CDW-G Launches small-business consortium

CDW Government Inc. has created a small business consortium, which the Vernon Hills, Ill., information technology reseller said will help small and disadvantaged businesses win federal contracts.

The 12 consortium members will be able to bid for federal contracts with CDW-G as a part of their team. They will be able to use CDW-G's e-commerce, service and distribution capabilities to help them more effectively compete for federal information technology contracts, according to company officials. CDW-G is a wholly-owned subsidiary of CDW Corp.

CDW-G officials today named the companies selected for the consortium:

-- BCS Technology Inc. of Washington

-- Betis Group Inc. of Arlington, Va.

-- Collins Consulting Inc. of Schaumburg, Ill.

-- Hubzone Technology Consulting of Washington

-- International Computing Systems Inc. of Fairfax, Va.

-- Knowledge Information Solutions Inc. of Virginia Beach, Va.

-- Management System Services Inc. of Rockville, Md.

-- Mega-Tech Inc. of Falls Church, Va.

-- Quality Associates Inc. of Columbia, Md.

-- Strategic Business Systems Inc. of Chantilly, Va.

-- T3 Corporation of Fairmont, W.Va.

-- TMCI, the McVey Co. of Falls Church, Va.

Last spring, the company issued a request for proposals, calling for woman-, minority- and veteran-owned small businesses, 8(a)-certified small businesses and small businesses located in Historically Underutilized Business Zones to participate. The consortium officially launched last month. CDW-G is looking for one more veteran-owned company, and one more HUBZone company to round out the group, said Kevin Adams, vice president of program management for CDW-G.

"We were looking for successful companies with good references and financial performance. We were not looking for small businesses that saw the government has a place to go after the commercial market crashed, or for businesses set up after Sept. 11 (2001)," Adams said.

The small businesses "get instant credibility with their customer," Adams said. "Say you have a firm with a net worth of $200,000. Somebody might not want to do a $500 million contract with them. But being partnered with a Fortune 500 company helps them compete for that work."

At the same time, CDW-G gets an opportunity to subcontract on small-business set-aside contracts, Adams said.

As the small businesses pursue an opportunity, they work directly with the federal buyer and bring in CDW-G when they need its products or services, which include custom PC configuration and software license tracking.

"Participating in the consortium allows us to leverage CDW-G's significant inventory to help us expand business opportunities in the coming year," said Robert Collins, president of Collins Consulting Inc., a disabled veteran-owned firm.

Next, CDW-G plans to expand the consortium to the state and local government and education markets, Adams said. The expansion will begin with a pilot in five states. An RFP will be issued in the fourth quarter of 2003, Adams said.

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