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DoD: Success Blossoms in New England

By Michael E. Robinson, Defense Logistics Manager, MassMEP, michaelr@massmep.org

Spring has come to the northeast and, along with the daffodils and tulips, something else is coming to life. The New England Manufacturing Supply Chain Consortium, an initiative designed to help small manufactures in the region join the Department of Defense supply chain, managed by the Manufacturing Extension Partnerships of the six states, is seeing big success. In fact, the group is currently reporting 166 contracts, valued at $1.8 million in awards to client firms.

In Massachusetts, my beat, we have had 43 contracts spread among six client firms. The value of these 43 awards is $900K. The recipients include cable and harness shops, machine shops, packaging specialists, and stamping houses. The firms are spread from Stockbridge to Boston (a line borrowed from James Taylor), Southeast Massachusetts to the Merrimack Valley. But, while we are beginning to show great promise, we still have to bring more suppliers into the successful category. In order to do that, I recommend we emulate the process that has been successful so far. As in gardening, there is a lot of work necessary to be successful.

Taking the Right Steps
Of course, a firm must first complete the basics. The map through these wickets was detailed in the last three editions of this newsletter. Making $ense of Defense
Once you have completed your registrations, the next step is to attend a Making $ense of Defense presentation. These presentations are taking place throughout New England, presented by the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) in each state. The web addresses for all six MEPs will be listed at the end of this article. This session has been attended by each and every awardee in all six states. It provides some training and understanding of how the system works, and the course of least resistance into the supply chain. At the meeting, you will meet members of the local MEP who can guide you or connect you to a guide, who will work with you on an individual basis while you get started. The information you pick up at Making $ense of Defense will show you how to identify a few parts that you would be able to manufacture while being competitive in price. From this data, we are able to multiply these opportunities, giving you many more parts to look over and bid on. You only need to provide feedback to you contact as to whether the parts are a good fit for you, if you bid, and most importantly, if you win. Obviously, as there is no charge for our services, we need to know when you win, so we can justify the support for the program.

It is important to recognize that much of the work involved in this process gets done by you. There are about four MEP staff delivering services involving contracting to approximately 1850 SupplyPoint™ registrants in Massachusetts. We can’t do the work for you, but we can, as the current history shows, help you win government contracts.

To find out how, contact your local MEP office:

Connecticut: Connstep, Inc.
Maine: MaineMEP
Massachusetts: MassMEP
New Hampshire: NHMEP
Rhode Island: RIMES
Vermont: VMEC

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