Sterling Design Finds Contracting Success with a Little Help from a Friend
Sterling Design, Inc., a small business located in Oceanside, California, has found success in prime contracting with a little help from a local small business resource program, the San Diego Contracting Opportunities Center (SDCOC). Since 2007, Sterling Design has been awarded numerous prime contracts from the Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Air Force and most recently received its first contract with the Army to deliver displays for the Abrams Main Battle Tank.
The company has designed, manufactured and repaired constituent electronic assemblies for U.S and NATO weapon systems for 25 years. Having significant experience as a DOD subcontractor already, the company became a client of SDCOC in 2007. Sterling Design was seeking assistance in locating federal contracting opportunities and bidding as a prime contractor, since the market for new designs had shrunk significantly in size.
“Sterling Design is a avid user of SDCOC’s bid match software system. Additionally, the Procurement Advisors, specifically Tim Warren, are an immense resource for mentoring me on critical issues of federal acquisition rules and practice. Tim and others are experienced, knowledgeable and approachable. They have rendered Sterling Design invaluable advice through the years”, states Dick Kessler, President.
“Our most recent contract award with the Army is illustrative of the active involvement of SDCOC’s Procurement Advisors and their invaluable advice”, further explains Dick Kessler. After winning the contract, the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) required a preaward survey audit. Despite having 25 years of successful performance, the DCMA representatives deemed Sterling Design not qualified to perform the contract. As a result, the Army Contracting Office requested that the company obtain a Certificate of Competency (COC) through the U.S. Small Business Administration, a process that allows small businesses to obtain a “second opinion” audit of sorts by submitting a rigorous amount of performance and financial documentation to a SBA review team.
SDCOC staff then provided Sterling Design with advice and tips on how to obtain a successful outcome with the Certificate of Competency (COC) process. Dick Kessler explains, “The advice of Tim Warren was concise and vital…give them everything they ask for and more. He was right! And we were finally awarded the contract. SDCOC is not only your friend and advisor, they are also your partner in success”.