It’s called the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA), and it buys a lot more than food and beverages for families. The DeCA is considered an “Other Defense Agency,” and manages a worldwide chain of stores that provides groceries and supplies to families (military, retirees and other authorized patrons) at cost plus a small surcharge fee.
But you don’t sell food products? Remember, I said they buy many other items/services, including:
- Services: Shelf Stocking, Custodial, Receiving/Stocking management, Armored Car, Inventory, Linen/Laundry, Pest Control, Trash Removal
- Supplies: Packaging products, paper bags, plastic bags, labels
- Construction/A/E Services: Design, New construction, Renovations, Remodeling
- Food/Resale Items: This category includes the food products, non-alcoholic beverages, pet foods, detergent, health/beauty products etc.• IT/Software
- Equipment: Copiers, Balers, Pallet Jacks, Safes etc.
How does it work?
- As a Federal agency, they are bound to the competition requirements of the FAR, and all procurements valued over $25,000.00 are posted to www.fbo.gov To see some of the current requirements please check out: https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=agency&mode=form&tab=notices&id=8e1ff864fde18b1eff005e41be152153
- With this there will be opportunities for limited/flexible competition if not required to be on FBO. Marketing will help build awareness of those opportunities (see below).
- Food/Resale items are purchased under slightly different rules known as the Grocery Items Special Rule in 10 United States Code 2486.
- Name brand items with a UPC that have been sold in supermarkets/commercially, will be purchased on a non-competitive basis and from the manufacturer or an authorized representative.
- Other-than-brand name consumable or household items such as meats, vegetables, firewood etc. will be purchased on a competitive, best value basis always on www.fbo.gov
- You can read more at the Business Guide for DeCA
How do you market DeCA to determine if your product/service can/will be purchased?
- If you are selling brand name products for resale (above), there are some very specific things the agency will ask of vendors (see all on page 9 of the business guide), but some include knowing your distribution/stocking methods, pricing structure, providing samples for evaluation, similarities/differences to other products that are being sold.
- Contact the small business office, and make initial/follow up contact to market, develop relationships and build visibilities to increase potential opportunities with the agency. The small business office is located at http://www.commissaries.com/business/small_business.cfm
- Ensure you have done more research on the agency and locations within your geographic area
- Research past, current and future opportunities for the supplies/services you sell. DeCA provides information on previous pricing and awarded contracts here.
So what do they have going on in the future?
- Research their forecasted opportunities, especially for services at http://www.commissaries.com/business/documents/small_business_forecast.pdf
- Use this information for your planning, and also to develop your marketing discussions
For more information on how DeCA may be a good target customer for your company, or any other government contracting related questions, let a CIRAS Government Contracting Specialist know!
Email Beth at email@example.com or join our LinkedIn discussion at http://ow.ly/HR8oV.