Frequently asked Question, How Do I…

Q. What is the first step?

A. Contact any of the MPTAP center across Mississippi. It will save you time and money.

Q. How do I register to become a client?

A. To register, go to www.mscpc.com and click “Client Application” When the page opens, choose your county and click “Go” When you click “Go” the application will open for you to fill out. Make sure you input your information correctly. After that, someone from our office will contact you for further processing.

Q. What does it cost to be a client?

A. There is no cost to you. All of the workshops, including our Government Contracting Course, counseling/consulting, bid opportunity listings on systems, technical assistance, library, and other resources, are free and open to the public.

Q. What can MPTAP do for me?

A. Trained procurement counselors can help you determine if you can successfully compete in the government marketplace by evaluating your capabilities and identifying potential buying agencies for your products and services. Counselors provide an overview of the government contracting process and will help you identify government small business programs where your company may qualify. Your company will be entered into an electronic bid matching database. Counselors will help you review the bid notices you receive and help you determine on which notices to bid. As you work through the marketing, bidding, negotiation, and contract administration processes, MPTAP counselors are just a phone call or e-mail away to answer any questions you may have.

Q. Why should I be your client? What can you do for my company that SBA or MSSBDC doesn’t already do for me?

A. We coordinate often with other small business resource organizations, share clients, refer clients to each other, and co-sponsor events with each other. You might need all of us. Our main focus is to assist Mississippi businesses succeed at contracting with public agencies so as to generate revenues and thereby creating and/or retaining jobs for Mississippi.

Q. How do I change my company’s information in your database, such as if we move, or if we add or drop a line of products or services?

A. Just send us an e-mail and tell us what has changed. Also, you can view the “Company Profile” from your “View Bids” site, and print it out, mark it up, and fax it to us.

Q. How do I get my Daily Bids?

A. When you register as a client, and keep your registration active by submitting monthly activity reports, the bid-match system matches the filters in your client profile to over a thousand sources to identify the bid opportunities that fit your interests. The system posts the results on your individual site, and sends you a reminder e-mail that contains the link to that site. The link might be a big blue button that says “View Bids” or it might be a hyperlink, depending on how your e-mail system displays it.

Q. Is Daily Bids the same as Bid Board?

A. No, these are two entirely separate collections of bid opportunities. The Bid Board is compiled of Mississippi’s state and local government agencies bid opportunities.

Q. How do I submit my activity report/quarterly survey?

A. On your “Daily Bids” site, in the menu across the top of the red banner, you will find an item called “Awards,” which has a link to the reporting screen. You will see the list of awards you have reported previously, and you can select one of two buttons,”Report Award” or “No Awards to Report.”

Q. Why do you make me submit Monthly Activity Reports/quarterly survey?

A. Because our funding comes from Congress through the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) and the State of Mississippi, we are required to provide documentation that the money is producing results. Our mission is to help Mississippi companies generate revenues and create or retain jobs, and we need your report of sales in order to provide statistical results to DLA. Without this proof, they will not continue funding our Center, and we will not be able to provide you with the bid opportunities, counseling, technical assistance, and other services that you rely on. You can submit your report online any time that is convenient, not just monthly.

Q. How do I get a DUNS Number and a Cage code?

A. We would be happy to help you with these registrations, which are interrelated and are very complex. We recommend you fill out our online Client Application and register with us as a client, so we will have the confidentiality agreement and the necessary data that you will need. Then, we can lead you through the 4-step registration process for federal contracting. First, you must have or get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from Internal Revenue Service (IRS). (Do not use your Social Security number in documents that can be viewed by the public, as government contracts and registrations can.) Second, you call a special desk, which is entirely separate from their traditional credit reporting service, at Dun & Bradstreet to register with them as a government contractor. Third, you enter your company data into the System for Award Management. Finally, you enter the rest of your company data into the Dynamic Small Business Search that is SBA’s extension on the SAM. These four steps must be done in sequence, and you must wait about two days after each one before the next one will be ready for you. You must keep your SAM current at least yearly, and you can update it anytime, which will extend its validity for another year.

Q. Who does the government purchase from?

A. Search www.usaspending.gov for awards. Look for opportunities that you are interested in and see what company was awarded the last contract and the terms – public information

Q. What are some steps involved in selling to the government?

A. Contact the MPTAP office at (601) 359-3448 or your local Procurement Center:
Complete and return your MPTAP Client Profile Form
Obtain a DUNS & Bradstreet number
Register in the System for Award Management (SAM) Database
Identify which government agencies buy your products and services
Know what government calls what you sell
Learn government contracting language and codes
Become familiar with government regulations and requirements
Develop a government agency marketing strategy

Q. What are Standard Industrial Classification (SIC), North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Federal Supply Codes (FSC) and Product Service Codes (PSC), and why knowing all this codes is very important?

A. Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) is standard series of four-digit codes created by the U.S. government for categorizing business activities. SIC codes were replaced in most (but not all) capacities by a six-digit code called the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). The (FSC) Group by the numeric system presents the classification structure of the Supplies and Equipment Codes, showing all groups and classes listed. The (PSC) Group by the lettering system provides the product and service codes that will be used in the Federal Procurement Data System. The codes are used to promote better communication across business sections and between countries. It is helpful to know the Codes for your product or service because many government product/service listings and future procurements are identified by these codes systems.