For the 5th Time, Sabre88 Appears on the Inc. 5000

Ranking No. 3383 

“A mere 4% of companies have made the list 5 times” – James Ledbetter

Inc. Recognizes the fastest-growing private companies in America. This year, the winners have, once again, placed the bar very high. Companies that made the list, on average, have grown sixfold since 2015. During a stretch when the economy grew around 2 percent, that’s a result most business can only dream of. We are delighted to announce Sabre88 has been ranked 3,383 on the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies, for the year 2019. The list represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the American economy’s most dynamic segment—its independent small businesses. Microsoft, Dell, Domino’s Pizza, Pandora, Timberland, LinkedIn, Yelp, Zillow, and many other well-known names gained their first national exposure as honorees on the Inc. 5000. To be considered a company must submit an Application to INC 5000 Must have consistent exponential growth over the course of 3 years 5 consecutively.

Our CEO Bob Cottingham this said about the reception of Sabre88’s fifth consecutive Inc 5000 win. “We are excited to be on the Inc 5000 list for the fifth year in a row its truly a testament to the hard work and dedication our employees have put in to serving our government customers”

The 2019 Inc. 5000 is ranked according to percentage revenue growth when comparing 2015 and 2018. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2015. They had to be U.S.-based, privately held, for profit, and independent. “The companies on this year’s Inc. 5000 have followed so many different paths to success,” says Inc. editor in chief James Ledbetter. “There’s no single course you can follow or investment you can take that will guarantee this kind of spectacular growth. But what they have in common is persistence and seizing opportunities.”

 

The annual Inc. 5000 event honoring the companies on the list will be held October 10 to 12, 2019, at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and Spa in Phoenix, Arizona.

 

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                            CONTACT: Ben Bratton

August 8, 2019                                                                                                                   Brand Strategy Manager

973-321-4886

 

Sabre88 Awarded Contract with the U.S. Department of the Interior

Award expands the influence of a company that has been providing reliable administrative support services to the Federal Government since 2008.

Newark, N.J., August 8, 2019 – Sabre88, LLC, a provider of professional, technology and management services announced yesterday that it was, recently awarded a contract to provide support to the Office of the Executive Secretariat and Regulatory Affairs (OES) at the Department of the Interior.  The contract has a one-year base period plus two one-year option periods and provides Freedom of Information Act processing services.

The Freedom of Information Act is a law that gives any person the right to type request federal agency records and requires federal agencies to make certain types of information available without a request. Sabre88 will be working to ensure quality timely responses to requests for federal agency records from the Office of the Secretary to meet the increased demand.

“Sabre88, LLC is grateful to usher in a new working relationship with the United States Department of the Interior with the award of this contract,” said Robert Cottingham, Jr., Chairman and CEO of Sabre88.   “And for the opportunity to further its reputation as a business focused on upholding its core values and providing precise, swift solutions to the federal government.”

About Sabre88

All of the figures that point to our growth and capabilities are second to the fact that Sabre88 provides customers with the defined and impactful solutions to everyday problems.  Founder, Robert Cottingham, Jr., began the firm from the ground up in 2008 after realizing a need for innovative small businesses that can provide the government with 100% customer focused service.  For Sabre88, this unique outlook in approach is the foundation of the company’s sustainability and growth which allows the organization to not just win new opportunities, but develop exclusive and individualized partnerships based on the customer’s unique circumstances.

GSA Senior Advisor Leaves Agency: The Future of FEDRAMP

Matt Goodrich, a senior advisor at GSA, recently left the agency. Goodrich announced his departure from the agency with a tweet that detailed his exact departure date to be the 26th of July 2019. Goodrich was head of  FedRAMP, GSA’s Federal Risk and Management Program, from 2011 to August 2018. FedRAMP is a GSA security program that secures cloud services. According to the FedRAMP website, FedRAMP now offers services to over 150 agencies and covers more than 5 million assets.

Goodrich ran the program until August 2018 when he was promoted to head GSA’s Office of Products and Programs or OPP and Ashley Mahan took over as FedRAMP’s current acting director. As head of OPP Goodrich was able to oversee the FedRAMP program in addition to monitoring some of GSA’s other technological services such as their data analysis portfolio.

Ashley Mahan, who has been referred to as FedRAMP’s evangelist, has been acting director since August of 2018. Mahan’s work has helped grow FedRAMP from a program with 60 agency users to a program with 150 agency users. In her year as Acting Director of the program, Mahan was able to reduce the timeline of authorization with the program by 75 percent. Mahan’s work leaves little doubt that she will continue as an effective leader of the program, however, Goodrich’s work with FedRAMP from the start has been instrumental in making the program as widely renowned as it is today. There is little known about where Goodrich plans to go now that he has left GSA, in the tweet he released announcing his departure he said he would be headed to the private sector, however little is known about exactly where he plans to go.

 

Author: Allie Cottingham

 

Sources:

https://fcw.com/articles/2019/07/15/goodrich-leaving-gsa.aspx?m=1

https://www.nextgov.com/it-modernization/2019/07/mr-fedramp-leaving-government/158425/

https://washingtonexec.com/2019/04/fedramp-ashley-mahan-changes-goals/#.XUGnG5NKjdR

https://fcw.com/articles/2018/08/24/leadership-changes-fedramp.aspx

https://www.fedramp.gov/about/

https://www.fedscoop.com/goodrich-promoted-opp-mahan-lead-fedramp/

https://www.gsa.gov/about-us/organization/federal-acquisition-service/technology-transformation-services/office-of-products-and-programs

Understanding Empathy in the Workplace

An empathetic workforce is a productive workforce. According to Businessolver’s 2017 Workplace Empathy Monitor report, empathy has a direct impact on employee productivity, loyalty, and engagement. Seventy-seven percent of workers would be willing to work more hours for a more empathetic workplace; meanwhile, 60% would actually accept a reduced salary for a more empathetic workplace. Simply put, empathy is the ability to step into someone else’s shoes, be aware of their feelings and understand their needs. It is the ability to experience and relate to the thoughts, emotions or experience of others. Empathy is more than just sympathy, which is being able to understand and support others with compassion or sensitivity. Given that one-in-three workers would leave their companies for a more compassionate environment, there’s a major incentive for companies to emphasize an empathetic work culture. Empathy requires individuals to take the initiative to get closer to their coworkers. That initiative doesn’t come out of thin air: a compassionate workplace requires a conscious, organization-wide effort from the leadership team to the individuals working throughout the company. Claiming to be a “good listener” isn’t enough in a world where 30% of employees feel their opinions don’t matter, you must demonstrate it. Listening isn’t just hearing words but seeking to understand. Watching is also critical to building your ability to empathize with other people, body language can often tell you more about what people think and feel than their words can. Demonstrating empathy takes time and effort to show awareness and understanding. Being empathetic allows leaders to help struggling employees improve and find their strengths, a leader can show empathy by using direct eye contact while talking and sitting in a comfortable setting versus across a room or behind an imposing desk.  As you become more proficient at understanding your own feelings, you’ll get better at understanding the feelings of the people around you. When you understand your team, you have a better idea of the challenges ahead of you. When you stop and think, “How am I feeling” right after you receive a new, huge assignment?” and the answer is, “excited and overwhelmed,” then you can apply that to others around you. Eighty-seven percent of CEOs see a direct link between workplace empathy and business performance, productivity, retention, and general business health. In the workplace, empathy can show deep respect for co-workers and show that you care, as opposed to just going by rules and regulations. Your tone of voice and speaking with one another instead of communicating almost exclusively by email, text, Slack, or other messaging services can help you build empathy. This is because you understand what your coworker thinks and feels, or at least you understand their feelings. Additionally, using video conferencing instead of just teleconferencing can help you watch and listen to your colleagues. Some people resist the idea of video conferencing because they don’t feel comfortable on camera. That’s understandable, but that discomfort can help everyone understand each other better. You can’t push people to open up about their feelings and run when they do. That behavior makes for a less pleasant, empathetic workplace. But, when you take personal responsibility to better understand your coworkers, your company ultimately reaps the rewards. Eighty-seven percent of CEOs believe a company’s financial performance is tied to empathy in the workplace, as do 79% of HR professionals. An empathy index published in the Harvard Business Review found that the 10 most empathetic companies increased in value more than twice as much as those at the bottom of the index and they generated 50% more earnings defined by market capitalization, from one year to the next. According to Linda Saxl Minton, “Companies that have the ability to listen, to be empathetic, may make better business partners which could lead to higher revenues”, and in fact concurring with her point, 42% of consumers would refuse to buy from a company that they don’t believe to be empathetic according to Businessolver. Overall, when you use empathy in the workplace, you can understand your coworkers better. And that’s great for any business.

 

Author: Bobby Cottingham

 

Sources:

https://www.ccl.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/EmpathyInTheWorkplace.pdf

https://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/brand-connect/businessolver/rewards-multiply-with-workplace-empathy/?noredirect=on

https://www.sbnonline.com/article/the-importance-of-empathy-in-the-workplace/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/karenhigginbottom/2018/05/31/why-empathy-matters-in-the-workplace/#2823ad361130

https://www.thebalancecareers.com/using-empathy-to-improve-your-workplace-4157504

https://www.askspoke.com/blog/support/workplace-empathy/

https://fistfuloftalent.com/2018/03/leaders-use-empathy-cheat-sheets-long-mean.html

https://www.psychalive.org/empathy-can-help-us-right-now/

Quality Summit to Increase Quality Care

The US Department of Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan announced the formation of the Quality Summit in order to bring together key industry stakeholders and government leader to discuss how current quality programs can be further evaluated and improved upon. Recently the President has signed the Improving Price and Quality Transparency in American Healthcare to Put Patient’s First Executive Order. This is to direct federal agencies to develop a Health Quality Roadmap that aims to align and improve reporting on data and quality measure across many federal health programs. There has been a slight improvement over the years regarding HHS quality programs but the many programs have not been evaluated since their inception. The Summit will be chaired by Deputy Secretary Hargan and Peter Pronovost, M.D., Ph.D., an internationally renowned expert on healthcare quality and patient safety. Participants of the Summit are mostly comprised of government stakeholders and approximately 15 non-government healthcare industry leaders who will offer critical insight into discussion pertaining to the modernization of HHS’s quality and access to care. They will also identify regulations and mechanisms that need to be overhauled in order to improve the provider’s ability to deliver high-quality care to patients. This Summit marks the start of a new initiative that could potentially change the current HHS Quality Programs. The changes that can be enacted during this summit could potentially produce more jobs and contracts for small businesses. However, on the flip side, this could also reduce opportunities as well since this could cut jobs and contracts that are inefficient/non-beneficial for the programs. Whatever the case there is definitely change on the horizon, whether it would affect us negatively or positively only time will tell.

HHS will accept nominations for participants beginning on Tuesday, July 9, 2019, and ending on Wednesday, July 31, 2019. Nominations should consist of a one-page cover letter summarizing an applicant’s qualifications along with an applicant’s resume or CV. Nominations must be submitted via e-mail to DeputySecretary@hhs.gov with the subject line: “Quality Summit Application.”

Author: Larry Pan

Link: https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2019/07/09/hhs-announces-quality-summit-streamline-improve-quality-programs-government.html

The Importance of Strong Communication in the Workplace and How to Improve Your Own

Effective communication practices can help a business reach its goal of increased productivity.

It is important to recognize the status of how open and fluid communication from employee to employee and employee to customer are within your workplace. A lack of communication creates misunderstandings, conflict and gaps in task and projects. In fact, research by US firm Gartner shows a whopping 70% of business mistakes are due to poor communication. Strong communication improves team building, boosts company growth, and increases innovation. As Cisco managing director Alex Goryachev writes on Forbes: ‘People listen mostly to respond rather than to understand. However, digitization demands active listening to the ecosystem in order to survive and develop collaborative strategies with startups, partners and customers around the world’. Companies with good communication practices encourage employees to speak up and employees tend to feel more comfortable in these settings. You never know the hidden talents of your employees or fellow co-workers until you communicate with them. The best companies don’t wait until disaster strikes to start communicating. If the company’s been honest and communicating effectively all along, they have a valuable reservoir of trust built up. At Sabre88 we have lunch meetings with the whole back office staff bi-weekly where we get to chat and get to know our co-workers a little more. Effective, honest communication can bind employees together. If the staff is talking with each other on the job, it is a strong indication you are building a good team. Employees who look forward to talking with their colleagues are more enthused about coming to work, and more willing to participate in group projects. According to a Watson Wyatt study, companies that communicate the most effectively are 50% more likely to report low turnover levels compared with the industry average. With the right communication applications, a leader can influence initiative buy-in from their team. Additionally, building strong communication with coworkers gives a leader more information about their employees, and often information they would have otherwise overlooked. This information can help a leader make more strategic decisions on delegation, employee development, team development, and strategic initiatives to drive business success.

If you think your company’s communication status is lacking or not where you want it to be, don’t be discouraged. There are many methods in which a team can strengthen their co-operative communication. Here are some of the best methods for strengthening team communication that may prove useful to you.

  • Feel out the other person’s preferred communication style:

Maybe some of your team members are rarely on their email, whereas others respond to emails instantly. Some prefer in-person communication while others feel more comfortable calling into the video conference, are comfortable How do your employees and teammates communicate on projects best? Do they prefer email, in-person chats, or phone calls? You can learn this by asking them directly and also through observation.

  • Keep workflows transparent:

If your team is working on a big project together. Is everything clear? Does the entire team know the project’s deadline, individual responsibilities, and when they’re expected to hand those parts off to other teammates?

  • Set up Weekly or Monthly 1:1s:

By setting up a recurring meeting to touch base with coworkers, you’ll learn more about the inner workings of what’s going on the office and have a better idea on how to avoid misconceptions

  • Stay Consistent with Expectations and Follow up:

It’s easy to forget about regular check-ins when work gets busy, but it’s one of the best ways to maintain effective workplace communication. Consistency creates clarity.

  • Offer Constructive Feedback in a Thoughtful Way.

Focus on the subject of improvement, not the individual’s character. Always, always give the other person an opportunity to share their thoughts and contribute to building a positive process moving forward

  • Offer Compliments in a Thoughtful way:

If you tell an employee they did a great job, the compliment isn’t as helpful as you think. They may be left thinking, “But what was great about it? How can I replicate it if I don’t know?” Be specific instead — “You did a great job researching the contracting agency and taking valuable notes that will be used later.

  • Follow Up in Writing:

No matter how compelling your meeting was, it’s probable that those in attendance will not remember everything that was shared. Prior to the meeting, designate a person to take notes. Assimilate this information into a bullet-pointed email to send to your team as a follow-up and refresher. Short, concise notes will keep important information fresh in people’s minds.

  • Define Goals and Expectations:

Deliver clear, achievable goals to both teams and individuals, outlining exactly what is required on any given project, and ensuring that all staff is aware of the objectives of the project, the department and the organization as a whole.

  • Explain why you’re Asking your Employee or Coworker to do Something:

By doing so, you’re offering vital information and the opportunity to ask questions they may have hesitated to communicate otherwise. Perhaps more importantly, you’re also showing the employee how their work ties directly to business goals.

  • Take Time to Listen:

Don’t dominate the conversation. After a while, Attention spans will wear thin. Be impactful with your words. Pause after important points to take questions or check for understanding. This will help your coworkers feel that they play an active role in the conversation.

Teamwork makes the dream work.

Author: Bobby Cottingham

Cited Sources:

https://bizfluent.com/about-6619247-importance-effective-communication-workplace.html

https://www.careeraddict.com/the-importance-of-effective-communication-in-the-workplace

https://smallbusiness.chron.com/benefits-effective-communication-workplace-20198.html

https://www.michaelpage.co.uk/advice/management-advice/development-and-retention/importance-good-communication-workplace

https://leadershipchoice.com/power-good-communication-workplace/

https://justworks.com/blog/19-easy-ways-improve-communication-workplace

https://www.sandler.com/blog/5-strategies-improve-communication-workplace

https://www.officevibe.com/blog/improve-communication-at-work

Happy Independence Day!

As the Fourth of July approaches, let us take a moment to consider the significance of the events in which we are celebrating, and reflect on a bit of the history. Aptly named, July 4th is also known as Independence Day, for it is the day in 1776 that the Declaration of Independence was finally approved by Congress, signifying the beginning of our great nation and the end of our governance by the British.

This year in Washington at the president’s inaugural July 4th “Salute to America” on the National Mall, two pyrotechnic companies, Phantom Fireworks and New York-based Fireworks by Grucci, have pledged to put on the largest fireworks display ever seen in the D.C. area. The spectacle is promised to be a sight to be remembered.

Founding Father John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail on July 2, 1776, stating that Independence Day, “will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival” and that the celebration should include “Pomp and Parade…Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires, and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other.” With this context, it does seem fitting that our nation’s capital is set to unleash a firework display for the ages. John Adams would have it no other way, but let’s leave the guns at home.

Around the country, millions of Americans will be making their way to celebrate freedom with friends and family. As John Adams predicted, we still celebrate this day with “pomp and parade…from one end of the continent to the other.” Barbequing is a huge national tradition. It is estimated that approximately 150 million hot dogs and 700 million pounds are consumed on July 4th each year. No matter what the activity or the type of food, the Fourth of July is most prevalently celebrated by spending time with loved ones in fellowship; gatherings of all race, gender, and religious backgrounds.

This Independence Day, take a moment between the fun and fireworks to think about how truly remarkable this day in history was, and take in the realization of how fortunate we are as a society. Many Americans went to great lengths to ensure that we could live in this great and proud country, in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

The Sabre88 family wishes you all a very safe and happy Independence Day!

Sources:

https://wtop.com/fourth-of-july/2019/06/donations-make-trumps-july-4-salute-fireworks-show-dcs-biggest-ever/slide/1/

https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/july-4th

Deltek’s 10th Annual Government Contracting Clarity Industry Study

On June 25th 2019 Deltek started their webinar series for the 10th annual Deltek Clarity Government Contracting Industry Study. The results are based on a survey of more than 700 respondent in government contracting and designed to identify federal contracting trends and analyze market outlook, top trends in business development, human capital management, project management, information technology, manufacturing, procurement, contract management, finance, and compliance. The main takeaways from the study include…

  1. Attracting qualified talent and retaining top performers continues to be a major factor for success—and a high priority among the most successful companies.

Reasons:

  • High-performing talent is increasingly hard to find, hire, and retain in this economy. Firms are challenged by the ability to both match qualified candidates to open positions and retain top performers.
  • Accordingly, employee retention has emerged as a competitive response. Businesses are now increasingly focused on improving the entire employee experience with new Human Capital Management (HCM) technology, continuous performance management and robust career development programs.
  1. Cost of compliance for Contracting Purchasing System Review (CPSR) audits are on the rise.

Reason:

  • CPSR audits were indicated as a significant cost for firms in 2018, with 83% of respondents indicating it as a “moderately” or “more costly” compliance to meet. This is a relatively significant increase of 17 points from respondents last year.
  1. Growth and competition increase for most businesses.

Reason:

  • The overall market for government contractors remains healthy as government spending has continued to increase. Businesses are seeking to make the most of the bullish spending environment by pursuing growth and profit-maximizing strategies. Competition is up as contractors are expanding into new government agencies and looking to grow their customer base.

Link: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/delteks-10th-annual-government-contracting-clarity-industry-study-results-highlight-challenges-and-opportunities-for-contractors-300874789.html

GSA Sends out RFI for MAS Consolidation

The General Service Administration issued a Request for Information in order to seek feedback from the industry on the upcoming modernization process of MAS. MAS Consolidation is one of the four cornerstone initiatives of the Federal Marketplace (FMP) Strategy, GSA’s plan to modernize and simplify the buying and selling experience for customers, suppliers, and acquisition professionals. The process began in November 2018 with the goal of consolidating the existing 24 Multiple Award Schedules (MAS) into one single Schedule. This ensures consistency while at the same time make it easier for customers to find solutions under one contract vehicle, ensure that the terms and conditions are met, and eliminate duplicate contracts.

GSA hopes that this consolidation program will be completed by October 2019. According to MAS PMO Director Stephanie Shutt, their goal was to do more than just remove duplicate provisions and clauses. “Streamlining our current terms and conditions, and making it easier for buyers and sellers to work with government is a big part of schedules consolidation,” said Shutt. “The feedback we receive from this RFI is an important building block for GSA’s new single solicitation.” Phase One of the project will be completed during FY19. The new schedule will be organized by categories mapped to the current government wide category structure. GSA is reviewing all of the Special Item Numbers (SINs) currently available under GSA schedules; once complete, the new proposed SINs will be available for public comment. Hopefully the feedback provided would assist GSA into improving their consolidation process. However, at the moment it is still too early to tell how well this consolidation process would go.

 

Source: https://www.gsa.gov/about-us/newsroom/news-releases/gsa-seeks-feedback-from-industry-on-consolidating-multiple-award-schedules-and-proposed-terms-and-conditions

Big Changes to Big Tech

From the time the personal computer became feasible in the 1980s to the present day, a great deal has changed in the tech industry. Names like Apple and Microsoft are still around, thriving in fact, but there are a few new players, the likes of Facebook, Google, and Amazon. With groundbreaking innovation comes the possibility of monopoly, which is what this blog aims to take a peek at. Specifically, the online services that we know and may or may not love, and how the federal government’s plans to delve into antitrust talks may affect consumers and small business owners.

The European Union has been going after American tech companies frequently as of late, as our President says, “Every week you see them going after Facebook and Apple and all of these companies … The European Union is suing them all of the time.” While this may come as a surprise, just think about how many viable alternatives you have concerning the services these tech giants provide. If you are a small business owner and want to advertise, the local paper does not quite cut it anymore. Or if you sell goods on the internet, you would be unwise to boycott Amazon. This type of control is concerning, which is exactly why the US Department of Justice and Congress have been making moves hinting at antitrust.

But who wins? Currently, consumers and small business owners can access free email with cloud storage and analytics with Google, but would that still be the case if it were split into five different entities with far less resources and capability? Would consumers and small business owners be able to reach each other efficiently if Facebook’s networking prowess was suddenly thwarted and split however many ways? And how about free next day delivery, would that still be a possibility if Amazon were broken up? These are all excellent questions that make us all say “Leave them alone!” But there is another side to the coin to consider.

The dark side of giving all of this power to these Big Tech companies would lie in the prospect of monopoly, which is why the federal government is considering the pursuit of antitrust legislation. Many small business owners already have trouble with competitor advertising on Google and Facebook, claiming that ads featuring their competitors show up on their website or next to their name when searched. If one company controls who sees what and for how much, small businesses may be in big trouble if no one takes action, as they could be monetarily bullied and unable to compete. If Amazon decides to charge vendors outrageous fees to sell their products on its website, it could put countless small businesses out for the count.

Regardless of our current situation, it is a very interesting technological time we are experiencing, and there are sure to be some big changes coming for in the near future. It is entirely possible that our favorite Big Tech companies may look completely different in five years’ time, or perhaps may not exist at all. With technology exploding at its current extraordinary rate, we are going to see some incredible advancements, whether the federal government gets involved or not.

 

Sources:

https://www.theverge.com/2019/6/10/18659619/donald-trump-facebook-google-amazon-apple-antitrust-european-union-eu

https://www.inc.com/jason-aten/the-federal-government-looks-ready-to-pick-a-fight-with-big-tech-heres-why-there-wont-be-any-winners-if-they-do.html