soon!!!!!
Any Questions