Monday, July 25, 2005

Same Old, Same Old

From Anonymous:

Same Old, Same Old, as the story goes. The DOE has said their intention is to make changes at LANL and across the complex, however, the procurement process will continue to keep small businesses on the outside, unless you are selling pens and pencils. Both competitors will have little or no incentive for change after award of the contract. Lockheed Martin made what was viewed as a good effort to include the participation of small business, however, at the end of the day they have failed and the DOE has failed all small businesses again. The Lockheed Martin approach resulted an outcome that included only a letter of thanks. The RFQ, however, was costly for each small business that applied. A lot of time and money to respond to what was advertised by Lockheed as an good opportunity. Everyone know that it is small businesses that are risk takers and who will make the changes necessary to move the country forward in growth and innovation. Not dinosaurs like Bechtel and Lockheed and certainly not the U of C or U of T. DOE, another missed failed opportunity.

I have made what I regard as diligent effort to utilize small businesses for procurements. It is just hard to do. Other than some local machine shops (which by the way continue to be excellent vendors), most of the small businesses just cannot compete on cost and/or service. For instance, I once attempted to purchase desktop computers from local small businesses. First, their price was 35% higher than DELL or GATEWAY and second, they really could provide hardly any support. For sure, you could not expect to call on the weekend or at night.

The other problem is that some of the small businesses view LANL procurements as an entitlement.

LANL procurements are cyclic. To deal with copmanies for which the LANL business is a very large fraction of their total income leads to lots of problams.
The TIG outfit that exclusively provides all PCs to LANL supplies only the DELL brand and is one of those entitlement businesses.

Those hardware support folks who push exclusively DELL upon LANL employees do at times receive some nice rewards.
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