June 2018

218 219 SHORE SOLUTIONS the manufacturer, so that they can go direct and get taken care of.We truly go above and beyond for our customers because we understand the parameters in which they’re working, which are not the commercial environment. Every single unit command requirement is unique and is to be treated as such. You have to care about who you’re serving.” A third competitive advantage lies in the way in which federal contracts are awarded, and in this regard, Shore Solutions qualifies for several spe- cific categories, known as “set asides,” which give preference to certain minority-owned businesses. “The set asides that we currently have are: 8(a) (Business Development Program), which is the most difficult to get and most sought after,” Bank- er notes. “The next one is HUBZone (Historically Underutilized Business Zone); then SDVOB (Ser- vice Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business); Economically Disadvantaged Woman-Owned Small Business; Minority Business Enterprise; and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise. And, it’s in the interest of a lot of commands and units to utilize us because they get credit for each set aside that we have. It’s something that they really like when they’re purchasing though us, because they get credit in all the categories.” Banker adds that the company’s 8(a) certifica- tion is its newest set aside, and one that should boost sales dramatically, because it’s so attractive to buyers. “It allows all entities on the federal, state, and local side to be able to do a full source contract up to $4 million, which means the bid- ding process that can take up to six months can lies in its keen understanding of just how the military, specifically the Navy, which is the major source of the company’s revenue, procures goods. Banker explains, “A lot of the requests that we get aren’t just ‘Hey, we need products.’ A lot of times they’ll say, ‘We have this requirement.’ It might be, say, tactical gear. They’ll tell us the requirement but they don’t always have all of the information, because the guys that are usually buying are not the ones that are utilizing the equipment – they’re just passing on the information. So, a lot of times, we get the requirements and work everything on the back end to figure out which manufacturers can fulfill the requirement, which ones can meet the deadline, which ones are compliant, and of those, which ones do we have the best relationship with.” “So, we assess the requirement that the end users have and provide them with the best solution,” she continues. “Most times it’s going to be through us, but there are times when they’ll bring a requirement to us and it’s not in the best interest of the customer, or for us, to take that deal. So, we’ll push them in the direction of