CDW names small business team

CDW-G's request for proposals

Government reseller CDW Government Inc. has named a dozen companies to its team of small business partners.

The company picked 12 small and disadvantaged businesses out of the original pool of 24 that responded to a request for proposals. CDW-G's plan is to create a team of partners skilled in various technology areas as a complement to CDW-G's products, said Jim Shanks, company president. The partners are under contract for one year.

"We can go out and be focused on the customer, rather than focusing on getting these arrangements into place," Shanks said. "We were looking for people that had some experience with the federal government. Past performance is a key factor in determining future business. When you look at small businesses, they are very impressive in their focus on certain niches."

CDW-G wants its partners to work together to strengthen one another and improve the overall value, he said. "Six months to a year down the road you'll see a very open and free flow of information between the organizations," he said. "The reason we wanted to keep the group small is we want this to be an integrated, interactive group. We wanted everybody coming to the table."

"We'd been competing with them and we had beat them a couple of times," said Michael Pitts, director of federal programs at Quality Associates Inc. in Columbia, Md., one of the partners. "Lo and behold, the e-mail came in soliciting small business partners, and we thought that was kind of interesting."

The relationship with CDW-G is a boon for Quality Associates, Pitts said. CDW-G has "huge" marketing resources compared to Quality, he said. "As a small business, being able to leverage that muscle is very important," said Pitts, whose 41-person company specializes in document imaging.

CDW-G's new pact will expand business for each partner, said Bill Leslie, account manager at Collins Consulting Inc. in Chicago.

"Just the exposure alone is going to increase the awareness on the part of federal agencies that competent small businesses are out there. Number two, for us, it's going to position us in the marketplace where we're going to be looked on as one of the leaders in pushing for small business to get their fair share of government contracts," he said.

Partners' emphasis on services make them useful for CDW-G to have on hand, said Roy Igersheim, chief executive officer at Management System Services Inc. in Rockville, Md.

"We're much more service-oriented," Igersheim said. "If it's broke we'll fix it. We try to deliver products in 24 hours on request."

The full list of CDWG partners:

* BCS Technology, Inc. of Washington, D.C.*

Betis Group, Inc. of Arlington, Va.

* Collins Consulting, Inc. of Schaumburg, Ill.

* HubZone Technology Consulting of Washington, D.C.

* International Computing Systems, Inc. of Fairfax, Va.

* Knowledge Information Solutions, Inc. of Virginia Beach, Va

* Management System Services, Inc. of Rockville, Md.

* Mega-Tech, Inc. of Falls Church, Va.* Quality Associates, Inc. of Columbia, Md.

* Strategic Business Systems, Inc. of Chantilly, Va.

* T3 Corporation of Fairmont, W.V.

* TMCI, The McVey Company of Falls Church, Va.

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