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Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane | Matt Burkett

Small Business Success Tips Podcast (episode 24)

Summary: Matt Burkett presents the scope of contracts available in support of the mission of NSWC Crane, offers tips and techniques to research opportunities and reviews the primary acquisition procedures and vehicles used. 

Guest Bio | Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane (NSWC) Director of Small Business Programs Matt Burkett is intimately involved with small businesses supporting the Warfare Center Crane. Matt’s previous ten years experience as a contracting officer gives him a unique perspective of what small businesses are doing right and how to improve. He helps businesses learn to do business with the Navy and works with contracting personnel to help shape requirements to incorporate small businesses as both prime contractors and  subcontractors. 

Matt Burkett is the single point of contact for NSWC Crane for all small business matters. There is a team of 200+ acquisition personnel, however, all initial contact goes through Matt.

In this episode, Matt Burkett and Neil McDonnell discuss:

NSWC’s 3 Main Mission Areas

  • NSWC Crane Strategic Missions Center delivers technical solutions to detect threats, provide a layered, integrated missile defense and offer global strike capability 
  • Electronic Warfare provides innovative, leading-edge, technical solutions for military actions that use electromagnetic energy to control the electromagnetic spectrum (signal jamming)
  • Expeditionary Warfare focuses on agility, maneuverability, individual weapons, munitions and technical training (guns, bullets, explosive devices)

Agency Research or "Doing the Homework"

  • Matt's process of vetting small businesses first, reviewing their capabilities against the needs of requirement personnel and the needs of primes
  • Research and preparation demonstrates that a business has done its homework and is ready to work with Crane

  • FBO opportunities (TIP use N00164 in search bar) provides insight into what Crane is buying, how often they buy and in what quantities

  • Monitor opportunities, as turn around for Sources Sought/RFI might be only 15 – 30 days

  • Tremendous volume and opportunity to contract for the primary supplies and services Crane buys ($1.6B projected obligations)

  • Build relationships – informal SAP awards frequently go to businesses they already know

  • Don't lead with your socio-economic status

  • Lead with capabilities and your solutions to Crane's mission needs

  • Generally Crane buys $1.4B  (2/3rd supplies and 1/3 services) including print circuit boards, engineering and logistic services, cables and machine products etc

  • NSWC generally doesn't buy construction (typically NAVFAC function)

Key Industry Outreach Events (10+) including –

  • Annual Buy Indiana Expo (200+ companies market products and services to 350+ Crane personnel, buyers, project managers and technicians; NSWC to educate vendors on how to conduct business with the Federal Government) 

  • Advanced Planning Briefings for Industry (APBI) to inform industry and academia about future NSWC Crane technology efforts, requirements, challenges and potential contract opportunities

  • Quarterly SeaPort-e Town Hall meetings 


Primary Acquisition Procedure Paths and Vehicles

Primary vehicles

  • Government purchase card Micro Purchases (credit card up to $10k)
  • Formal and informal SAP, simplified acquisition procedures
  • Large contracts (over $250k)
  • SeaPort Next Gen  (over $250k) for competitive technical services

 Secondary (less frequent)





Neil McDonnell is an experienced small business owner and seasoned entrepreneur. An Army veteran and the founder HUBZone Chamber of Commerce, Neil is a government contracting subject expert and small business advocate available for media and conferences.

His podcast series offers key information and tips to help small businesses gain insight into government agencies and large prime contractors and develop strategies to effectively present services. 

SPONSOR: Small Business Success Club


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