News: ACC-KU holds vendor conference
Story by Spc. Bradley Wancour
KUWAIT CITY, Kuwait – Army Contracting Command-Kuwait and the 408th Contracting Support Brigade hosted the 2012 Kuwait Vendor Conference at the Kuwait Hilton Resort here, March 11.
The purpose of the conference was to discuss the steps needed for civilian businesses to enter into a contract with the U.S. government, said Lt. Col. Robert Brinkmann, ACC-KU commander, and San Antonio native.
“We explained everything: how to register to do business with the government, where to look for solicitations, how we evaluate, award and administer contracts, and finally how they get paid,” said Brinkmann.
More than 200 companies preregistered for the event, and despite harsh weather conditions, more than 300 event participants from all over Southwest Asia attended, said Maj. Marty Crouse, ACC-KU operations officer, and native of Manton, Mich.
“Attendees included Kuwait and U.S. firms that provide office supplies, furniture, building materials, electronics, as well as construction and renovation services,” said Crouse. “Also in attendance were representatives from the American embassy, Office of Military Cooperation-Kuwait, American Business Council of Kuwait, and the local Kuwait chapter of the Association of the United States Army.”
The conference wasn’t intended to accept bids or grant contracts, but rather to grow the pool of potential contractors in order to save the U.S. government money in the long run, said Brinkmann.
“The more competition between vendors, the better prices we get based on a free-market system,” Brinkmann explained.
This conference also fostered goodwill with local contractors in the interest of enabling the U.S. government’s mission in Kuwait, stated Brinkmann.
“There was a lot of substantive interaction between the local contractors and the participating government agencies” said Crouse.
Participants were given the opportunity to interact throughout the conference and question U.S. government panel participants, which included representatives from Army Contracting Command Rock Island, Army Corps of Engineers, Logistics Civil Augmentation Program, Defense Contract Management Agency, Defense Logistics Agency, Area Support Group-Kuwait, and contracting officers from ACC-KU.
The conference gave both ASG-KU and ACC-KU leadership the chance to explain the important role local vendors play in the relationship between the U.S. and Kuwait.
Overall, the 2012 Kuwait Vendor Conference was a success, Brinkmann and Crouse agreed.
“It was a good event, we should do it again next year,” said Brinkmann.
ACC-KU and the 408th Contracting Support Brigade is dedicated to supporting the mission in Kuwait by ensuring service and supply contracts are maintained by strengthening the U.S.-Kuwait partnership.