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SCORE!

Spent a full day over in Oxnard at the annual SCORE (service corps of retired executives) educational event.  It was well worth the time. We learned about social networking, internet and email marketing, and finance.  All of which are very hot topics to an emerging small business like Veteran Technology Solutions.  We met with some key representatives within the SBA, and other organizations, that will facilitate growth that we may have been unable to acheive without the knowledge gained at this event.  I highly recommend SCORE to any small business, even if you think you have everything under control, it’s FREE!

All I can say is thank you thank you thank you to the SBA and the County of Ventura for supporting such an awesome local chapter of this amazing organization!

What Earth Day means to me…

Earth Day represents a fundamental change in thinking, and a radical shift to the global perspective on protection of our only true natural resource, the planet Earth.  Founded somewhere in the 1969/1970 timeframe, the United States led the charge, and this event is now celebrated in more than 141 countries around the globe.  The shift in public view has impacted every area of our daily lives, from manufacturing to agriculture, all the way to advertising and consumerism.  The way we look at what we make, use, eat, and buy has been fundamentally altered from the views of just one or two generations prior.  We have a long way to go before we are really doing good by this planet that has taken such good care of the human race, but my four year old knows to recycle, and she turns off the lights not in use around the house, and she LOVES being green. I am thankful for progressive manufacturers, organically grown produce, and the general emergence of new and innovative ways we are finding to accomplish tasks that were once significantly detrimental to the environment.  I am grateful to those who have led the way, and the innovators who continue to fight to discover zero impact methods to accomplish the things we take for granted these days, namely electricity production, personal rapid transportation, and general computing.  If not for these forward thinking pioneers, we could be in much worse shape than we are today… 

Dan Gordon and Strategic Sourcing

In many ways, I respect Mr. Daniel Gordon.  It is commendable that he undertook a task as daunting as reforming existing federal procurement procedures, and his well intentioned use of strategic sourcing to leverage the gross buying power of the federal government is not something that I would call a failure in theory.  However, I strongly feel that Mr. Gordon did not put the necessary time and research into determining the potential social costs associated with streamlining federal procurement in this manner.  I further believe that, as a result of this oversight, key decision makers within the current administration were misinformed with regards to the potential savings represented by the use of strategic sourcing as cost saving measure for federal commodity and service procurements.

A little history… OMB and GSA began the implementation of a failed strategic sourcing initiative at federal level back in 2005, picking on the little guy, the office supplies contractors on multiple award schedule 75.  The initiative was designed to leverage the massive consolidated buying power of the combined agencies, in an attempt to achieve greater savings than those being realized through the standing GSA multiple award contracts.  The stated intentions of this program were to: increase small business utilization, while simultaneously increasing the level of transparency through the use of enhanced level three reporting requirements.  All of which sound great on paper…

Unfortunately, regardless of the failure of the first round of strategic sourcing contracts (nobody really used used them), the current administration decided to implement a second round of contracts in 2011, this time with mandated usage requirements.  The aggregated savings, verified in an independent study available through http://www.stopfssi.org, appear to rest somewhere around 1.5% across the top 2000 selling if this available on GSA Advantage, the general service administration’s primary tool for procurement falling below the microprocessor threshold of $3000.00.  While this appears to be a savings, it gets far more convoluted than one would anticipate.  The award of this most recent round of contracts effectively limited the prior usage of a pool of over 600 contractors, down to a pool of 15.  This radical move has funneled more than 70 million dollars away from over 500 small businesses, and into the hands of 15 contractors, and the number is growing rapidly.  The problem here, is that the program causes significant job loss amongst the 500+ affected small business that previously competed for this spend, while simultaneously limiting competition, which has proven in the past to cause increases in pricing over time. 

Factoring the minimal up front savings of 1.5%, one must conclude that the social and economic costs to the American tax payer will result in increased overall spending, and that any potential saving acheived beyond that available on the general standard schedules is simply going to be further diminished the longer that the program runs.

So… my hat is off to you Mr. Gordon for giving it you best shot, and for putting a valid idea to the test.  GSA did a horrible job of implementation, and the damages done to many small businesses thus far will be irreversible for the foreseeable future.  The experiment must end soon, or the unintended consequences of this program will drive more business under, and more people onto unemployment.  Should GSA succeed in implementation of the NITCP, FSSI, and OASIS contracts, the job loss could easily exceed 50000 American workers.

Please… somebody on the hill wake up and open your eyes.  GSA needs oversight, and the American public deserves better than to be pickpocketed by those responsible for reducing federal spend.

Hello world!

welcome to the veteran technology solutions wordpress blog…

how is it that our administration can claim to be so pro jobs, when they endorse programs that decimate small business and destroy the hopes and dreams of thousands of american workers?   for those of you unfamiliar with the program i’m referring to, meet strategic sourcing. this is one of the most shortsighted and controversial initiatives being pursued by the current administration in an effort to curb  waste in commodity based supply and technology procurements.

while strategic sourcing is sound in theory, and very effective in the private sector, there is significant mounting evidence supporting that its use in the public sector is not creating near the originally anticipated savings.  further, a leading national economist has already testified in a small business council hearing that the overlooked effects of government strategic sourcing on small business, in the way of closures, and on the economy as result of these closures, results in a net increase to federal spend, not a savings.

the american taxpayer is going to be caught by surprise by this, as on the surface, strategic sourcing sounds like a good way for someone as large as the government to buy. however, the facts are simple and straightforward, and research shows that unless you completely overlook the devastation to the small business community, strategic sourcing in the public sector is toxic to to small business growth in technology and supplies contracting.

while many may say so what… think of the effects of the immediate loss of national revenues associated with the loss of tens of thousands of jobs. think of the associated forclosures,  defaults and undue burdens this will put on thousands of families in a time of economic instability. my opinion is that it’s just not right, and something needs to be done.

 

visit save5000jobs.com today, our email info@vtsmail.net to find out what you can do to help.