QuickFee Firm Spotlight: Allied-SCSS
For over two years, Allied Supply Chain Support & Services (Allied-SCSS) has partnered with QuickFee to offer a pay over time option for their consulting clients, along with digital payment options like ACH/EFT.
Today we are thrilled to feature their work in our Firm Spotlight series, where we explore how QuickFee partners help their clients thrive.
We sat down with David Jackson Jr., Chief Operating Officer at Allied-SCSS, to talk about how the firm got started – and what makes their consulting approach so effective.
The Complex World of Contracts
Allied-SCSS is a “one-stop-shop” business development consulting firm based in Dallas, Texas. They specialize in helping small and minority owned businesses identify, secure, and maintain contracts for both government and corporate projects.
In 2013, David Jackson Jr. and his mother, Victoria Stevenson, started Allied-SCSS to guide small contractors through the complicated (and often intimidating) contract process.
“We got started working for large prime contractors that were doing government contracting,” said David. “As I worked with our smaller subcontract businesses, I quickly discovered that many of them were unfamiliar with the requirements.”
Without the right resources and network, it can be nearly impossible for contractors to land the right project and scale their business.
“They also don’t always understand how the contract payments and schedules are supposed to work… [Contractors] would see a list of tasks but didn’t realize what they could invoice for; being asked to go above and beyond without getting paid for it.”David Jackson Jr.
Ultimately, Allied gives smaller contractors a chance to compete with large businesses and maintain steady contracts. This leads to greater diversity and a more level playing field in the contracting world: Something Allied-SCSS has further prioritized by supporting minority- and women-owned business enterprises (MWBEs) across the Dallas metropolitan area.
Working Capital Is King
“Businesses need to make sure that when the right opportunity for a contract presents itself, they’re ready for it. Access to capital is too often the only thing missing, which keeps a lot of these businesses from pursuing these opportunities.”David Jackson Jr.
Securing a government contract isn’t just about finding the perfect fit for the job, though. Contractors need working capital – “It’s the elephant in the room that a lot of people don’t like to discuss,” says David.
Due to the nature of contracting, it can take up to 60 days before contractors get their first payment. “We’ve constantly been looking for solutions to address that problem, along with the other direct and indirect contracting barriers present in corporate and government contracting,” said David.
Government contract opportunities also slowed down throughout the 2020 pandemic. In one instance, a Texas airport project was put on a year-long hiatus – and when the project finally came back around, it was more volatile due to changes to supply chains, staffing, and pricing.
[The pandemic] was extremely challenging, especially knowing there’s a lot of people going through it financially. Contractors needed and wanted to do the work… But without access to working capital, they couldn’t always complete the timelines.David Jackson Jr.
One simple way that Allied-SCSS has solved cash flow issues for clients? Offering QuickFee payment plans over 3 to 12 months, either to help with initial proposals or to free up working capital during a client’s project.
This has brought benefits for Allied, too: “It has also helped with our ability to execute on different things and the business that we have in our pipeline – we’re able to pursue it more assertively because we know the cash flow is there.”
Three Crucial Steps for Contracting Success
When it comes to soliciting a major government contract, there’s a lot of research and planning that goes on behind the scenes. That’s where Allied-SCSS comes in. “The key to securing any contract is due diligence and taking time to see if your business fits the need,” David shared.
As part of this due diligence, Allied takes a three-step approach to consulting.
1. Identifying and researching all contracting opportunities.
“We spend a lot of time researching what opportunities are out there and what is relevant for our clients, as well as reviewing solicitations,” says David. This also means asking the right questions and evaluating the contractor’s capacity, qualifications, and access to capital.
Here’s a practical example of how this works: “Say that a vendor comes to us and wants to work with TxDOT because they notice a lot of contracts being awarded. We start by helping them ask questions like: What products or services do you provide? Is that something TxDOT is looking for right now? Of course, a government body like TxDOT is massive and there are a ton of different departments. So, who do you have to talk to first? What certifications do you need, and how do you get them?”
By asking strategic questions, the Allied team can help contractors evaluate and manage their:
- Capacity and bandwidth
- Core competencies
- Scope of services
- Staffing needs
- Licensing and certification gaps
- Vendor partnerships
- Cash flow issues
2. Securing specific contract opportunities.
From finding relevant bid opportunities to crafting solicitation responses, Allied-SCSS guides clients through the process of winning a contract.
When the contractor needs to flesh out their go-no-go process – for instance, determining their competitiveness based on the evaluation criteria – Allied can also help get access to the right tools and resources to address the evaluation requirements. “It’s important to make sure that the services provided meet the terms of the contract,” says David.
3. Helping clients maintain the contract over time.
Allied-SCSS then builds a true partnership with each client by helping them properly manage compliance issues, supplies, subcontractors, and all other elements required for their contract. “We can handle a lot of the administrative and general management work – that’s really our core service, consulting our clients on how to work with the government or other large corporations.”
Expert Training and Resources for Small Businesses
For the team at Allied, consulting also means building an interconnected community of businesses and providing ongoing education for leaders. With a wealth of management courses, trainings, and in-person events, Allied-SCSS actively engages firms across the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, giving them the tools to succeed.
Allied’s goal is to have more small businesses educated, empowered, and ready to execute. Through their virtual and live event series called “Follow the Blueprint” – which covers select topics on government contracting, business development, and entrepreneurship – they’re showing their commitment to the small business community.
Ready to learn more about Allied-SCSS? Visit their website here.