Bid training is available for contractors enrolled in the USFCR Academy. This week we covered selling to the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA).
The Department of Defense is comprised of many sub-agencies including the DLA The DLA is responsible for the supply chain management for procurement among the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, 10 combatant commands, other federal agencies and allied nations.
With headquarters in Virginia, the DLA is involved in all military procurement. The DLA also helps support other federal agencies, state and local governments with uniforms, food and fuel.
As a logistics agency, the DLA acquires items from manufacturers and suppliers. The items are then stored in warehouses until they are packaged and shipped to federal customers. The DLA has classified their procurement into nine categories:
3. Energy Products
4. Medical Material and Equipment
5. Construction Material
6. Industrial Hardware
7. Personal Demand Items
8. Major End Items
9. Repair Items
Did You Know?
Most DLA procurement can be found via the DLA Internet Bid Board System (DIBBS). DIBBS is the site where the DLA posts details about specific solicitations and allows vendors to submit secure quotes for products.
The products listed on DIBBS will be assigned a 13-digit National Stock Number (NSN). A NSN is the official label applied to an item of supply that is repeatedly procured, stocked, stored, issued and used throughout the federal supply system. These numbers are part of the military's logistics supply chain used in managing, moving, storing and disposing of material.
They are regulated to help standardize the military requirements for testing, evaluation and identifying potential duplicate items. Another reason for this standardization is because different manufacturers may refer to the same part in various ways, making it difficult to identify, separate and control the inventory of items.
Manufacturers and suppliers are not authorized to request a NSN. Once a product has been identified as a solution for the military or other agency, the agency will have to forward the request through the supply chain to the DLA for a NSN assignment.
To submit a quote on an item posted in DIBBS, vendors will need to create a DIBBS account. To create a DIBBS account, go to www.dibbs.bsm.dla.mil and on the homepage click “Vendor Registration”. From there a vendor will enter their CAGE code and follow the registration prompts.
Be sure to double check the address as a postcard will be mailed that address from the DLA for verification. For more information on DIBBS, view the DIBBS 2020 Guide for Contractors on USFCR’s Blog.
Back to Basics
Global events lead government solicitations, so vendors should be prepared to respond. The DLA purchase supplies to be prepared when disaster strikes and agencies are in need.
One way to ensure vendors don't miss out on an opportunity to help is to update the saved searches in the Advanced Procurement Portal (APP) so they are in line with world events. APP will send vendors emailed alerts based on their searches so that no notice goes unnoticed.