WSSC & WMATA Procurement with Small Business

Posted Date: 
December 14, 2011


Towanda Livingston, WSSC Director, Small, Local and Minority Business Enterprise Office speaks to the Small Business Committee.
Vice-Chair Judy Stephenson, OfficePro, called the meeting to order and introduced the speakers. The committee first heard from Necola Shaw of WMATA.
Ms. Shaw presented a PowerPoint presentation entitled “Doing Business with Metro”.  She began by stating that Metro’s new theme is “Moving Forward”.  She said WMATA is 36 years in the business and that $5B is being spent to revitalize metro.  The effort will include an IT overhaul, including a new user friendly interactive system in at least three languages and other enhancements.  Currently, an APP exist that many customers utilize.
WMATA recently developed the Dept. of External Affairs & Community Service that will oversee rider concerns and work to fix various issues.  WMATA currently uses “mystery shoppers” throughout the system whose main focus is to ride the system regularly to find ways to improve and listen to rider complaints.
She explained in detail WMATA’s Small Business & Local Preference Program and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program.  She described the procurement overview, program overview and how to qualify.  Including, how to maneuver through the supplier registration system & codes to become a WMATA partner.  WMATA has a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with three federal agencies, including the U.S. Dept. of Transportation.
In closing, Ms. Shaw made a point to mention the importance of being truthful when answering questions.  If it is ever found out that a vendor was untruthful, not only will they never do business with WMATA but their name is placed in a national database and more than likely, no company or agency will do business with them.
WSSC’s Topic:  “Diversity…It’s Just the Way We Do Business”
Ms. Livingston presented a PowerPoint presentation entitled “Small, Local and Minority Business Enterprise (SLMBE) Program – “Diversity…It’s Just the Way We Do Business”.  She began describing organization structure of WSSC, her role and how she helps small businesses do business with WSSC.  Her department receives & reviews over 1,000 purchase orders on a weekly basis from various businesses.  The MBE program began in 1978 and WSSC is 100 years in the business.
She provided a detailed overview of the SLMBE Program which is one of the core strategies to achieving “World-Class” status at WSSC.  Promotes job creation and stimulates the local economy by increasing the contracting opportunities for small and minority businesses located in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties.  She mentioned WSSC’s four pillars of excellence that pave the road to supplier diversity are:  supplier advocacy; compliance, extensive outreach; and supplier development.  During the presentation she explained how WSSC determines which companies qualify as MBE and the requirements.
Both WMATA and WSSC are currently seeking strategic partnerships with qualified businesses.  There was a Q&A session where members of the committee asked questions.
After the meeting Ms. Shaw and Ms. Livingston, along with two of her team members, stayed to conduct several matchmaking sessions with various MCCC member companies which went really well.  All who participated found it to be extremely valuable.


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MCCC Strategic Partners