The Ohio University Procurement Technical Assistance Center (OHIO PTAC), part of the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, successfully connected small and mid-sized business owners with federal, state and local government contracts worth more than $896 million in 2018.
In fiscal year 2018, OHIO PTAC increased consultation services to 507 clients, up from 476 in 2017. These consultations helped businesses earn 110,218 awards, a significant increase from last year’s 7,807 contracts.
“We are extremely proud of our clients for winning all these awards,” said Sharon Hopkins, director of OHIO PTAC, part of Ohio’s Procurement Technical Assistance program. “Each time our clients get an award, it’s like a win for us, as well, because we work hard to make sure our clients get those contracts.”
In 2018 alone, OHIO PTAC helped clients create and retain 19,042 jobs and expanded economic development, especially among minority and women-owned businesses, by helping them get contracts at all government levels.
“The government practically buys everything, so we work with all types of businesses just like the government,” Hopkins said. “We advise clients in all industries, from construction to architectural engineering, from janitorial services to manufacturing. We train them and walk them through the proposal process, which can be overwhelming for our newer clients.”
OHIO PTAC serves 55 Ohio counties and provides clients free help with the drafting of capability statements, marketing, one-on-one training, seminars, direct counseling, bid preparation, certification assistance, computerized bid match services, registration assistance and more.
Since its inception in 2002, OHIO PTAC has expanded to include agencies at all levels of government, not only the Department of Defense. Some of the agencies PTAC works with the most include the Department of Homeland Security, NASA Glenn, the Department of State and the Department of the Interior.
With a highly experienced and specialized six-person team, OHIO PTAC typically has a team member with knowledge in the area in which a client would like to have access.
“We work from a client management perspective,” Hopkins said. “If we have a client that needs help with a manufacturing piece, then I will pull in our representative from Columbus who specializes in manufacturing and help the client. This strategy has been beneficial to our clients.”
Baker & Associates, one of the OHIO PTAC Dayton-area clients, benefitted from a highly experienced procurement specialist, Bill Cox, who served in the U.S. Air Force for 26 years, worked as a defense contractor, director of operations and business development manager.
With instrumental input from Cox, Baker & Associates became one of the 11 vendors who won the prestigious Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract from the Department of Defense, worth more than $950 million ending on Aug. 8, 2029.
Baker & Associates will supply individual equipment items to the Air Force via a contract issued by Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The equipment includes small and everyday items such as uniforms, helmets, boots and gloves to complex items such as tactical carries, ancillary services and testing, load-bearing equipment, and more.
Cox contacted Baker & Associates as soon as he saw the Source Sought Notice from the Air Force for the IDIQ contract. He guided LeAnne Brown, CEO of Baker & Associates, through the acquisition process.
“Bill has a wealth of information from a contracting perspective. He knows the ins-and-out,” Brown said. “He would do anything to help us partner with other small businesses in Ohio, and it’s great to have that connection with him and with other procurement specialists at PTAC.”
After the contract was awarded, Cox further helped organize an event where Brown briefed potential industry vendors who could supply products to Baker & Associates to support orders placed by the Air Force. With help from Cox, Baker & Associates personnel also met with potential vendors for 20-minute one-on-one meetings.
“We’re very happy to see Baker & Associates win this award since it’s so difficult to get,” Cox said. “This is not just a win for LeAnne and her wonderful team at Baker & Associates but also for companies in Ohio, who will now get experience for past performance and a chance to be a vendor, supplier, distributor and subcontractor for Baker & Associates, and thus for the Air Force.”
As an economically disadvantaged women-owned small business itself, Baker & Associates will work with other small businesses to procure supplies and build relationships with customers.
“We have lived in Ohio all our lives,” Brown said. “After winning this contract, our first thought was to partner with as many Ohio companies as possible to support Ohio to its full capacities. This contract will not only help build our company but also help us build Ohio, as a whole.”