The Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support Subsistence supply chain hosted a pre-proposal conference Sept. 28 to help vendors preparing proposals for the beef national contract.
The national contracts consolidate similar protein items and are awarded to one supplier. That supplier will provide the products to Subsistence prime vendors outside the continental United States.
“The goal of the conference was to clarify any questions that potential offerors had and to assist them in preparing a proposal that meets all of our requirements,” said Janine Samoni, chief of Subsistence’s Strategic Material Sourcing Group.
There are currently more than 300 beef items available to Subsistence customers. Only 44 of those items have been selected for the current national beef contract, said Tim Dlugokecki, contracting officer for Subsistence national contracts.
Subsistence moved to national contracts for items such as beef, poultry, pork and seafood to better leverage the government’s buying power and achieve cost savings, said Samoni. The first national contract was for chicken in 2014, from which Subsistence saved 23 percent for customers through 2015.
Fourteen businesses, small and large, attended the event to learn more about the solicitation requirements. Many of the companies already work with Subsistence to provide food to the military.
Samoni and Dlugokecki presented an overview of the contracting process and then fielded questions from attendees.
A new addition to the beef solicitation is the product evaluation requirement. As part of their proposal, companies will send product samples to Fort Lee's Joint Culinary Center of Excellence in Virginia to be tested to make sure they meet the certain requirements.
The conference was not only a chance for industry partners to learn more about the solicitation, it was also beneficial for Subsistence to gain industry’s perspective.
“(It) gives us an idea of ... what industry was thinking about, what their concerns are and did we miss anything,” said Samoni.