A Q&A with Linda Krendick

Director of the Illinois Procurement Technical Assistance Center, Turner Center for Entrepreneurship at Bradley University

With more than five years of experience working with the Illinois Procurement Technical Assistance Center, Linda Krendick was appointed director of Illinois PTAC at Bradley University’s Turner Center for Entrepreneurship last November. Having served the same role at the organization’s previous host locations, Illinois Central College and The Heartland Partnership, it’s a role she’s more than prepared for.

Krendick is a Level II Associate Contracting Assistance Specialist with the National Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers and holds a degree in business management from the University of Illinois Springfield. Prior to her work for PTAC, she held leadership positions in the specialized area of automotive manufacturing.

  

Tell us about the Illinois PTAC resource center.
PTAC is a national organization with 10 centers in Illinois and 90 centers across the United States. We are a dedicated business solutions network that provides resources for businesses to become a supplier to government agencies and large businesses. We work with:

  • Any size of business on the processes to become a supplier
  • Diverse businesses (a minority, women or service-disabled veteran business owner with at least 51 percent ownership and 100 percent control) on how to leverage the business with certifications for set-aside contracts
  • Entrepreneurs that have a unique product or service regarding potential markets
  • Large businesses on fulfilling their subcontracting goals with the IL PTAC client base.

What makes a business successful in government contracting?
Various types of companies are successful at government contracting. For the most part, a business has to have an established commercial market, a history of past performance, and a commitment to quality and delivery. The Illinois PTAC explains all of these terms and conditions along with the processes of registration and certification.

In the January issue of iBi, Steve Hope and his business, CIAN Inc., were introduced. Steve used his leverage as a service-disabled veteran in the federal market to win contracts. I can assist businesses with the same tools. The federal government market is huge. Local federal markets include the Illinois National Guard and the USDA-NCAUR (Ag Lab).

Over the last five years, Illinois PTAC clients in Peoria have received $1,680,732,041 in federal, state and local government contracts:

  • 25 percent of our clients are construction and construction engineering firms, with awards of $160,725,830 to build schools, public buildings and clinics
  • 25 percent of our clients are manufacturers that make products for the Department of Defense and the Defense Logistics Agency
  • 25 percent of our clients are IT-related
  • 25 percent of our clients are retailers and wholesalers.

We also help companies that sell their products or services to Scott Air Force Base, the Rock Island Arsenal and the Great Lakes Naval Yard. Plus, we initiate local procurement with the County and City of Peoria, Peoria Housing Authority and the Peoria Park District.

Can you tell us how your current and former positions work together?
For almost 20 years, I had the good fortune to develop master planning procedures, new product development coordination and the production plan from launch to build-out of new models at Mitsubishi Motor Manufacturing of North America. I was responsible for compliance issues for sales and distribution to both Mitsubishi and Daimler-Chrysler. Plus, I was an ISO-certified internal auditor. This is where I learned continuous improvement standards. I had direct interaction with department heads and two separate corporate cultures to develop a quality product to sell to the commercial market.

The annual model sales and production forecast was established in Japan. As the market changed from week to week, I was responsible for a method called push/pull of inbound material to match the sales order. I prepared and coordinated the firmed production schedule (called the day-to-day build plan) to U.S. suppliers and already received engines and transmissions from Japan. I conducted weekly meetings of the day-to-day build plan with the vice president of manufacturing, engineering and production control to advise the fixed schedule, deviations, constraints and new models launch or build-out model timing. This build plan is sent by electronic data interchange (EDI) to suppliers. This was the suppliers’ authorization to make the part and gave the delivery timing.

The crossover between my previous roles in manufacturing has enabled me to understand the many challenges a business owner encounters. The operation may be smaller, but the processes, compliance and day-to-day activities are the same.

How do you make this happen?
I work with approximately 200 businesses annually. I conduct a comprehensive profile of each business, in which they tell me their strengths and weaknesses. A business owner is so involved in the day-to-day activities of running the business; they often do not have the time to research opportunities. This is what I do for them.

I communicate with buying officers, business owners and regional partners, and I do an analysis of how I can help and then drill down to possible solutions. I have proposed teaming with other businesses, reviewing new markets, cross referrals to other agencies, preparing capability statements, and advising clients about government trade shows and industry days. My assistance to clients on joint venture relationships and teaming efforts produced more than $12 million in contracts.

I am trying to expand their knowledge base and initiate a broader picture of market opportunities beyond Peoria. In order to think globally, we must realize our potential is not only local, but beyond.

What is PTAC’s relationship with Bradley University?
In November of 2012, the Turner Center for Entrepreneurship at Bradley University’s Foster College of Business Administration accepted the Illinois PTAC program into their comprehensive family of resources, which include the Illinois Small Business Development Center and the International Trade Center. The combination of talent and experience at all of the centers is incredible. We are also a partner with the Illinois Manufacturing Extension Center (IMEC) and the U.S. Department of Commerce at Bradley. Other partners include the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the U.S. Small Business Administration and the U.S. Department of Defense. Local partners include chambers of commerce, economic development groups, contracting officers and large businesses that do business with the federal government. Collectively, we support growth for all business owners in our region. iBi


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