OHIO Procurement Technical Assistance Center has banner year helping clients earn $592M in contracts

Liz Harper
May 10, 2018

Clients of Ohio University Procurement Technical Assistance Center (OU PTAC), which connects small businesses looking to sell with government agencies looking to buy, earned contracts worth more than $592 million in 2017.

“This was our best year so far,” said Sharon Hopkins, director of OU PTAC, which is part of the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs. “We have a very experienced team in place right now.”

Now in its fifth year serving 55 Ohio counties, the OU PTAC consulted with 476 new clients to help them move forward in their goals to contract with the government. Over the course of the fiscal year, the program helped businesses earn 7,807 awards whose total value is more than $592 million, an increase of around $195 million from last year. This number combines awards recorded by the Defense Logistics Agency, which are earned by clients within a year of their last consultation with PTAC, and awards recorded by OU PTAC that are earned more than a year after the client’s last consultation.

When the grant-driven program was created, PTAC could help contract only with the Department of Defense. Now, the Assistance Center’s mandate has expanded to include a much larger number of agencies at all levels of government.

“We now can assist any size business in their efforts to contract with the government,” Hopkins said. “That’s everything from learning about certifications to registering at the right places to assisting them in getting certified. We can also help them once they find a solicitation that they want to respond to. We can help train them and walk them through the process, which can be pretty overwhelming, especially when they’re new to it.”

The top agency OU PTAC helps contract with is the Department of Defense, with clients being awarded over $246 million in the past year. OU PTAC’s top ten list of government agencies it works with includes the Department of Homeland Security, NASA Glenn, the Department of State and the Department of the Interior.

With a highly experienced six-person team, OU PTAC typically has a team member with knowledge in the area in which a client would like to have access. All the team members help with this when the opportunity arises.

“Once we start working with a client, we will often pull somebody in within our team that might have more experience with a certain agency or a certain market to help our client,” Hopkins said. “That’s been extremely beneficial to our clients.”

Hopkins hopes OU PTAC will continue to meet or exceed their metrics in the coming years. This can be challenging because opportunities to contract with government agencies vary depending on the PTAC client base,  but Hopkins has confidence her team has what it takes to further their success.

On July 17-18, 2018 OU PTAC is hosting their first-ever, four-state event, focused on aerospace contracting. Over two days, NASA will be on campus for clients to interact with. The event is a result of collaboration between PTACs in Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky and Pennsylvania. For more information on the event, see the event website or this article about the event.

“The first day is an opportunity for clients to learn about NASA and how they buy,” explained Hopkins. “The second day is going to be spent matching businesses with government agencies that buy their product or services so they can meet up. We’re very excited about this event and eager to see how it benefits the attendees.”