The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Small Business Office at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base not only focuses on helping small business learn how to work with the government but also on how the government can benefit from small business innovation and technology.
Luke Schultz, AFLCMC office director, is responsible for overseeing the center’s Small Business Offices at six locations across the country.
“I’ve been with the government for over 15 years, and before this position, I was the chief of the pricing division at the Air Force Installation Contracting Agency,” said Schultz. “My time working with small businesses on programs in the various positions I held before, ultimately prepared me for this position.”
The Small Business Office acts as a liaison between small businesses and AFLCMC, unlike the Small Business Administration, which acts to bolster small businesses. Working as business advisors to contracting officers, contract negotiators and program managers, this office advocates for the mission of AFLCMC, while looking for opportunities for small business.
“We’re a support service, representing not only the office of small business but identifying opportunities and encouraging the program offices to utilize small business when there are cost, schedule and performance benefits,” said Schultz.
He and his team of small business professionals assist teams in locating innovative, cost-saving solutions that small businesses can provide.
Since they work with more than 700 businesses a year, Schultz says the individuals in this office must be knowledgeable and well-rounded individuals.
“It’s important for small business professionals to understand the capabilities of small businesses so they can clearly articulate what the small business industry can provide,” said Schultz. “They’re not only helping the acquisition teams, but they’re also meeting with small businesses to understand their capabilities and concerns.”
One of Schultz’s goals is to leverage the knowledge and expertise that the office has and transfer that knowledge to the program offices and contracting experts.
“We’re here to maximize innovative, agile, and efficient small business solutions to the world’s greatest Air Force,” said Schultz.
For a listing of small business professionals, visit the AFLCMC Small Business Office website at https://www.wpafb.af.mil/aflcmc/sbo/.