NFFS to Partner with NTMA to Expand ICON Program to Machine Shops—Roll-Out Targeted for January 2021

The Non-Ferrous Founders’ Society (NFFS), in cooperation with the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), has reached an agreement and is partnering with the National Tooling and Machining Association (NTMA).  This partnership will provide a new NTMA membership benefit program and help solve the critical shortage of machined metal castings and metal components desperately needed by defense and military customers.

As part of this strategic partnership, NFFS will leverage the benefit of the Integrated Casting Order Network (ICON) program to provide NTMA members with an unprecedented solicitation matching system for business opportunities that require machining. NFFS has found that machine shops, and many NTMA members, are often the firms that are contracting with DLA to provide finished machined metal castings and assemblies. ICON, with its unique ability to filter solicitations to the specific types of work that are of interest to a company, allows for other industry partnerships with second and third tier suppliers, eliminating the expectation of being a “prime” on government contracts.  

Under their agreement, NTMA members will receive a FREE Basic account, and receive a 50% discount on subscription fees for Advanced or Full access to the program. The endorsement and fee structure was designed to provide value to NTMA and its membership, and in return to have their assistance in marketing the program to their industry, as well as their general support and endorsement. 

“NFFS is excited about our new partnership with NTMA as part of our Society’s ICON program,” said Jerrod Weaver, NFFS Executive Director. “Many NTMA members are experienced in contracting with the federal government to provide machined metal products, and many NFFS members create the metal castings that are required by NTMA members to fulfil their contracts. By working collaboratively together, we will be able to reinvigorate the supply chain for these cast metal components, reduce administrative and production lead times, and better serve the needs of the Defense Logistics Agency and the American Warfighter.”

Beginning in January 2021, NTMA will provide its members with access to the ICON program, the nation’s largest defense and military contracting portal for fabricated metal products. On a daily basis, ICON will provide business opportunities to NTMA members which are filtered by material and process capabilities. For machine shops with existing defense or military related tooling, ICON will match open bid solicitations to that existing tooling and notify users when customers are looking for those parts. 

ICON also provides users with the opportunity to list product catalogs and existing inventory right within the program, providing direct buy access to government procurement specialists. Machine shops will also have the ability to enter their facility “capabilities” into ICON’s comprehensive industry capability database, where they can be identified by customers looking for specific machine shop capabilities. 

In addition to the aforementioned features of ICON, participants will have convenient messaging capabilities within the program, allowing for easier formation of partnerships and collaboration. The messaging features a secure and complete communication stream between industry suppliers that allows them to upload documentation, submit requests for quotes and discuss all aspects of parts and solicitations.  Messaging provides each supplier the ability to capture and store all of their messages in their own inbox.

Over the last two years, NFFS has  made, and will continue to make, vast improvements to the ICON program. Recent improvements include additional search options under the Tooling Search feature, as well as interactive results—when a result is clicked, it reveals a comprehensive summary including supplier procurement history, item details and procurement history, drawing and part number details, as well as technical characteristics. 

ICON has provided over $1 billion dollars to industry in sales opportunities since October 2018, and ICON users have received more than $288 million in cumulative awards. Most recently on November 11, 2020, ICON directed solicitations for more than $9.2 million worth of machined products in a single day. For more information, or to get started as a new user, contact Sheila Rayburn, ICON Program Manager, at sheila@nffs.org or (847) 299-0950.