Small Business Partners Key to MSC Success

By Military Sealift Command Public Affairs

Military Sealift Command was recently recognized by the Department of the Navy (DoN) for outstanding Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Small Business program performance.

Under the leadership of James Kanash, associate director of the Office of Small Business Programs, MSC increased prime contract awards to small businesses from $708 million in FY 2015 to $783 million in 2016.

“An MSC small business partner is any company that fully understands our mission and needs, and can provides the quality products or services we require to maintain and operate our ships, and the support that we provide to the warfighter as the nation’s premier maritime transportation organization,” said Kanash. “We are in this together with our small business partners, for both the success of our mission and the success and growth of their small businesses. Ideally, we would like to see small business grow successfully into large businesses, which help to ensure there is adequate competition years down the road for the acquisitions that are beyond the capabilities of small business.”

According the DoN, small businesses contribute to our national security by contributing combat power to our warfighters and economic power to our nation.

“The support we receive from our small business partners is important not only to achieving our mission, but also to the growth of this nation’s economy,” said Kanash. “MSC’s small business partners provide various parts for our ships, different types of ship repair requirements, from the smallest pier-side repair to mid-term availabilities and overhauls, long term and short term vessel chartering requirements, manning support for vessels, IT support, engineering support, and multitudes of other required services in support of our civilian mariners.”

Kanash credits proper training, local and national outreach, meaningful and current market research and the dedicated support MSC receives from acquisition professionals, technical staff and command leadership for MSC’s success with small business partners.

“While we have annual targets and goals established for our small business program, our success is not about the numbers; it is about doing what is right, it is conducting meaningful and current proper market research to identify capable small businesses to support our needs,” said Kanash. “Along with identifying capable small businesses, we must also do a deep-dive within our research, to increase opportunities to subsets of small business, including Small Disadvantaged Businesses (SDB), Woman Owned Small Businesses (WOSB), Service Disabled Small Businesses (SDVOSB), and Historically Underutilized Small Businesses (HUBZone).”

According to the DoN, small businesses will be key contributors as the nation reforms its Navy and Marine Corps to meet the maritime environment today and into the future.

“We have built and sustained a culture within MSC to always consider small business as our first option,” said Kanash. “The key to success for any small business capable of meeting our unique requirements involves knowing and understanding the importance of our mission and their ability to provide the many products and services we require at the best prices possible.”