Researching, identifying, and evaluating, high-quality, top-performing, and competitively-priced small business suppliers for NNSA programs is the function of this tool. Once a program requirement is identified, an independent research task is activated to locate top-of-the-line small businesses with capabilities in the specific performance areas.
Generally, four steps are taken before the final research results are submitted:
- Option Development: Evaluation is made of various contracting vehicles and small business solutions salient to a satisfactory completion of the requirement within the timelines established.
- Identification: Usually completed through exploration of the NNSA Small Business Sourcing System, Small Business Administration's Pro-Net Database, Central Contractor Registration Database, General Services Administration Schedule Database, and other referral sources; small businesses with appropriate NAICS codes are identified and compiled.
- Research: Compilation of information regarding small businesses identified in Step 2. Research includes: current and past clientele and contracts, business size, geographic area of service, teaming partners, average revenue, and number of employees.
- Evaluation: Small businesses deemed appropriate after Steps 1, 2, & 3 are evaluated to validate the information obtained. Usually performed in telephone interviews, the small businesses are asked to further define which contracts demonstrate applicable past performance and are asked to describe their technical competencies and personnel. In this step, clearances are discussed as well as all other information pertinent to the needs of the NNSA program.
Each market research effort is independent and its timeline is driven by the program needs. If no small businesses are identified that meet the established criteria, Teaming, and Mentor/Protege arrangements are explored and suggested to build the competencies of small businesses to complete the requirement in the future. The result is to provide NNSA programs with the highest quality small business solutions and the best contracting vehicles/methodologies to complete the procurement.