Utah’s PTAC Helps Firms Land Defense Contracts
Government contracting is a difficult field for businesses to enter. This is especially true if they lack the prior experience that can help them find and filter potential contracts, understand the cycle times and effort involved, secure the cash flow required as table stakes, and bid successfully. Within that arena of public sector contracting, defense is its own field, with its own characteristics and sets of relationships.
These obstacles have traditionally made it difficult for small and medium sized businesses that focus on the civilian sector to become involved in defense contracts. This is so despite federal targets for small business contracts, programs for service-disabled veterans, and other inducements. Those programs create opportunities, but don’t offer the services that help businesses bridge the gap.
The US Defense Logistics Agency’s Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) program relies on matching state funds, but states who invest in it can create a useful resource that helps bridge the gap in their states. One state that has invested in PTAC is Utah, under Gov. John Huntsman…
PTAC helps businesses of various sizes sell their products and services to federal, state, and local governments. Gov. Huntsman has worked to expand the PTAC program in Utah, as part of a broader effort to improve the state’s business climate. A release from Utah’s governor says that In the last 8 months alone, PTAC has assisted with more than $250 million in contracts, which will create 4,455 jobs for Utah companies.
Utah’s GOED has a particular focus on “targeted economic clusters” that include aviation and aerospace, defense and homeland security, energy and natural resources, outdoor products and recreation, financial services, life sciences, and software and information technology. Many of these foci intersect with defense contracting.
One defense sector winner is Mission Support Incorporated (MSI) in Clearfield, UT. The firm digitally reverse-engineers and then manufactures airframe structural components, flight controls, actuation systems, aerial refueling components, and landing gear. Their overhaul and restoration services are backed by ISO9001:2000 certification, and used by US Army Aviation, Naval Aviation, and US Air Force Material Command.
In recent years, MSI has won contracts including the $7+ million B-52 Bypass Engine Duct overhaul contract, which uses a hyper-accurate FARO robotic arm coupled with advanced CAD/CAM technology in order to reconstruct parts for the B-52’s aged engines. Another $6.5 million contract was dedicated to overhauling the UH-60 Black Hawk‘s electro-hydraulic servovalves, used in the helicopters’ stability augmentation system (SAS).
Utah is not the only state to have a PTAC program. Their effectiveness varies, but firms who are looking to enter defense-related markets, or looking to improve their performance, might well benefit from a PTAC’s services.