Looming large at Fluor

Making the Team | Some projects require 75 percent small-business participation

Fluor Corp.

Number of small-business partners


More than 3,000 small businesses are registered. Fluor is using several hundred companies on current projects.


Recent and upcoming projects


Defense Department: Materials and equipment, engineered equipment and engineering services.

Homeland Security Department: Federal Emergency Management Agency projects on demand.

Energy Department: Nuclear clean-up.

State Department: Equipment and material.



More Information


Home to SCORE (Supplier and Contractor Online Registry E-version), Fluor's Web site for small business information and registration.


Additional contacts?Fluor Federal Services


Lee Eron, manager, small-business program
(864) 281-4295


Debra Sampson
(864) 281-6034


For DOE projects in connection with Hanford nuclear contract:
Jan L. Sullivan


Supplier Diversity Advocate for Fluor commercial business:
Linda Holloway


When do subcontractors become involved?


Subcontractors sometimes become involved during the bidding phase, but Fluor often calls on specialists to support an ongoing project when it expands in scope.

Fluor Corp.'s Lee Eron

In March, Lee Eron of Fluor Corp.'s federal services business attended a Small Business Administration regional conference in Atlanta. By June, four of the small-business companies she met there had come to her group's Greenville, S.C., office to meet with Fluor program managers and plan projects in which they will participate.

"Our projects are so large that one supplier cannot [handle] everything we need," Eron said. For that reason, the group continues to attend trade shows and other events to recruit additional suppliers. She cited a water project in Iraq in which Fluor's intended goal called for small businesses to handle about 10 percent of the work. As it turned out, 74 percent of the activity was subcontracted.

"We relied on small suppliers for equipment and materials" on that project, she said. "We have one [upcoming] contract with 78 percent of the work [to] be subcontracted."

Many Fluor projects exceed small-business targets, usually because of the scale of the projects and the ongoing changes in requirements, especially for overseas activities.

Fluor is a newcomer to Washington Technology's Top 100 ranking of the largest government contractors. Fluor debuted at No. 8 on the list, with $2.8 billion in government contracts. This year's Top 100 looked at a broader range of government services than just information technology. In addition to construction and supply projects worldwide, Fluor's most visible projects include nuclear clean-up, water and communications services and Federal Emergency Management Agency support.

Fluor's greatest continuing need is for equipment and material delivery and distribution, Eron said. Some industrial projects require custom engineering and production of components for specific installations. For a Defense Department operation, Fluor's in-house engineering team designed the system and then brought in small businesses to build specific components.

Advice: Register or Call

Eron prefers small business partners to register on SCORE, the supplier portion of Flour's Web site that stands for Supplier and Contractor Online Registry E-version. "That way we have an immediate record of the contact and we can send out materials" about appropriate projects, she said.

The registration process can be lengthy, but it gives Fluor the detailed information it needs to search for partners by location, diversity status and other factors that are often fundamental to specific projects, she said. FEMA projects, in particular, must go to businesses in or near a devastated region.

"Every time there's a requirement, I go to SCORE," she said. But Eron and her colleague Debra Sampson also field phone calls from prospective partners. Fluor Federal's database of about 3,000 small businesses is also shared with the parent company's commercial side, which often has different requirements and small-business partner needs.

"If we know that a person we're talking to fits into [commercial] categories, we suggest they contact [our colleagues over there]," Eron volunteered.

Eron also monitors the Central Contractor Registration. She urged small businesses to provide as much detail as possible about their capabilities on that site.

Fluor's program managers assess small businesses when requirements are identified to assure that the partners can handle the work, Eron said.

Variety of Projects

For Defense contracts, Fluor's small-business partners have supplied materials and engineered equipment. Other recent projects included satellite earth station installation and operations. Fluor's State Department contracts have focused primarily on equipment and materials shipped to embassies.

On the home front, Fluor is one of the major contractors for FEMA, working on disaster relief projects, including response in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Wilma.

Fluor also has a unit to handle nuclear waste and recovery projects, notably the Hanford facility in Washington state.

At another nuclear clean-up, the Fernald facility near Cincinnati, Fluor recently completed its task about eight years ahead of schedule; 45 percent of the work was handled by subcontractors, well above the 34 percent goal originally intended.

With a large number of projects in its pipeline, including engineering work for the Air Force, logistics for the Defense Department and contingency operations for the Army, the company will have a steady stream of work for small-business partners, Eron said.

Gary Arlen is president of Arlen Communications Inc., a Bethesda, Md., research firm. He can be reached at GaryArlen@columnist.com.

Reader Comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

What is your e-mail address?

My e-mail address is:

Do you have a password?

Forgot your password? Click here
close
SEARCH
 Top 100 Slideshow
contracts DB

Trending

  • Dive into our Contract Award database

    In an exclusive for WT Insider members, we are collecting all of the contract awards we cover into a database that you can sort by contractor, agency, value and other parameters. You can also download it into a spreadsheet. Read More

  • Is SBA MIA on contractor fraud? Nick Wakeman

    Editor Nick Wakeman explores the puzzle of why SBA has been so silent on the latest contractor fraud scandal when it has been so quick to act in other cases. Read More

Webcasts