How do you find surplus in the market place? How do you track who is selling your parts? How do you get ahead of companies undercutting your prices?
The Department of Defense issues on average over 30,000 solicitations a month. While some don’t get awarded for various reasons, the vast majority gets awarded to thousands of companies like yours. Every day we speak with our members about their experience in dealing with the procurement process and every day we are asked by some about the surplus that exists in the market.
Imagine you’re the OEM of a widget. You’ve been making that widget for years. A solicitation is released calling for your widget and you bid it… unsuccessfully. You look at the award and find out that some company undercut your price. Why? Because your widget has been sitting in a warehouse somewhere for weeks and sometimes longer. It was acquired by a vendor for a good price and it was just resold. What do you do?
From a slightly different point of view, you’re still a manufacturer of the same widget but you may not know how many other companies make it. More importantly, that widget is repeatedly acquired by the DoD or even commercially. You look at your trailing twelve month sales for that widget and discover they are not inline with the market history. What do you do and how do you find buyers for your widget?
These are questions for which PartsBase Government Data provides answers to its members every day. In addition to buying opportunities from the DoD, Market Research is an integral part of our services. Discover how you can track demand, research procurement, OEM data and aggregate information, by the piece or via batch, with a couple of mouse clicks to find out what the DoD is buying, how much they have bought it for and all the vendors who happen to be stocking those parts.
Over the last few months, we published several posts about PartsBase Government Data. The first was titled “Got PartsBase Government Data?” Then a couple or posts about “Why PartsBase Government Data” and “The Importance of Planning and Researching” followed by “The Benefits of PartsBase Government Data” and an invitation to “Come by and Meet PartsBase Government Data.
Most recently, as we are coming up on our 6th birthday, “PartsBase Government Data Inc – Happy 6th Birthday (almost)” was intended to provide an abbreviated version of our journey over the last 6 years working with you and companies such as yours. I wanted to talk about why we started the business, where we came from, what our goals were and where we came up short. I felt this was a point worth discussing because all things being equal, and despite our successes, it was never a smooth ride and at times shook almost violently. We did persevere and used the lessons learned to provide our members with the tools required and requested to help in navigating the maze of researching and doing business with the US Department of Defense. The lessons learned were invaluable and allowed me to come a long way in helping PartsBase Government Data grow to 800 or so members by 2013 and climbing above 2500 to date.
The aforementioned post was received very well and very much liked by our members as we also published the story on our blog. The traffic which was generated was also tremendous from members and soon to be members alike. I then decided to write this piece to further elaborate on our capabilities and our continued desire to help our members. I understand that this is a business but I also understand that without a clearly defined and stated goal or mission, PartsBase Government Data would be eternally coasting. One of the lessons from the beginning was to build a better toolbox into which better a better suite of tools reside.
Merriam Webster defines a tool as “a means to an end”. Think of it this way, a hammer is a great tool which provides a more efficient way to drive nails. A screw driver is also a tool used to turn screws. You can accomplish both tasks without using the hammer or the screw driver but why would you? I remember when I was 16 years old and had to mow the lawn as part of a deal I made with my dad to borrow his car. I waited until the last minute and found out that the mower didn’t start. Naturally, if I wanted to borrow the car to go out that night, I had to honor my commitment and get the job done….so I did….with a weed wacker. The experience wasn’t fun, took almost 2 hours and while I got to use the car, it cost more than I had planned for.
So rather than build just a great tool, PartsBase Government Data designed a better toolbox and deployed an unparalleled suite of tools to go into it. Many of our products and features were born from requests by our members, while others were the natural progression of things. Many of the members that use PartsBase Government Data share similar prior experiences. They spent countless hours going from one DoD procurement gate to another. They found that none of the search mechanisms look, feel or work like the site they just visited. They searched for FSC – or – CAGE – or – NSN . They were presented with pages of results into which they have to click, read and close. Once they identify potential new opportunities, they have to print the pages and once they had found enough, they started researching past procurement if the information they were seeking was not yet archived. They used to have access to WebFLIS for basic NSN information but that was deprecated last year. Then when all this was done, repeat on another site.
So I decided to take this opportunity to talk about the PartsBase Government Data toolbox some of the tools our members have access to and use in their daily business.
The first one is Contract Bidding which is our bidmatching suite of products. This tool was redesigned from the ground up and with you in mind. Contract Bidding allows you to cast a wide net or be as specific as you want when finding bidding opportunities. Create your saved searches by NSN, Part Number, CAGE, FSC and Keyword. Further narrow your searches prior to saving by compounding onto them indicators such as set-asides, inspection, dollar value and more. Basically we give you the option to match broad and then filter the results or to narrow you searches and only get delivered what you’re seeking.
Imagine having the ability to create a saved search for all your suppliers. Another which allows you to look at products sought which match your shop’s capabilities but only if the DoD owns the technical documents or drawings. A third where only FSC 4730 for example is being sought, with with AMSC of G – all at the same time with separate notification for each and with available data export.
Imagine being able, while looking at matches from your saved searches, to see with each opportunity relevant vendors stocking the parts, forecast information, AEL cross reference, full FLIS information and full procurement history. Additionally, if and when you need to change your saved searches, you can do it yourself and have the results immediately available without having to send in a request and wait 24-48 hours to implement the changes.
Included with Contract Bidding are standalone modules which provide you with the ability to research any and all global DoD solicitations, identify trends in procurement and look up expired but available for bid BSM solicitations to look for opportunities others missed or where not enough bids were submitted while open.
The second is Market Research which is our National Stock Number and CAGE Code research suite of products. The suite supplies invaluable NSN and Cage research data to assist you in determining which contracts and products to pursue. The Market Research segment contains valuable data on National Stock Numbers, CAGE Code Holders, FSC or Federal Supply Class Information and more. Use these tools to look up NSNs, cross reference part numbers to NSNs, find all NSNs for a description you’re seeking or all NSNs related to a company, then narrow down that list by most recent award date, AMSC, dollar value of the product and more. This suite also allows you to identify and find all products for example where the FSC is 1560 + the AMSC code is G + have an award in the last 2 years + are worth greater than 250 each. After you narrow the list, review on screen or use the available data export to save the results set for later use.
For CAGE Codes or companies, quickly reference basic information such as address, phone number, CAGE Status, Primary Business, Affiliation Type, Business size and complete H4/H8 data as well as SAM registration information to identify relevant company designations and points of contact. Additionally, find out about:
- Every contract awarded to the company
- By which agency & when
- All the NSNs where the company is an approved source
- All the competitors where overlapping DoD sales exist
Included in the Market Research suite are standalone modules which our members utilize to look up all historical solicitations to identify past procurement trends, buyers of commodities with emails and phone numbers, look up Emall sales data and an unparalleled GSA procurement research tool, access to the FAA PMA Database as well as an available Navy APL database for access to Alternate Parts, A1, B1, C1, MAPL, Component Characteristics, SNF and AEL Reports by RIC/AEL.
The third is Batch Search Manager which is our proprietary tool that provides the ability for our members to upload Part Numbers or National Stock Numbers (NSNs) and generate an output file that contains stock availability information, full FLIS information, full procurement history, full GSA procurement history and all open solicitations.
Similar functionality is available for companies or CAGE Codes. Batch Search Manager provides the ability to upload a list of CAGE Codes to obtain full H4/H8 information, all NSNs where the CAGE Code(s) are approved sources, full procurement history for all the companies uploaded, all open DoD solicitations with details and full SAM registration information.
In addition to the products and features discussed, PartsBase Government Data also offers a full FBO module, Department of Homeland Security’s APFS database, Turbo Links to GIDEP & ASSIST, intra company messaging and a unique Casting Search provider with send RFQ functionality. There are so many more things we can cover but the most important feature of PartsBase Government Data is that our members will have a dedicated customer service manageable who is knowledgeable not just with the functionality of the site but with the actually subject matter and can offer keen insight and advice to further help when researching and selling to the DoD.
We invite you to come by www.govgistics.com and see for yourself.