Registering for Government contracts is not as easy as just registering in the System for Award Management, you must also register on various other Government websites.
The Government is like a big puzzle, the better you understand how the pieces fit together the easier it becomes to solve.
The biggest mistake most of us make is how we define ourselves using the government’s designated codes. That’s why it is important to identify the code that best fits with our immediate goals.
Once you have properly identified the primary NAICS, and Federal Supply Class you can begin registering for the Government and putting the pieces of the puzzle together.
Government and Site Registrations
System for Award Management (SAM)
Today the first step to registering for government contracts begins by creating an account with login.gov
You will then be able to go to SAM and begin to register to sell to the government (assuming you already have your D-U-N-S).
Upon completion of this site you will be assigned what is called a CAGE code; standing for Commercial and Government Entity code (this is also good for NATO contracts).
Be sure to include your web address in your SAM profile. Often government buyers will look over a registration and want more detailed information; having this link makes their job easier.
*There will be a section in SAM entitled EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer), what it is really asking for is your bank’s name, routing number, bank account, along with a point of contact (POC).
FedBizOpps or more commonly called FBO, is now the site used by the U.S. Government to publish Federal and Military opportunities; making this an important site to register on.
During the registration process you will have the opportunity to set up automated email notifications of bid opportunities, based on the classification codes you register in your profile.
Be sure to make a note when registering to look for an entry spot for the JCP information (access to export controlled data), this is one of two depository sites that we access our TDPs (Technical Data Packages).
Using the ‘watch this opportunity’ feature, is a good way to stay up to date. FBO will send notifications on the release, modification, and even the award notice; allowing you to track it against your proposal.
Another great feature is the ‘interested vendor’. By clicking this, you are placed on a list of those interested in subcontracting opportunity – as it relates to the request.
This will also gain you exposure. Both, prime vendors and government buyers are known to use this list.
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Defense Internet Bid Board System (DIBBS)
The Defense Internet Bid Board System (DIBBS) is rich with opportunities for those in parts and/or products. Keep in mind that as much as 95% of the bid opportunities posted here will be automated.
Bid these quickly because they are likely to be awarded before the closing date; making this a good market for those of us who can respond quickly.
You can quickly identify these opportunities by seeing ‘candidate for automated award’ called out in the request, or the letter ‘T’ in the ninth position (ex; SPE7L218T0987) of the solicitation request number.
This market is very dependent upon using an effective pricing strategy. Although the algorithm the system uses to determine an award can include other criteria, ultimately it is a price driven market.
Register as a Vendor
Registering on DIBBS is a 2 part registration process. Click on ‘ok’ when being presented the DoD warning banner, this is common for Government sites.
‘Vendor registration’ is the first step of the registration process; allowing you to set up automated email notifications of opportunities from the site, based on the classification codes you enter.
For beginners, we advise focusing only on those codes that best serve your immediate needs.
DLA Collaboration Folders (cFolders)
The DLA Collaboration Folders (cFolders) is the second part of the registration process. With cFolders we can gain access to our Technical Data Packages (TDP) needed for quicker bid/no-bid decisions and production costs.
It is here, in cFolders that we need to register our JCP# for authorization; giving us access to ‘export controlled data’ we are seeking
Properly registering for government contracts will give you better visibility and keep the door open for potential opportunities, over the entire spectrum of DoD purchasing activity.