Manufacturers see income opportunities with Defense contracts

Banks aren’t the only companies turning to the federal government during the recession. Facing anemic demand and slumping sales, manufacturers are increasingly attempting to tap the U.S. Department of Defense for contracting opportunities. And locally based consultant Nexpointe Strategies LLC is growing as a result.

Last year, Nexpointe launched a division called the DOD Supply Chain Network that trains firms to penetrate and capture a piece of the enormous annual defense market. In 2008, DOD bought goods and services worth $312 billion, and that’s not counting affiliated military purchases by U.S. allies.

But many small businesses have difficulty navigating the DOD’s contracting maze. Nexpointe researches sales prospects and guides its customers through the DOD bidding process. Nexpointe now has 25 small manufacturers as military contracting clients. Its staff includes small-business liaison Ron Martin, a former Defense Contract Management Agency executive. Nexpointe was founded by Republican Brose McVey, who’s best known locally for his unsuccessful 2002 bid to unseat the late U.S. Rep. Julia Carson.

"We learned when we studied this market for Gov. Daniels that our defense systems are growing in age, requiring a growing need for repair, maintenance and modification," McVey said.

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