7 Benefits to Becoming a Subcontractor

Doing business with the government comes with a long list of rules, regulations, and complex ordering and billing processes. In other words: a lot of red tape. Many companies don’t have the resources, expertise, or appetite for risk that navigating direct sales to the government requires.

Recognizing this, the federal government has formalized the contractor/subcontractor process for many bids, requiring, in many cases, companies who have the expertise to work with a small, diverse supplier base for at least a portion of that contract. This helps maintain a competitive environment for acquisitions and ensures that the supply chain for critical products and services does not become monopolized by a single company.

As a prime contractor, JetCo Federal has pushed this approach even further, purposefully and proactively developing relationships with a wide partner network, making access to contracting opportunities even more seamless for the commercial market. Our team of compliance and operations experts manage subcontracting requirements directly, so companies can do business as a commercial partner.

Here are some of the ways that working with a prime contractor benefits our supplier network.

  1. We communicate directly with the government.
  2. Contracts and the resulting requirements are solely held by JetCo Federal, so suppliers are working with a commercial partner under separate terms.
  3. Sometimes, compliance flows down to subcontractors. We communicate requirements with guidance early, and clearly.
  4. We pay our suppliers on time, even if the government does not pay us on time.
  5. We understand industry terminology and government terminology.
  6. We are transparent and specific about what we need from supplier partners.
  7. We provide training and support as needed.

Becoming a subcontractor

A diverse commercial subcontracting network benefits businesses by leveling the playing field, and it benefits the government by ensuring redundancies in the supply chain for critical products. With the JetCo Federal supplier program, you can proactively register to be considered for opportunities with subcontracting. Because we hold multiple government contracting vehicles, you can focus on your operations while we focus on the red tape.

 

JetCo Federal Adds Director of Administration to Team

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH (December 21, 2020) – JetCo Federal, a Grand Rapids-based logistics and procurement company, added a full-time employee to their team this month.

Lisa Young

Lisa Young joins the JetCo Federal team as the Director of Administration. In this role, she leads the organization’s human resources, facility management, payroll, and general administration.

Young brings over 22 years of public relations and marketing experience to her role at JetCo Federal and has extensive experience leading and managing teams.

Prior to her role at JetCo Federal, Young worked for a niche publisher and full-service marketing firm where she managed a team of professionals to deliver services to small businesses and associations in the tour and travel, education, and legal industries.

As a new member of the JetCo Federal team, Young stated that she is looking forward to “working with wicked smart people who savor challenges at a company that is on an amazing growth trajectory.”

Young is a graduate of Grand Valley State University where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Advertising and Public Relations. To learn more about the JetCo Federal team, please visit our leadership page.

Cybersecurity in a Cybercrime-Filled World

“Don’t you drop those gloves, little girl, keep ‘em up.”

“What’d I tell you about tucking those elbows? When you give them a rib, you give them a win. I KNOW you’re not dropping those gloves.”

Boxing sessions with my grandfather always ended with Fudgesicles and Otis Redding. He was a mountain of a man, who knew the balance between protecting yourself and as Otis said, when you’ve “got to, got to, try a little tenderness.” He taught me that boxing was similar to life. That people will punch you square in your face if you let them, but you have to protect the core of who you are or else the fight is over.

I doubt he ever believed I’d be comparing this lesson to the importance of cybersecurity and Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) requirements. Shockingly, estimates show that close to 600 billion dollars are lost each year to cybercrime. As a small business in the Defense Industrial Base (DIB), if that isn’t a punch in the face, I don’t know what is.

When CMMC was introduced, we recognized that good cyber hygiene was at the core of competing in this space. Tucking our elbows became a way of life at JetCo Federal, and we applied this concept not only to CMMC and its five levels, but also in the decision for certifications such as HAZMAT, ISO 27001, and generally any compliance that adds power to our jab-jab-cross.

*Hey Google, play Hard to Handle by Otis Redding*

Complex doesn’t put us up against the ropes. Doing the right thing and staying in the fight is what matters. Our approach to CMMC and general compliance is that it’s our ribs. Losing critical information, CUI, intellectual property, etc. can drag us out of the ring with a hard enough hit.

We’ve been working with experts since NIST 800-171 and are positioned to be quite the competitor in 2021. We continue to keep our gloves up and our elbows tucked, ready for whatever fight is to come.

The Company That Delivers to the Department of Defense Chooses Michigan as its Home Base

Specializing in difficult-to-deliver government installations, JetCo Federal says identifying the best place for business is simple.

Watch full video here: https://www.inc.com/medc/the-company-that-delivers-to-the-department-of-defense-chooses-michigan-as-its-home-base.html

 

Watch video here

Good is Baseline, Better is Competitive

I used to have a coach that would tell us “early is on time, and on time is late” when we came in for practice. If you were only ‘on time’, you ran laps, and I spent a lot of time running laps.

It wasn’t until after a few years of customer-facing professional roles that the lesson really connected: in business, meeting the requirements is not the same as being competitive (there’s a life lesson too, but that’s for another blog). Truly serving your customers isn’t about offering a good product or experience, it’s about a better product or experience. Good is baseline, but better is competitive.

Better can mean more innovative, more customized, cheaper, or faster. Whatever it means in the metrics of an individual market is where organizations need to be looking for opportunities to improve. History tells us that no matter how special our sauce is or how rarefied our position, there’s no safety from better.

Finding those opportunities is a main objective of a motivated sales team, so when one lands in their lap, it’s incumbent upon them to recognize it and act. For example, in 2019, a major JetCo client began handling hazardous materials, but without Department of Transportation (DOT) certification, we were unable to help them move it. We evaluated the opportunity, built a training plan, and brought in a partner to help get the certification for our operations staff. Our sales team also demanded certification in the spirit of better understanding the business.

Did we expect to ever rate a shipment? Would we ever need to know how to read a code on a bill of lading? Not likely, but knowing how the sausage is made was intended to help us go beyond the “yes” for our clients, and help get into that consultative, problem-solving mode that we love so much.

Fast forward to 2020, and we’re seeing the unintended effects of that decision. The same clients that asked us about HAZMAT last year are now reaching out with a new project: COVID vaccine storage and transport. As that supply chain develops, partners who can handle dry ice (it’s hazardous!), pressurized gasses, and related materials are finding themselves fielding capability requests, JetCo Federal included. Without responding to the original request with the intent of becoming better for our clients, we would have never put ourselves in the right position for these opportunities.

The lesson in this isn’t TED-talk profound, being better at something isn’t a new way to competition. The secret is building the culture of being able to identify those opportunities when they appear and harness them effectively.

 

beta.SAM.gov Becomes Official Website for U.S. Government Federal Contracts

beta.SAM.gov will become the official U.S. government website for people who make, receive, and manage federal awards. The General Services Administration (GSA) manages federal acquisition and awards processes in 10 online websites, which are now being merged into one, beta.SAM.gov. When the consolidation is complete, users will be able to seamlessly leverage vast stores of data, discover a wide range of award opportunities, and make more informed and effective award decisions. Before the merge to beta.SAM.gov, the JetCo Federal sales team used two of the ten websites for research and capture activities daily: FBO.gov or FedBizOpps and FPDS.gov Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS).

FedBizOpps

FBO.gov or FedBizOpps was the single government point-of-entry (GPE) for federal government procurement opportunities over $25,000. Government buyers were able to publicize their business opportunities by posting information directly to FedBizOpps. Through one portal, FedBizOpps, commercial vendors seeking federal markets for their products and services could search, monitor and retrieve opportunities solicited by the entire Federal contracting community. It retired one year ago on November 8, 2019.

Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS)

Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS) is an automated system used to collect and report on federal procurement spending. It is the single authoritative repository for federal procurement award data. On October 17, 2020, FPDS’ reporting functions migrated into beta.SAM.gov. This includes static, standard, administrative, and ad hoc reports. The rest of FPDS functionality will remain in place at FPDS.gov. After the transition, the reports module in FPDS will be retired and beta.SAM.gov will be the only place to run contract data reports.

The transition to beta.SAM.gov will be easier for our team to navigate using one platform rather than 10 different websites. The centralized location will simplify daily tasks and increase business knowledge by providing one powerful search tool, one robust reporting tool, and one workspace to manage work.

Benefits of the Transition

Once the transition is complete, beta.SAM.gov will have the same federal business opportunity capabilities that are found today in FBO.gov. There will also be improvements, such as:

  • The ability to search for opportunities by number, keyword, or location for more precise results (including easy-to-use search filters)
  • Easy to read headers that will allow you to reference key information quickly
  • The option to access previous versions of opportunity notices with one click
  • The ability to set up notices, with a simple click, that will notify you when frequently used contract opportunities are updated
  • The ability to manage alerts easily through a new user workspace (frequency, turn on/off)
  • A user-friendly design with logical navigation and industry best practices embedded
  • Shared login, search, workspace, data services, reports, and a design that will allow you to leverage other IAE system data easily

There are many benefits from the transition that will improve our teams efficiencies and effectiveness. The transition will allow our team to find better government opportunities, which then flows down to our suppliers and allows them to have more government work. Overall, beta.SAM.gov will provide a wide range of award opportunities for government contractors.

 

JetCo Federal’s Sister Company Launches Nonprofit to Support Veterans

JetCo Federal’s sister company, JetCo Solutions, has established a nonprofit to expand their annual donation drive to focus on year-round support of veterans. This year’s Veterans Day drive will adapt their typical collection drive for local vets to be more sustainable in the face of COVID-19. Although the annual drive has been a staple of JetCo’s holiday celebrations for years, the company is adjusting their approach to include a contactless donation drive, through For the Vets, to benefit veterans living in the state’s two designated veteran’s homes.

“Normally, we get a wish list from the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans, and then engage our clients and the community,” said Lieutenant Colonel (retired) Jon Tellier, President at JetCo Solutions. “This year, we’re approaching our mission a little differently. We’re solely holding a donation drive through our newly established nonprofit, For the Vets.”

The nonprofit’s mission is clear. For the Vets aims to demonstrate gratitude for retired veterans through community acts of kindness and generosity. This year’s donation drive will aim to provide funds and wish list items to the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans and the D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans in Marquette. Both of these organizations host holiday parties for each unit in their building.

“COVID-19 has been especially hard on our veterans,” said Sarah Johnson, who is the Volunteer Coordinator at the D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans. “The members really look forward to events like these. Celebrations help boost the veterans’ moods, especially during a particularly tough year like 2020.”

For the Vets aims to collect enough donations to cover both locations’ celebrations and purchase additional gifts for the veterans. Since the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans also participates in Christmas Star Gift Tags, For the Vets is hoping to fulfill as many of these tags as possible.

There are four available donation tiers, ranging from $100-750. Each donation directly impacts the homes and purchases anything from an entire wish list of items to funding for one of the 16 separate holiday parties.

 

Donations for this specific initiative will be accepted November 11 – December 11 so the proceeds can be given to each home before the holiday season. If you are interested in donating, please visit forthevets.org or contact marketing@jetcosolutions.com.

Woman-Owned Small Business Spotlight: SPACE, Inc.

This is the third edition of our woman-owned small business spotlight series. For this edition, we take a look at SPACE, Inc., a company focused on workplace interiors. The company’s Dealer Principal, Kathie Fuce-Hobohm, gives an inside look on SPACE and gives advice for other woman-owned small businesses.

Can you provide a brief overview of what SPACE does?

SPACE is a WBENC-certified, woman-owned small business (WOSB) that specializes in designing, selling, and installing beautiful and functional workplace interiors. Incorporated in 1995, we have a professionally trained team of interior designers, product specialists, project managers, and installers focused on developing productive and sustainable working environments that enhance productivity and meet the project mission. Our projects are monitored from beginning to end to provide each customer the finest in turnkey services.

SPACE is passionately committed to impacting the work lives of everyone we touch by crafting brilliantly creative, highly efficient, and sustainable workplaces for businesses and federal agencies. Our clients look to us for more than providing products; they rely on us for interior spaces that meet a triple bottom line—people, profit, and planet.

What inspired you to start SPACE?

I am what is known as an “accidental entrepreneur” and opened SPACE when the company I had previously worked for closed their doors in October of 1994.  I knew I did not want to work for anyone else, so I opened SPACE, Inc. 90 days later. It was quite an adventure.

What is your proudest moment for SPACE?

I am always proud when one of our team members steps firmly out of their comfort zone, “finds their voice,” and grows professionally. That is immensely rewarding. From a business standpoint, when we won the Michigan 50 Companies to Watch and being named one of the Best and Brightest Companies to work for every year from 2017 to 2020.

What is the biggest challenge you have overcome with SPACE?

It would have to be learning to lead the business. I did not have any leadership experience or business acumen when I started SPACE, Inc.  Being able to lead an organization is massively different than owning a company and learning to lead is a daily challenge.

What advice would you give to other women entrepreneurs?

You must be able to understand and use all your financial data. Someone once told me that learning to read financials is like learning to read music. I agree. The better you read and interpret the information the better you can run your organization.

Do you have any suggestions on resources that women-owned small businesses should use?

I love the Aileron organization in Dayton. Their mission is to help small businesses grow and their courses/information are extremely helpful.  Also, the Edward Lowe Foundation sponsors CEO roundtables using a technique called “Peerspectives.”  And finally, The Small Business Association of Michigan, or SBAM, has an Owner to Owner program that connects small business owners and facilitates peer learning.

To learn more about SPACE, Inc. visit their website at http://spaceinc.net/

Women Impacting Public Policy Announces 2020 Award Recipients

Woman Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) recently announced its annual award recipients.

Each year, WIPP selects a single business owner, a business advocate, and a corporation to honor. Awardees demonstrate accomplishments in advocacy, small business support, and economic success. The awards recognize support for the women’s business community, in alignment with WIPP’s mission and policy pillars.

2020 Award Winners

The 2020 WIPP award winners are:

  • Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year – Sue Schweim Tellier, JetCo Federal
  • Agency Advocate of the Year – Barbara Carson, U.S. Small Business Administration
  • Corporation of the Year – Accenture

JetCo Federal and Women Impacting Public Policy

JetCo Federal is honored to have been selected as the recipient of the WIPP Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year. JetCo Federal’s President, Sue Schweim Tellier, has served on WIPP’s Leadership Advisory Council since 2017, and she recently spoke as an expert on compliance at a WIPP webinar.

Candace Waterman, President & CEO of WIPP, said, “Sue was honored for her leadership, support, and commitment to women’s business community. Since the pandemic, she participated in almost every WIPP webinar/educational program offering, provided sound advice, updates, and resources to the community who need it most, small businesses.”

“This award is SUCH a big deal to me – not only because we were selected as WOSB of the year, but because of the organization that selected us,” said Sue Schweim Tellier, President at JetCo Federal. “WIPP attracts brilliant leaders of innovative, growing companies. Through WIPP, I’m surrounded by ambitious, confident women I deeply respect. This isn’t just any recognition, or just any award. This is from an organization and women leaders I deeply admire.”

WIPP is a national nonpartisan organization that aims to increase woman entrepreneurs’ impact on the nation’s public policy, economic opportunities, and alliances with other organizations. WIPP also aims to create equality for Woman-Owned Small Businesses (WOSB) in federal contracting, ensure fair tax treatment for all businesses, and increase in capital for the businesses they partner with.

You can find more information about Women Impacting Public Policy by visiting https://www.wipp.org/.

 

 

JetCo Federal Adds Digital Marketing Specialist to Team

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH (October 6, 2020) — JetCo Federal, a Grand Rapids-based supply chain management and warehouse supply company, added a full-time employee to their team this month.

Carly Contreras

Carly Contreras joins the JetCo Federal team as a Digital Marketing Specialist. In this role, she manages JetCo Federal’s website, social media, blog, and digital media campaigns. Contreras is a graduate of Grand Valley State University where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Advertising and Public Relations.

Prior to joining the JetCo Federal team, Contreras was a Marketing and Database Intern at Experience Grand Rapids and an Advertising Intern at Campus View Housing, gaining over two years of marketing experience.

Contreras stated, “I could not be more excited to put my knowledge and experience to use in a new industry. Digital marketing has a large impact on every business, especially in the government contracting space. I look forward to working with such a hard-working and dedicated team!”

To learn more about the JetCo Federal team, please visit our leadership page.