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On Distribution Talk, we dive into the stories, struggles and solutions from interesting characters who have chosen to make a career in the distribution industry. My goal is to entertain, educate and inspire you through these brief conversations.  Thank you for visiting.  If you like what you hear, come visit us often. -Jason

Jun 1, 2022

Government contracts aren’t for the faint of heart. Rick Lamb, marketing manager with Frank’s Supply in Albuquerque, NM, understands the arduous truth of that statement better than most. Jason chats with Rick about the complexities inherent to General Services Administration (GSA) certification and why it might make sense for other suppliers to jump through those hoops.

When Frank’s found itself in a position to bid for its first government contract in 1996 for Los Alamos National Lab, Rick found himself in the thick of it. “We had never even attempted something like that,” he says, but two Frank’s employees who knew just enough about GSAs to convince the company to put together a bid. 

Nine months later, Frank’s phone rang. “It was Christmas Eve, 1996. We get a call from the head of purchasing at Los Alamos, and they go, ‘Be ready to start the contract April 1st.’” Frank’s first scramble was on. 

While the bid timeline has shortened somewhat since the mid-90s, other aspects, like authentication and security clearance, have grown increasingly rigorous. Vendors must detail every level of the contract’s implementation, from the level of support to chain of responsibility to security clearances and  quality assurance programs,

But is the GSA route profitable? 





Special thanks to our sponsor for this episode: INxSQL Distribution Software, integrated distribution ERP software designed for the wholesale and distribution industry.


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Distribution Talk is produced by The Distribution Team, a consulting services firm dedicated to helping wholesale distribution clients remove barriers to profitability, generate wealth and achieve personal goals.   

This episode was edited & mixed by The Creative Impostor Studios.