Members of the Nebraska National Guard need regular training to stay physically and mentally prepared for duty. And when they train at the Greenlief Training Site in Hastings, they also need to eat.
The opportunity to provide full-service food operations to the soldiers who trained at the site from June 6 through June 27, 2015 â€” that’s three weeks and more than 5,000 meals â€” was accepted by Runcie’s Catering in Hastings.
But before owner Doug Runcie could bid on the government contract, he first enlisted the assistance of Chuck Beck, a government contracting specialist, at the NBDC office at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.
“Runcie’s Catering had been registered in the old Central Contractor Registry (CCR), however, that system was no longer being used for registering contractors with the federal government,” Beck says.
In September 2014, Runcie began working with the NBDC procurement program to migrate his Legacy Account from CCR to the new System for Award management (SAM) in order to update and activate the registration for his business.
“Requests for SAM assistance are a fairly common occurrence for us,” Beck says.
In May 2015, Beck informed Runcie that the Nebraska National Guard had released a solicitation for bids for the food service operations at the Greenlief Training Site. Runcie subsequently bid on the opportunity and was awarded the contract. In June, his business furnished three meals a day for the National Guard members completing their annual training.
“I wouldn’t have gotten the government job without the help of the program and Chuck Beck,” Runcie says.
Runcie continued to work with Beck and the Procurement Technical Assistance Program to ensure the caterer’s invoicing was completed correctly in the Department of Defense’s Wide-Area WorkFlow (WAWF) eBusiness Suite.
“The paperwork that comes with one of these government contracts is overwhelming,” Runcie says.
Beck says there are a variety of challenges that businesses might face when entering the government market. “Navigating through the registration process is often the initial and most requested assistance,” he says. “After a company is registered, however, there is still work to do. Developing a strategy and the tools to market within the government market can be challenging and time consuming.
“For small companies, it can be difficult to dedicate resources to complete the work to expand government sales.”
Runcie opened his catering business in 2006. He says Beck is an ally when it comes to navigating complicated federal government rules and regulations. “Chuck is always available if I have any questions,” Runcie says, “and can be a big help making sure I have all the right paperwork.”