Q. How do I register my small business with CenturyLink?
A. You will need to complete the online Prospective Supplier Registration Form to be placed in CenturyLink's database of potential suppliers. Our supplier database is a primary resource tool used throughout the organization to identify qualified suppliers for participation in upcoming bids. If there's an opportunity, a CenturyLink staff member will contact you.
Q. How does CenturyLink evaluate suppliers?
A. In evaluating your capabilities, CenturyLink considers such factors as:
Quality and service standards
Past performance within the federal community
Niche or innovative technology offerings
Q. Does CenturyLink team with small businesses solely as a prime contractor?
A. No, CenturyLink Government Services pursues both primary and subcontractor teaming opportunities. CenturyLink works with qualified small businesses in pursuing strategic set-asides where each party can bring strength to the team.
Q. What does the term "certified" mean when referring to diverse businesses?
A. To become "certified", a business must be validated by a 3rd party certifying agency that ensures a business is actually owned, controlled, and operated by the diverse applicant (small, small disadvantaged (minority), women, veterans, service-disabled veterans, and HUBZone businesses). This due diligence ensures only those businesses that meet the strict eligibility requirements of the program are certified.
Q. What are the different types of certifications available?
A. Certifications are available for small, minority, women, veterans, and HUBZone businesses. The advocacy organizations listed below provide third-party certification information. Please contact the appropriate organization from the following list:
National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) www.nmsdc.org
Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) www.wbenc.org
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) www.sba.gov
U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) www.vetbiz.gov
Some local and state governments have their own small, minority and woman-owned business certifications. Please check the web sites of your local and state governments for information.
Q. Is my company eligible for certification?
A. Business owners must meet certain criteria in order to become certified. There are basic guidelines and requirements common to many certification programs; however each certifying agency may have additional or different criteria. Some of the basic requirements for minority and/or women business owner certifications are as follows:
The business is 51% or greater owned and controlled by one or more minorities or women. The applicant(s) must be able to show that one or more minorities or women control the history of company management and daily business operations.
The term "minority" refers to ethnic minority of either gender of the following categories: African American, Hispanic American, Native American, Asian-Pacific American and Asian-Indian American
Business owners must be U.S. Citizens, however, some certification agencies will accept Legal Resident Alien status.
Q. How can I become certified?
A. For more information about certification, contact the above mentioned agencies.
Q. How long will the certification process take?
A. The certification process can range from 30-90 days once the application is submitted to the certification agency. The length of time varies and is dependent upon the certification agency and if additional documentation is needed in order to complete the application process. Although each certification application includes a checklist of required documents, occasionally certifying agencies will require explanations or additional documents in order to complete the application review process. This is usually based on the complexity of the ownership and/or management of the applicant company.
Q. Are there any additional documents needed to become an approved supplier?
A. To give CenturyLink's program credibility and meet federal regulations, we must obtain your business certification verifying your business type based on NAICS code criteria (see NAICS website http://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/files/Size_Standards_Table.pdf for details). Prior to approval, all businesses are required to register their company at the System for Award Management (SAM), a Federal Government owned and operated free web site that consolidates the capabilities in CCR/FedReg, ORCA, and EPLS. CenturyLink checks the representations and certifications created by supplier registrants to verify the small business status (if applicable) of that entity. Please visit the SAM website. https://www.sam.gov/portal/public/SAM/ to register your business. If you had an active record in SAM you do not need to do anything in SAM unless a change in your business circumstances requires updates to your Entity record(s).
Q. Will registering with the program ensure CenturyLink does business with me?
A. No, the Small Business Program helps companies to be considered for business with CenturyLink. We cannot guarantee supplier registration will ensure business.
Q. What are the benefits of joining CenturyLink's Small Business Program?
A. The benefits of small business program participants include:
Access to corporate contacts
Access to small business contract opportunities within the public sector
Increased visibility throughout the CenturyLink organization
Opportunity to strategically offer competitively priced products and services
Potential to achieve profitable growth for your company
Q. I have registered as a supplier with CenturyLink, what do I do next?
A. Once you have registered in our supplier database, you will receive a confirmation email notifying you that your profile has been successfully submitted. Because of the volume of inquiries that we receive, a CenturyLink employee will not contact you unless a procurement requirement matches your company's offering. You will then be asked to respond to a Request For Quote (RFQ), Request For Information (RFI) or Request For Proposal (RFP).
Q. How can I get in touch with a business unit directly?
A. Due to the large volume of inquiries we receive, we do not provide direct phone numbers or email addresses of our internal business units. Instead we use the supplier database as a means of routing supplier information to the appropriate parties. If you have a product or service you would like to introduce to CenturyLink, please register with us in the supplier database.
Q. Where can I see a list of opportunities to bid on?
A. We do not post a list of open Request for Proposals (RFP). Our procurement team and pertinent CenturyLink employees will search in our supplier database for matching suppliers when a RFP is required and will contact these companies by phone or email. Please register with our database to have your company profile made available for viewing.
Q. What commodities and services do you purchase?
A. CenturyLink has a broad array of commodity and services needs with requirements that vary by solicitation. The vast majority of opportunities with CenturyLink can be found in Subsector 517 (Telecommunications) and Subsector 541 (Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services) of SBA's North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) (http://www.sba.gov). When you fill out your application form make sure you indicate your primary industry code(s) using NAICS in order for us to quickly search for your specific industry in our database.
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