Specializing in difficult-to-deliver government installations, JetCo Federal says identifying the best place for business is simple.
Specializing in difficult-to-deliver government installations, JetCo Federal says identifying the best place for business is simple.
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 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).
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) 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:
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, 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 email@example.com.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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/
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:
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/.
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 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.
If you’re a prime government contractor, or even a subcontractor, the term VETS-4212 might be familiar to you. While it’s one of the many FAR clauses that can be in a solicitation, VETS-4212 acts as a good example when it comes to government contracting and compliance within the government sales process. Before we dive into the importance of compliance and communicating flowdown clauses, let’s first take a look at VETS-4212.
VETS-4212 is an annual report that is required to be filed by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Veterans’ Employment and Training Services, or VETS. The VETS-4212 annual submission form must be filed by all federal contractors and subcontractors who enter into a contract larger than $150,000 with any department or agency of the United States for the procurement of personal property and non-personal services (including construction).
The annual filing period for VETS-4212 is August 1 – September 30, and the form can be filed at the Department of Labor website or mailed in. Filing online is preferred by the DOL and also allows for batch filing if you need to file for multiple locations.
Why bring up VETS-4212? VETS-4212 is a good example of a flowdown clause that must be communicated between prime contractors and subcontractors. As a prime contractor on many government solicitations, it’s extremely important at JetCo Federal that we take precautions in understanding what FAR clauses and regulations need to be realized by our suppliers.
This is why maintaining relationships and having open communication with our suppliers is core to our business. We candidly talk about payment terms, flowdown clauses, and expectations when we’re working with our suppliers to ensure compliance within the complex structure of government solicitations. This style of communication, in addition to our prompt payments, has cemented us as a priority customer for our suppliers.
The VETS-4212 annual submission is no exception and must be discussed anytime a solicitation lists FAR Clause 522.222-37 or is over the $150,000 threshold. This is why with every contract we enter into, we develop a contract compliance matrix to ensure all requirements are met and all reporting needs are noted and clearly communicated.
Contract compliance can be a time consuming and confusing aspect of any government opportunity. It’s important that compliance, specifically when it comes to flowdowns and subcontractors, is clearly communicated and approached efficiently so that suppliers can do what they do best while we handle the fine print of government solicitations.
Are you a highly qualified supplier interested in working as a subcontractor on a government solicitation? Contact us to learn more.
JetCo Federal ranks No. 2960 on the Inc. 5000 with three-year revenue growth of 133 percent
GRAND RAPIDS, MICH (August 12, 2020) — Grand Rapids-based supply chain management and warehouse supply company, JetCo Federal, was recently ranked by Inc. magazine in its annual Inc. 5000, the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest growing private companies. The list represents the most successful organizations within the American economy’s most dynamic segment — independent small businesses.
JetCo Federal, a local woman-owned small business, was ranked no. 2960 with three-year revenue growth of 133 percent.
According to Sue Tellier, President at JetCo Federal, the growth is attributed to the niche they credibly hold with their customer base.
“Our successful and extensive experience with the Department of Defense earns respect from warehousing decision-makers,” said Tellier. “We embrace complex supply chain challenges, we deliver on time, and we offer blunt, creative ideas that resonate.”
Not only have the companies on the 2020 Inc. 5000 been very competitive within their markets, but the list as a whole shows staggering growth compared to prior years. The 2020 Inc. 5000 achieved a three-year average growth of over 500 percent, and a median growth rate of 165 percent. The Inc. 5000’s aggregate revenue was $209 billion in 2019, accounting for over 1 million jobs over the past three years.
“Our significant growth doesn’t surprise me. We have tenacious employees and a scrappy, no-whining culture,” said Tellier. “We’re not done growing, either.”
Complete results of the Inc. 5000, including company profiles and an interactive database that can be sorted by industry, region, and other criteria, can be found at www.inc.com/inc5000.
Building a strong relationship with your current and future customers is a crucial step a company should take to be successful in their industry. At JetCo Federal, we take creating connections seriously. Transparent communication is ingrained into our company, and we establish and cultivate authentic relationships with our suppliers and customers.
To us, it’s not just a business relationship. Our interactions are human-to-human. They’re meaningful, personal, and transparent. We understand that when you cultivate strong relationships, it only brings benefits to both parties.
How does our team cultivate authentic relationships with our suppliers and customers? Our team:
We take these steps with every relationship we build. Our suppliers and customers appreciate the time we take to cultivate the relationship, and when our suppliers and customers are happy, we’re happy.
At the core of our company is the drive to re-win every day. Whether it’s winning a large contract with the government, solving a simple sourcing problem, or completing fast turn-around times, our team wants to win. We’re also not afraid to take on complex projects, which makes us different than our competitors.
Our team is unique, and our connections are authentic. This is a powerful combination that leads to satisfied customers, a strong company culture, and a robust network. Without our authentic relationships, we wouldn’t be able to do the work that we do now. The government wouldn’t be buying, and our customers wouldn’t be satisfied. But they are buying, and they are satisfied. And that’s in part due to the power of our connections.
Establishing and maintaining authentic relationships is at the core of what we do. Connections are powerful, and when you have strong connections, you have trust and loyalty not only within your company but with your end-users as well.