Distribution promotes Better Buying Power goals with effective competition

By Jessica Roman DLA Distribution Public Affairs

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Working to increase small business competition across its network of 24 centers around the globe, Defense Logistics Agency Distribution is supporting Better Buying Power goals through more effective use of market research.  Effectively transitioning several distribution centers from large to small business contracts will inject more than $168 million into the American economy over the next five years.

DLA Distribution currently has eight distribution centers that are contract-operated, most as a result of A-76 public-private competitions, which occurred in the 1990’s and early 2000’s.  The original A-76 competitions were unrestricted – meaning the competitions were not restricted to any particular category of businesses in the marketplace, and were open to all business entities, both small and large.  All eight original contracts were awarded to large business concerns.

“These large service contracts make up a significant portion of our annual contract obligations, and as of late 2006, our DLA Distribution Acquisition Operations Small Business percentage was just over 28 percent,” said Steve Fulfer, chief of contracting.  “Since that time, we have been able to set-aside that competition for small businesses.”

Since 2006, when distribution center contracts have been re-competed, Acquisition Operations has reserved these procurements exclusively for small business, and additionally to a particular category of small business. 

“Our market research revealed that sufficient small business supplier capability exists in distribution center operations, allowing us to increase our small business participation in these service contracts,” said Fulfer.

Currently, all but one contractor-operated distribution center is being run by a small business, contributing to DLA Distribution Acquisition Operation’s small business percentage achievement of almost 72 percent in fiscal year 2014.  This excludes DLA Distribution Bahrain, which is not included in the tally because of its global location.

DLA Distribution’s centers in Barstow, Calif., Cherry Point, N.C., San Diego, Calif., Jacksonville, Fla., and Richmond, Va., all have transitioned to small business-owned companies.  The center in Guam, Marinas, has been operated by a small business since its inception in 2005. 

“We are proud to support American small businesses across our DLA Distribution network,” concluded Fulfer.  “We look forward to continued and additional partnerships into our organization’s future.”