Ronald Smith Contracts
Phone: (202) 664-0707
You Can’t Make this Stuff Up (2015/2016)
This presentation is a frequent contribution to the Defense Acquisition University (DAU) CON360 management course. Nine case studies ranging from the American Revolution to the present day illustrate management dilemmas in Ethics & Compliance, the Requirements process, Market Research, and Source Selection. Using practical illustrations and examples from personal experience, Ron Smith facilitates an interactive and pragmatic discussion with the CON360 classes of senior Front-Line government contracting officials.
The Dyckman Stipend: A Revolutionary Lesson in Ethics and Compliance (2015)
A cautionary tale of ethics and misadventure that is still relevant in the procurement headlines of the 21st Century. Except for the tri-corner hats and the white stockings this could be about the Tanker scandal of 2004 or the Fat Leonard scandal of 2016.
Keeping It Simple (Sometimes): Acquisition Thresholds are Changing (Or Not) (2015)
The Department of Defense spends almost $20B per year through simplified procedures. That’s big dollars, but only about 2% of the total spend. The corollary is that the other 98% of this spend is done the hard way. This article discusses the impact of the Simplified Acquisition Threshold on small businesses and the need for more simplification.
Four Trains Running: The Race to Unscramble Technology Procurement (2015)
Need more advanced technology faster? Just add more regulations. A discussion of the challenges of bringing technology to the Government effectively in a dynamic and insecure Cyber world.
Government/Industry Teamwork in the Age of Oversight (World Congress Session B05, Monday July 27, 2015)
Ron Smith teamed with former senior government executive Dee Lee to present a point-counterpoint discussion of the current state of buyer/seller relationships in federal contracting. Discussion will cover the trend toward outsourcing of the procurement mission, changing demographics within the workforce, subcontractor vs prime contractor risk profiles, and the historic change of priorities from mission performance to audit/oversight. The discussion will conclude with best practices for successfully fulfilling the mission while fulfilling oversight requirements.
A House Divided: multiple procurement systems under one roof (2015)
Presentation for Greater Iowa NCMA spring conference highlights the challenges of sustaining efficient contract compliance systems across the Global enterprise. The contracts and subcontracts team must resolve the complexities and contradictions of compliance schemes ranging from the Federal Acquisition Regulation to the European Union to country-specific requirements across the globe. The challenge is to meet contractual requirements in every market while maintaining the discipline and profitability of the organization.
International Contracting (2014-2015)
Presentation for NCMA chapters in Phoenix AZ and Tucson AZ, and the NCMA Virtual Chapters. This presentation highlights the factors that differentiate truly global contracting practices from the projection of US domestic processes into international markets. This presentation includes coverage of cultural and operational tactics for conducting business successfully on a worldwide basis.
Budget Austerity (2013)
Presentation for NCMA Greater Baltimore chapter. The current version is an update to earlier presentations for World Congress 2013 (with Cynthia Jennings) and for the NCMA Rio Grande chapter in Albuquerque NM. This topic will remain current so long as constrained budgets continue to challenge the procurement workforce.
Headed for a Train Wreck (2006)
Published in Service Contractor magazine (with Sandra O. Sieber), this article predicts qualitative and quantitative to be anticipated within the Federal workforce as of FY2006. Many of these challenges have since occurred as predicted, while some of the recommended remedies have been partially implemented. From a 2015 retrospective, this article gives perspective and insight to the workplace and workforce changes of the past decade.
Contract Management Body of Knowledge (2004)
After more than a decade in print, the CMBOK continues to be recognized as a preeminent source of knowledge that aids to advance our profession. Recently updated in its 4th Edition by Marge Rumbaugh, the CMBOK remains one of the core volumes for the understanding of contracts and procurement. Originally published in 2004 (with Marlys Norby and Emmalyn Smith).
Government Contract Administration Continuous Improvement Projects: A Fresh Look at Government/Industry Teamwork (1993)
This article, published in Contract Management magazine (with Frank Colaw), provides for the reader a window into the history of the profession from an era when the arms-length relationship was shaped by professionalism and respect. This topic was refreshed in a session with Ron Smith and former government executive co-presenter Dee Lee at World Congress 2015 in Dallas TX.
FAR SOLICITATIONS: Business at the Same Old Stand (1984)
This article published in Contract Management magazine discusses the 1984 FAR changes to shift the regulatory preference from formal advertising to “other than the lowest bid.” With word processing of the term “formal advertising” to read “Lowest-Price Technically Acceptable (LPTA)” and an update of the FAR clause citations this text could be ready for 2015 publication.
Ron Smith has authored four books addressing contracts and procurement topics as well as numerous articles and presentations. His writings provide insights and pragmatic approaches to the challenges of our profession:
The Changing Face of Subcontracting (2016)
These presentations are focused on the challenges of subcontract managers in navigating a complex set of customer demands, flow down clauses, and regulatory requirements spanning a marketplace of US Government, commercial customers, and Global supply chains. These increasing complexities and specific customer mandates are presented against the backdrop of a growing dependency on the supply chain for competitiveness and efficiency. The presentation emphasizes the need to efficiently harmonize multiple procurement systems across multiple cultures, organizations, and regulatory protocols. Focus is on the systemic balance between divergent customer demands versus the need for efficiency and profitability in every industry and company.