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How We Help Our Customers Stay Compliant

Insights from IBVI’s Senior Director of National Accounts, Dan Bailey

Like many, our Senior Director of National Accounts, Dan Bailey, travels extensively for his job. However, unlike most, his travel companion is a 6-year-old yellow Labrador from Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB), named “Phoenix.” In fact, over the four years they’ve been together, these two “road warriors” have taken over 400 flights to 36 states! 

But why so many miles? If you ask Dan, his motivation is carrying out IBVI’s mission of creating gainful and meaningful employment for those living with disabilities.

“It’s truly an honor being in a position to help hundreds of my fellow Americans with disabilities realize their own personal and economic independence”, says Bailey. “So many of these individuals are Blinded Veterans or Wounded Warriors, to whom I am eternally indebted and so grateful for.”

As one of our top AbilityOne specialists, Dan tells us more about how the compliance process works.

What’s your role at IBVI? What do you do to support IBVI customers?

I began my career with IBVI in December of 2000. For most of my time with IBVI, I worked with federal customers, promoting our eCommerce site via Federal Acquisition Workforce training sessions. 

In my role, I also get to provide business development support for both our Kitting and IBVI Custom capabilities. After analyzing military activities and Federal Agencies requirements, this involves scheduling meetings with key decision makers and influencers to add AbilityOne Procurement List contracts for any Kitting and Promotional Product needs. It’s truly a win-win, because not only do we get to serve our customers well, but the same relationships support our mission, ultimately generating additional employment opportunities for workers with disabilities.

What do you think customers are most looking for when they first get connected to IBVI?

The process can go a few ways depending on each customer’s situation. For most Federal micro-purchase cardholders, the primary focus is usually on procuring consumable AbilityOne supplies at a competitive price, and with reasonable delivery terms. This is where we can show each customer how aligns perfectly with these expectations.

If the customer is in federal contracting, they may already be familiar with our Kitting and/or Promotional Products capabilities. In this case, we assist them in getting products or services added to the AbilityOne Procurement List that will meet their specific requirements.

What questions do customers ask the most about engaging with IBVI as a partner?

It’s kind of like the popular phrase, “You don’t know what you don’t know”. When customers are first introduced to IBVI, they often find our capabilities more extensive and impressive than they initially expected. That’s why I like to take the time to walk them through an in-depth review of our proven track record, customer satisfaction testimonials, and CPARS ratings. 

However, the best way to truly understand our capabilities is for customers to personally tour our facilities and see our highly-skilled IBVI employees in action. Whether in the Milwaukee area or near one of our Base Supply Center (BSC) store locations across the country, we’re always happy to set up a tour so customers can experience things firsthand. 

Tell us about a rewarding interaction you had with an IBVI customer. What about it made you feel fulfilled in your role?

Over the course of my career, I’m truly fortunate to say I’ve had so many memorable moments. Recently, IBVI took part in an impactful collaboration on AbilityOne initiatives with the US Air Force. The Department of Defense places a strong emphasis on innovation, particularly through the Air Force’s “Art of the Possible” (AOP) initiative. Notably, the Contracting Chief at Robins Air Force Base has also become a dedicated AbilityOne advocate, pioneering the development of a brand new Customizable Kitting Service. My favorite part is that this innovative service not only addresses the Air Force’s increasingly intricate kitting requirements, but also now plays a crucial role in creating more meaningful employment opportunities for our highly skilled BVI employees.

Specifically about AbilityOne compliance, how do you guide customers in their quest for compliance?

That’s a great question, and one I’d like to turn over to my co-team members to provide some additional insight:

“I would say it is our understanding of the government procurement process. With government employees moving around so much, we often have customers from government agencies that might not understand what they can and cannot do. We can answer their questions and walk them through the process to make sure they are compliant with applicable Federal regulations.”

– Andy Kulich, IBVI Custom Senior Director 

“We educate customers about the AbilityOne program, identifying opportunities for federal customers to streamline their acquisition workload through AbilityOne contracts and procurement list additions. We work closely with them to simplify the seemingly daunting task of adding a product or service to the procurement list, making it understandable and manageable. Throughout this process, we explore federal requirements and aim to align IBVI’s core capabilities with the government customer’s needs. Additionally, we serve as Trusted Advisors on topics such as Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) 8.7, Essentially The Same (ETS), the BSC program, and emphasize the importance of Level III reporting.”

– Deborah Ambro-Crandell, Federal Business Solutions Director for IBVI

For our customers, it comes down to guiding them through a sometimes complex procurement process and getting them the products they need in a timely manner. Put even more simply, it’s about leading them and meeting their needs. But it goes even deeper as we know that these efforts also support the employment of our blind and visually impaired team members.

So as Dan and Phoenix travel around to meet with customers, they have a special goal to provide for customers and bring the IBVI mission of blind employment to life.


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