Government Contracting Questions & Answers

dod contract academy gobclose govclose government contracts q&a richard c. howard Apr 24, 2024

Today, we're delving into key takeaways from a recent episode of the DoD Contract Academy Podcast, hosted by Ricky Howard. This session was packed with valuable advice and expert insights aimed at helping you navigate the often complex landscape of government contracting. Whether you’re curious about the role of relationships, the intricacies of procurement processes, or the specifics of military purchasing, this post covers it all.

You can also watch this episode on YouTube: 

The Role of Relationships in Government Contracting

One of the most critical points Ricky emphasized is the importance of relationships in winning government contracts. It’s a common misconception that contracts are merely awarded based on bids and proposals. However, as Ricky pointed out, the human element cannot be underestimated. Building strong, trustworthy relationships with procurement officers and key decision-makers can significantly enhance your chances of winning contracts. This involves understanding their needs, demonstrating reliability, and maintaining consistent communication.

Demystifying Government Procurement Myths

Does the military buy ice cream? Are government contracts rigged? These are just a couple of the questions Ricky tackled. To the surprise of many, yes, the military does purchase ice cream, among other everyday items, as each base operates similarly to a small town. As for rigging, Ricky dispelled this myth by explaining the rigorous and transparent procedures followed in government procurement. The process is competitive and fair, aiming to ensure that the government gets the best value for taxpayers' money.

Tools of the Trade: CRM Systems

Another highlight from the podcast was the discussion about CRM tools, specifically the one Ricky uses—GovClose. CRM systems are crucial for managing relationships and keeping track of contract opportunities. GovClose, designed by Ricky himself, caters specifically to the needs of government contractors. It helps streamline processes, manage contacts, and track progress, which are essential for success in this industry.

Special Advice for 8(a) Companies

For 8(a) certified companies, Ricky shared some specialized advice. The 8(a) certification can provide tremendous opportunities through the ability to secure sole source contracts. Ricky underscored the importance of leveraging this advantage to build a solid foundation and prepare for competitive contracting once the 8(a) status expires. It’s about using the time during certification to establish a reputation and track record that will carry your company forward.

Navigating Industry Days and Meetings

Understanding the difference between an industry day and a regular meeting with government officials can also impact your contracting success. Industry days are invaluable for gaining insights into upcoming projects and networking with potential partners and government representatives. On the other hand, personal meetings are crucial for discussing specific opportunities and showcasing your company’s capabilities directly to the decision-makers.


Every episode of the DoD Contract Academy Podcast is designed to provide you with the knowledge and tools needed to succeed in the world of government contracting. From practical tips on proposal writing to strategic discussions about relationship building, Ricky Howard’s insights help demystify the process and increase your potential for success.

Stay tuned to for more updates, and don’t forget to tune into the podcast for a deeper dive into each of these topics. Whether you’re a seasoned contractor or just starting out, understanding these elements can significantly enhance your approach and set you up for long-term success in government contracting.


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Ray Sefrhans


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