Strategic Centric Solutions, LLC

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March 18, 2019 Issue



Material Broker, Strategic Centric Solutions, LLC is bringing Government Agencies together with Trusted Vendors of Durable Goods, Arms Ammunition and Parts to Hospital Supplies and Machining Services



Jason Tautfest

Chief Executive Officer & President


Strategic Centric Solutions, LLC


Interview conducted by:

Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor, CEOCFO Magazine, Published – March 18, 2019


CEOCFO: Mr. Tautfest, what is Strategic Centric Solutions?

Mr. Tautfest: We are a material broker that focuses on winning and executing contracts for various government agencies.  I have an extensive background in the military. I was an F16 mechanic while I went through collage, and then I actually became an F16 pilot. I flew in the Air Force for many years and worked within the F16 Systems Program Office as well. So, I have an end user’s perspective while at the other end of the spectrum, a program management, acquisitions, logistics, and sustainment perspective. I see there is a great need along this spectrum for this type of business and having my background and understanding makes this a natural fit.


CEOCFO: What is the company doing day-to-day and what are you doing for the government on a daily basis?

Mr. Tautfest: What we do is find contract solicitation opportunities through different search engines, the contracts that the government puts out there for different needs, whether it be paper or pens, or something very specific such as an aircraft part that needs to be made. We target certain avenues or lanes that we have knowledge in, and then we will go find those contracts and work with trusted vendors to submit bids to the government. If awarded the contract, we then put our plan into action. On a day-to-day basis, we are finding and at the same time fulfilling awarded contracts.


CEOCFO: What is the key to being an effective intermediary?

Mr. Tautfest: I think there are several things. I think you have to be diplomatic, you have to try to understand that everybody needs and requires a win. You cannot be greedy and need to be fair and ethic… you must make sure that the person you are going to do business with is going to get a good win as well. That’s motivating and builds good relationships of trust and cooperation. I also think it is important that you give personal attention to not only the customer but also the vendor that you are working with. I try to make sure that I go and physically visit people. I want to truly understand their needs, way of operating, and what challenges they face. Emails and phone calls are great but the old-fashioned way of going to someone, shaking their hand face-to-face and talking, I think is the best way to establish those relationships of trust. This is a timeless and universal principal I think applies to everything in we do.


CEOCFO: Would you tend to use the same vendors repeatedly once you find people that are good?

Mr. Tautfest: Absolutely. We are targeting certain areas of government needs and I need to find reliable vendors, so that when I win a contract, we already have that working relationship built. We already know and understand each other which simplifies the whole process easy then to make that bid where that project goes smoothly. If you are always trying to find a new vendor, it is like you are always trying to recreate the wheel and it gets very complicated. I like to find two, possible three vendors in a certain area in case I go to my primary and they say “I would love to help but you know, this is not on our books and we cannot do it because of a conflicting project.” If that is the case then I have my secondary and tertiary vendors to fall back on. I think in the end this is more cost-effective.


CEOCFO: How do you vet vendors?

Mr. Tautfest: Vetting is extremely important. It is like when you recommend a buddy for a job, you want to make sure that person is the person that you think he is, otherwise it looks bad on you. When I win a contract with the government, I am responsible for fulfilling that contract, not the vendor that I have subcontracted. Yes, I absolutely vet and do this by research. I try to find out as much as I can about their history, what projects they have done, who they have worked with. The best way to vet is physically going to meet them and understand what they do. I want to understand their way of business and ethics. I want to see if their workers are happy and if it is a positive environment. Probably the most important thing in vetting someone is understanding their character and how they do business. Whatever obstacle you run into, if you are working with someone who is ethical, moral, and wants to do the right thing, you can get through everything, I really believe that.


CEOCFO: What is your responsibility to the government in your transactions?

Mr. Tautfest: With the government, they clearly state their requirements in the statement of work. When I win a contract, I am obligated to meet every one of those requirements. When I deliver that product, I have to show them in proper documentation, sometimes even with testing, that this product meets every single requirement in that statement of work. This is my contractual responsibility and liability to the government.


CEOCFO: What surprised you as you started working on this side and what have you learned along the way about working with the government?

Mr. Tautfest: The government has many regulations. It is big with many moving cogs in the machine. You might be able to satisfy one group’s requirement but then there is an adjacent cog that maybe has different requirement. There is a thing called the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) which is a very large document and it states all the rules and requirements a contractor must comply with in order to do business with the government. It is imperative that you understand these FARs in order to fulfill your contractual obligations and liability. Sometimes these regulations require you provide more documentation or compliance than with certain commercial or retail requirements. The last thing you want to do is be caught off guard and realize late in the contract that you missed an important regulation. Depending on what it is, it could be a show stopper and be costly for both parties. I have learned this lesson the hard way unfortunately… but I’m better for it.  

Another thing I’ve learned is the importance of effective communication with your partnering vendor. When a contract is won and it’s time to put the plan into action, it is imperative that they clearly understand all the requirements and technical specifications that must be met. I have run into problems in the past where assumptions were made that lead to problems discovered post-production. This resulted in prolonged delays and unnecessary confusion on all ends. So, another important lesson learned is ensuring there is effective communication… a simple kick off meeting where all the details are discussed and understood is vital to successful execution.


CEOCFO: The Strategic Centric Solutions site shows a variety of core competencies. How have you developed such a wide range?

Mr. Tautfest: A smart person quickly realizes he does not know it all. If you think you know it all, you’re a fool and will struggle… so I try to surround myself with professionals that are knowledgeable and can teach me. I would never assume that I can know everything about all these industries we work with and the lines of products that we are brokering. It is important to find the right people who do and then trust their inputs. It is a team effort but at the end of the day I have to make the final decisions, but I do it relying heavily upon the subject matter experts around me.


CEOCFO: Are you typically providing a variety of products in one contract?

Mr. Tautfest: For the most part it is individual items. Sometimes you might see a contract that requires several individual parts plus installation needed to make it a functional system or unit. These needs are out there but we tend to focus on single items.   


CEOCFO: How are you able to use technology to stay on top of contracts?

Mr. Tautfest: With the government, there are several databases that they use to advertise contracts and it can be very confusing. I have hired a firm that specializes in database consolidation which makes finding easier and more time effective. Finding the right contracts can be a fulltime job considering all the databases out there. Therefore, having that right kind of technology to find is extremely important. They say time is money… so for my line of business its smart to invest in the right kind of software and technology that can consolidate information into a one-stop-shop.


CEOCFO: Is there a steady flow of projects and does business ebb and flow?

Mr. Tautfest: One good thing about doing business with the government is they are always needing something. There seems to be a steady stream of opportunities. It is finding your niche, being good at it, establishing a good repertoire and working relationship with all parties involved. The only time I have seen a reduction in solicitations is during government shutdowns or delays in passing fiscal budgets.


CEOCFO: Is there a place in the government today for quality?

Mr. Tautfest: Yes, and you hope that when the people who write these requirements in the statement of work, they are building in quality. If requirements are vague, who knows what you are going to get. You can see bids for the same solicitation with large bid differences because the requirements were not very specific. Since government contracts are usually awarded to the contractor who has the lowest price and is technically acceptable, you can get proposals that include the cheapest material, the cheapest way of manufacturing, etc. Since I have been the end user of government awarded contract products like the F-16, I know how important it is that our warfighters, officers, and all those who serve us have the best we can provide them. Their safety and survival depend on the quality of the product their using. You must never forget who the end user is in this business. That is way its important to understand your end-users’ real needs when building the requirements, placing them out for solicitation and then having private companies go procure these products. So, yes there is a real need for quality. Lowest price helps keep the costs down but what is technically acceptable is where quality is defined.


CEOCFO: How does your expertise help you when you are assessing a contract?

Mr. Tautfest: Being the end-user of government products in my career as an F16 pilot, I know the military standard of what is really needed. I know what the war fighter wants because I was the warfighter doing my job in unfriendly circumstances at times. I also have the experience of being in a Systems Program Office, were end users tell us what they need and we build cradle to grave programs to make it happen. Understanding the beginning, in between and end of this process, it gives me a unique perspective on the entry and exit requirements on products needed for the government. With this perspective and experience, I see myself as more than a business man trying to make a profit… I see this as an opportunity and obligation to serve my country in a different way than I have in the past.


CEOCFO: What is ahead for Strategic Centric Solutions?

Mr. Tautfest: We want to continue to grow at a controlled rate. We want to be smart about what we do and not over-commit, because when you start to over-commit, do not perform and for me it is all about performance. I would rather make my customer extremely happy and not make as much of a profit than try to do too much for more profit and end up not pleasing anybody. I want to focus on the performance of it. I am going to give government contracting officers, program managers, and users a level of service they are not use to. When I worked with and in the government, I rarely witnessed contractors who executed cleanly. I would see price changes, schedule delays, end items that did not meet the intent of the requirements, etc. In reality, this leads to wasted time, resources, and the end user having to wait to get what they really need. To me this is unacceptable and has been painful to experience. If a contractor comes in and says “Hey I understand exactly what you need, I understand how this works, and I am going to give you what you want with a commitment to effectively communicate with you throughout the process so we get it right the first time” I now all those involved on the government side would say, “You just made my job so easy, I love you”. This is what Strategic Centric Solutions does… So, when it comes time for another request for quote and they see Strategic Centric Solutions on their desk they are going to say… “I know he is going to make my job a lot easier and get it done right the first time.” That is what is ahead for us, to keep growing and while maintaining that level of quality, service, and commitment to our customer.



“I see this as an opportunity and obligation to serve my country in a different way than I have in the past… I am going to give government contracting officers, program managers, and users a level of service they are not use to.”- Jason Tautfest


Strategic Centric Solutions, LLC



Jason Tautfest








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