Marketing to DEVCOM ARL

Checklist for doing business with the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM) Army Research Laboratory:

Determine how you can help DEVCOM ARL meet its mission

Determine how you can help DEVCOM ARL accomplish its mission by familiarizing yourself with the DEVCOM ARL website. Small businesses should be prepared to articulate how their business can help DEVCOM ARL accomplish its mission, vision, technical, management and leadership strategies, science and technology (S&T) campaign and essential research areas.

Find your niche. Don’t try to be everything to everybody. You should only market your products and services to potential customers that buy what you sell. Do your homework; know your customer.

Here are the top services/supplies DEVCOM ARL buys:

  • Professional, Scientific and Technical Services
    • Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences
    • Research and Development in the Social Sciences and Humanities
    • Professional, Scientific and Technical Services
    • Engineering Services
    • Custom Computer Programming Services
    • Computer Facilities Management Services
    • Administrative Management and General Management Consulting Services
    • Facilities Support Services
    • Other Scientific and Technical Consulting Services
  • Computer and Electronic Product Manufacturing
    • Analytical Laboratory Instrument Manufacturing
    • Communications Equipment Manufacturing
    • Wireless Communications Equipment Manufacturing
    • Electronic Computer Manufacturing
  • Machinery Manufacturing
    • Semiconductor and Related Device Manufacturing
  • Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing
    • Small Arms, Ordnance, and Ordnance Accessories Manufacturing
  • Construction
    • Commercial and Institutional Building Construction
    • Specialty Trade Contractors

Understand DEVCOM ARL’s unique acquisition authorities

Expedited acquisition timelines are a necessity for DEVCOM ARL to ensure the rate of innovation doesn’t far outpace the speed of the traditional acquisition process. As such, DEVCOM ARL frequently utilizes these following streamlined procedures you should become familiar with.

  • Broad Agency Announcements
  • Small Business Innovative Research / Small Business Technology Transfer Programs
  • Sole Source Authorities
    • FAR 6.302-1 — Only One Responsible Source and No Other Supplies or Services Will Satisfy Agency Requirements.
    • FAR 6.302-5 — Authorized or Required by Statute.
      • 8(a) Sole Source IAW FAR 19.8
      • HUBZone Sole Source IAW FAR 19.13
      • SDVOSB Sole Source IAW FAR 19.14M
      • WOSB/EDWOSB Sole Source IAW FAR 19.15
  • Limited Competition Authorities
    • FAR 6.203 – Set-Asides for Small Business IAW FAR 19.5
    • FAR 6.204 – Section 8(a) Competition IAW FAR 19.8
    • FAR 6.205 – Set-Asides for HUBZone Small Business IAW FAR 19.13
    • FAR 6.206 – Set-Asides for SDVOSB IAW FAR 19.14
    • FAR 6.207 – Set-Asides for EDWOSB/WOSB IAW FAR 19.15

Understand DEVCOM ARL’s award vehicles

Understand the Government-Wide Acquisition Contracts (GWAC) and other pre-awarded multiple-award vehicles available to ARL to buy cost-effective and innovative solutions more efficiently and economically. See below for a list of those frequently used by ARL, organized by industry:

Information Technology

Professional Services

Create a capabilities statement

Create a one-page capabilities statement that summarizes your experience. Your capabilities statement should not include any typos and should include your CAGE code. If possible, detail your recommendation to use 1 of the various procedures outlined in #2 and/or #3 above.

Your longer capability briefings should be tailored to the specific customer you are meeting and demonstrate how you can address their challenges, including how your service or product has a positive impact on a Program Manager’s cost, schedule and performance.

When marketing to potential customers, don’t lead with your socioeconomic status. What really matters is whether you can perform the work.

Respond to DEVCOM ARL’s SSNs or RFIs

DEVCOM ARL posts Sources Sought Notices (SSNs) and Requests for Information (RFIs) on DEVCOM ARL uses SSNs to determine if the capability necessary for a requirement exists in the marketplace, and whether or not the small business community can provide it. As a small business, you will want to take every opportunity you can to respond to these notices as DEVCOM ARL uses these responses to determine their acquisition strategy. What does that mean to you? If no small businesses responds to a SSN, the assumption is that the capability does not exist in the small business marketplace and the requirement will not be set aside for small business participation only.

When responding to a SSN, it is important to fully detail and explain your solution and how you can provide the service/supply to DEVCOM ARL. If your company can only provide part of the service/supply and you will be partnering with another business to provide the complete solution, please be sure to explain that in your response. You want your submission to give the program office the complete confidence that you understand the requirement and can provide the total solution.

In addition to submitting a complete solution, it is also our recommendation that you contact some of your competitors and encourage them to also submit capability statements in response to the SSN. This may sound counterintuitive, but in order to do a small business set-aside there must be a reasonable expectation that at least two or more small businesses will submit offers.

Ensure that your data is current

Make sure your data is up to date in the System for Award Management (SAM) and SBA Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS) and fully details your business capabilities.

DEVCOM ARL also uses these databases for market research purposes. Vendors who are not registered in SAM are ineligible to submit offers or quotes.