By Tom Gerbe – Defense Industry Analyst – BidLink.net
The U.S. Defense Department has over 57,000 open solicitations that have gone unanswered. Among these items are cable assemblies that could be produced by informed manufacturers. As a data analyst for BidLink.net I have been combing through opportunities for readers of “Wire and Cable Technology” and have located a number of big ticket items for which the Government cannot find suppliers.
Many defense contractors aggressively compete for the lowest price in order to win bids, fighting against anywhere from two to twenty companies on each solicitation. There is an easier way — find bids for which there is no competition. One way to accomplish this is to find unanswered bids. In some cases current suppliers no longer manufacture a part for which there is still a need. In the examples below, there are several items which were designated as “small business” meaning that the defense department is required to purchase the part from a company under a certain size. A large company may have supplied the item in the past, but now it must go to a small business. This can spell opportunity for contractors who are paying attention.
Below are a list of solicitations from the Defense Department that are past the closing date but remain unanswered. Expired bids can be researched using the Quick Search at BidLink.net.
|Solicitation #||Item name||Quantity||Stock Number (NSN)||Price Range (ea)|
|SPE4A013T0918||Cable Assembly||24||5995015219577||$2,888 – $4,631|
|SPE4A512T4824||Cable Assembly||7||5995015219577||$541 – $881|
|SPE4A512T5555||Cable, Adapter||2||5995013310791||$1,080 – $2,657|
|SPE4A013T0599||Cable Assembly||1||5995013622192||$3,292 – $16,336|
|SPE4A513Q2480||Cable Assembly||7||5995014551297||$12,566 – $16,332|
|SPE4A513T8337||Cable Assembly||19||5995015516163||$1,124 – $1,172|
The prices above span a wide range, likely due to the lack of competition for these items. If the part is a critical item and there is only one company that can supply it, the Government will pay any reasonable price to obtain the part. This is reflected in the procurement history for the items above.
When a bid goes unanswered, it stays open even after the closing date. Over time, thousands of these unanswered bids remain in the system waiting for someone to respond with a quote. In some cases aircraft can remain grounded and equipment can go unused because the Government cannot find a qualified supplier. If you have not made an item for the Government before you may have to submit a Source Approval Request (SAR) to the agency in order to receive approval to sell the part to the Government.
Due to the sequester, the defense budget is shrinking causing companies to find new ways to compete. Locating solicitations for which there is no current supplier become a treasure trove for companies that know how to locate this business.
BidLink.net is a provider of defense industry information for contractors worldwide. This data includes millions of defense contracts, procurement history, part numbers and vendor details. This unique combination of resources allows BidLink to monitor and extract important information for the defense contracting industry. BidLink.net, based in Washington, D.C., provides bid search and notification services, competition analysis as well as part number (NSN) lookup to many military activities and thousands of private companies around the world.
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