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Change (to the federal sector landscape) we can believe in!

Posted By Guy Timberlake, The American Small Business Coalition, LLC, Sunday, June 26, 2011
I'll probably alienate or tick off some folks with this one, but it comes with the territory.

For the last seven years, I have had an exceptionally up close and personal view of companies subjected to the equivalent of being "Punk'd" by Ashton Kutcher. I'm positive none of the companies preyed upon will be sitting back laughing about it with the perpetrators. 

The tactic of exploiting another company for their qual's to win a contract and subsequently developing relationship amnesia at award, is dishonorable and despicable but it happens regularly. Small companies take advantage of other small companies, but more often than not, larger companies seeking to feign "best effort" at locating viable small business partners only do so to take companies off the street by locking them into exclusive arrangements with no intent to make good on verbal or even documented commitments.

It's not all or even most larger companies, but it is enough.

I'm pretty certain there are a number of mid-tier companies with experience and decent business practices that could partner with small companies (and other mid-tiers) and begin working to change the landscape a bit.

As teams, we can bring the same and often better know-how, relationships, capacity, etc., and provide actual resolutions versus piling up butts in seats. We need to work together and set our sights on logical targets downrange.

Let's paint bullseye's on certain large government contractors and anyone else who views this practice as "business as usual."

- The Chief Visionary

The person who says it cannot be done should stop interrupting the person doing it.


Tags:  been hosed by another company lately;subcontractin 

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Comments on this post...

Steven Mackie, SSI says...
Posted Monday, July 11, 2011
Guy,
It happened to us on our very first contract. We teamed with a large defense contractor which told by the capture team lead after we submitted our very competitive pricing that they'd increased our number of billets on the proposal from three to seven. Four years later we've never seen more than two billets.
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Jaime Gracia says...
Posted Monday, January 09, 2012
People get ticked off at comments like this because no one likes to be called to the carpet for nothing short of unethical behavior, and a lack of integrity and trust. This behavior is justified as either necessary for the prime contractor, everyone else does this, or a shrug of the shoulders.

I recently wrote an article sharing the same sentiment, although my focus was large business (http://bit.ly/y8pyTG). The small business that got preyed upon was my firm, as the agreement for 3 FTEs went to zero overnight. I am fighting a losing battle to get this situation rectified, but luckily I am not holding my breath. Just sitting back watching the client swim in shark infested waters.

Organizations like the ASBC were created to help change this attitude, and create an environment of collaboration and win-win. I just fear that in this hyper-competitive market being made worst through budgetary issues, the prevailing issue will not dominate relationships; greed.
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