Are you looking for a teammate but don’t know where to start?
Are you struggling to find a tool that provides helpful overviews of companies?
Do you feel like you’ll pull your hair out if you team with the same company one more time?
The internet is full of databases claiming to be “the best” search tool for companies. However, in the defense world, there are very specific parameters that define a good teammate. Using a traditional search engine will not only provide far too many companies, but it will also bog you down with unrelated results, adding unnecessary hours to your research. So, what should you do?
There are three fantastic tools available on the web for company searches. One of the older, well-established search engines is SAM (www.sam.gov), System for Award Management. SAM is operated by GSA (General Services Administration), and all companies interested in doing business with the U.S. Government are required to be registered on it. While it is extremely helpful that all the businesses in the database are linked with government contracting, you must keep in mind that a company doesn’t have to have current or previous work on a contract to be registered.
Once you have created a user account and logged into SAM, click “Search Records” in the top ribbon to begin looking for potential teammates. There are a variety of searches you can do: Quick Search, Advanced Entity Search, Advanced Exclusion Search, etc. If you already have a company in mind, using the Quick Search tool will be your best option. This search allows you to type in the company name, CAGE Code, or DUNS Number to find the company in question. If you search by company name, you may have to scroll through several results before finding the desired company. Once you have found the correct record, click “View Details” to see the company’s registration record. Here you will find helpful information like set-aside type (if applicable), primary NAICS code, and points of contact.
If you don’t have a company in mind, use one of the “Advanced Search-Entity” option. This allows you to search by entity type, location, socio-economic status, NAICS, or PSC (Product Service Code). Using this search allows you to keep your options open and find compatible teammates you never would have considered.
While SAM is an extremely powerful tool, it can be a bit cumbersome and clunky for users. Luckily, there are two streamlined, straightforward tools for you to use instead. Discovery (discovery.gsa.gov), which is also operated by GSA, allows you to research GSA contract vehicles and the companies that have been awarded contracts. The contract vehicles available on this site are OASIS, HCATS, and BMO. If you are looking to get on a contract vehicle and need a prime teammate, this search engine is invaluable. Additionally, viewing the tasks awarded to a company of interest will give an indication of the level of activity on the selected vehicle.
The second search engine alternative to SAM is OneTeam (app.oneteam.net). OneTeam is a dynamic tool, providing pipeline management, proposal collaboration, and search engine capabilities. To use OneTeam, you will need a subscription, but there is a 30-day free trial which allows you to explore all its capabilities. Once you have signed up, log in to your OneTeam account and click on the “Search” option in the upper left-hand corner. Since OneTeam pulls its data from SAM and FPDS (discussed in the previous blog), there are several search values you can use when looking for a company. The simple search bar allows you to type in a company name, DUNS Number, CAGE Code, or point of contact. However, if you would like to search for a company using particular parameters, such as a Government customer or primary NAICS, click on the “Advanced “option to the right of the search bar. Here, you will be able to choose specific criteria to narrow down your search results. Once you submit your search, go through the company records presented. By going to the company’s profile, you can even view its award history and contracts. OneTeam makes searching for a compatible simple and quick.
By using these tools, you and your company can identify promising teaming options quickly and efficiently. Now you just have to decide what parameters are important to you!