Mitch Free, Founder and CEO of MFG.com, an online manufacturing marketplace, wrote an article entitled “Transforming The Relationship Between Manufacturers And The DoD” which discusses the challenges arising in sourcing manufactured goods to support the Department of Defense (DoD).
Alarmingly, fewer and fewer U.S. companies are responding to requests for quotes (RFQs) that the DoD submits. On average in the last five years, 3.6% to 8% of contracts for goods manufactured for the DoD were fulfilled by foreign suppliers which amounts to $5.08-$10.3 billion dollars annually. This can be attributed to the challenges in finding opportunities and understanding government regulations.
“The DoD is keenly aware that it needs to achieve two strategic goals in its relationship with the manufacturing sector of U.S. economy. First, it needs to reduce the effort and time required for U.S. manufacturers to match their capabilities to DoD needs for complex manufactured goods. Second, it needs to expand its reach to American manufacturers that aren’t already doing business with the DoD — and leverage innovative platforms to do so.”
In their efforts to improve the bidding process and RFQ matching, the DoD launched the Connecting American Manufacturing (CAM) program. This has reduced some of the barriers mentioned between the DoD and U.S. manufacturers by automating the process through various platforms like MFG.com to connect manufacturers with opportunities.
Another key attribute of the CAM program is supporting manufacturers located in historically underutilized business zones (HUBZone). If a small business qualifies, the DoD applies a 10% price evaluation preference in its bid.
The benefits of the CAM program are evident in not only enabling small businesses more but also “supporting job creation at U.S. manufacturing firms and reducing environmental impact by enabling the purchase of goods domestically.”
For more information, you can access the full article here.