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January 26, 2017

By Kristin Ghanem | Harkcon’s Contract Management Specialist 

Small business set-asides are an effective tool for helping small businesses compete and win government contracts.  When market research determines that a small business is able to perform the work or provide the necessary items needed by the government, those opportunities are set-aside exclusively for small businesses. 

There are several types of small business set-asides.  Some opportunities are open to all small businesses and some require a specific small business designation.

The government determines small business set-asides using either Contract Value or Prime Contract Goals.

Contract Value

A set-aside is partially based on the value of goods or services the government is purchasing.

Simplified Acquisition Threshold

Every government purchase with an anticipated value above the micro-purchase threshold of $3,500, and up to the Simplified Acquisition Threshold of $150,000, is required to be exclusively set-aside fo...

January 19, 2017

By Marty Jenkins | Harkcon’s Communications Specialist 

It’s 2017, and now that you’ve identified your goals, it’s time to execute them.  Whether you hope to increase sales or start a new business the strategy will only vary slightly.  So, how do you get there? It’s really quite easy! Follow your marketing plan, and these steps, and you’ll be well on your way.

The first step is picking out the most time sensitive items.  I recommend taking each item on your marketing list and rate the items in order of importance.  Consider both print and digital marketing materials in this review.  If you’re starting a new business I suggest having both print and web marketing materials.  

Once you place your items in order of importance, the next step is to start implementing them and developing a way to track and measure your marketing plan. Begin by choosing a method for monitoring and determining how often you need to measure.  At Harkcon, we use Google Analytics to monitor o...

January 13, 2017


By John Rutherford | Harkcon's Facility Security Officer 

Many Facility Security Officers (FSO) unnecessarily dread Defense Security Service (DSS) vulnerability assessments. Yes, preparing for an assessment is a lot of work, and yes, there is the possibility that you’re Industrial Security Representative (ISR) may find a vulnerability that reflects poorly on your facility. However, when viewed correctly, vulnerability assessments can be a valuable tool in helping a cleared company establish and maintain a high-quality security program with the objective of protecting classified information, people, and resources.

The DSS conducts vulnerability assessments every 12 to 18 months in accordance with NISPOM paragraph 1-207, Security Reviews. The focus of the assessment is to ensure that your facility is compliant with NISPOM requirements such as Foreign Ownership, Control, and  Interest (FOCI), Key Management Personnel, procedures for safeguarding classified information, reporting proce...

January 3, 2017

By John Knox | Harkcon’s Senior Program Manager

How often have you heard the terms programs and projects used interchangeably?  Or program manager versus project manager?  In this blog, I will attempt to explain and simplify the difference.

While both may use similar tools and processes prescribed in PMI’s Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, Fifth Edition (better known as the PMBOK® Guide), the roles of the program manager and project manager are distinct. 

The program manager has a much broader and strategic view, which typically involves multiple projects that are all related and working toward the same big picture goal.  The program manager is responsible for multiple projects and teams within the program.  In short, the program manager is responsible for the program outcomes impacted by each of the projects within the program

On the other hand, the project manager is focused on a specific project that is temporary with a defined be...

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