TruView a Panelist for NYPA’s Inaugural SDVOB Event
TruView President Nick Auletta served as a featured panelist for the New York Power Authority/Canal Corporation’s first annual Service Disabled Veteran Owned Business (SDVOB) Event, held virtually on May 12, 2021. NYPA, America’s largest state power agency, and the Canal Corporation, which oversees New York’s 524 miles of canals and waterway links, hosted the event as part of their ongoing efforts to advocate for veteran business opportunities in New York State—and, in particular, foster a collaborative environment between the various electrical work sites and the SDVOBs that may be able to provide their services to them.
A New York State business leader, Auletta spoke from his experience as a successful SDVOB with public agency contracts throughout the state—and experience with NYPA, in particular. Chief amongst his advice to the other veteran companies in attendance was “trusting the process.” He stressed the importance of registering as a certified SDVOB, learning what bidding on NYPA/CC contracts entails, getting the name of your company out there, and establishing relationships with the various site procurement officers so that they already know your name prior to bid submission. As Nick stated, “You’re a step behind if the procurement team doesn’t know who you are by the time the RFP/RFQ is released.” And, he said, networking events, trade shows, sales calls, and submission of company capabilities statements are a great way to begin getting recognized.
Auletta advised participant SDVOBs to focus on the proposal document, articulating SDVOB status while providing clear details as to what differentiates your company from the competition. “And be sure to answer all of the questions specifically when submitting your RFP response,” he said.
One tactic presented was for newer SDVOBs to consider acting as a subcontractor first. By attaching to prime contractors, SDVOBs can start to learn the process for bidding on NYPA/CC contracts. Then, when the time and opportunity arrives, they can act as Primes themselves, having learned how to do so through a series of smaller engagements.
“Patience is key,” according to Auletta. A proposer will lose most bids but it’s critical to take the opportunity to learn from the submission. He recommends requesting a debrief from the procurement team to learn what they were looking for, and factoring that into future improvements.
To view the entire NYPA/CC SDVOB presentation, click here.