USAID Tanzania Printing, Shipping, and Logistics
Two and a half million books to be printed and shipped to Tanzania in 100 days? Other companies shy away from challenges like this, but StratComm embraces them. This ambitious project was a U.S. presidential initiative, the “Big Results Now in Education” USAID program to improve the quality of education in Tanzania schools with a focus on science and mathematics. USAID awarded a $5.4 million contract to StratComm in August 2014 to fulfill this important mission.
With a team of top-of-the-market paper suppliers, printers, and shippers, we were focused on Tanzania literally at all hours of the day, looking for any deviations from our carefully constructed project plan. We hand-checked for errors in printing, took careful steps to control damaging moisture while the books were at sea, and worked quickly to resolve an issue that required the procurement of warehouse space immediately. Our hardworking team woke up early and stayed up late to ensure that each part of the process went off without a hitch, directing all the domestic and international logistics.
Ultimately, the 2.5 million textbooks were printed, bound, and shipped onboard four vessels to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, all arriving by December 2014, before the 100 days were up. StratComm earned praise from representatives of the USAID mission for a job well done, and a recommendation for future work by receiving an exceptional CPAR rating. Among the comments from the official government assessment were:
"The quality of the science and math books exceeded the technical specifications requested ... and met a very tight timeframe for printing and delivery.
"StratComm met the very short timeframe, which required expedited printing and shipping."
"StratComm communicated well with the Government... Concerns and potential problems were identified early, communicated to USAID, and issues were resolved. StratComm recognized the urgency of getting books delivered on time."
"I had the distinct pleasure of working with Bob and his team on a high-visibility procurement, one resulting from a 2013 presidential promise to provide the government of Tanzania with 2.5MM secondary math and science textbooks. The challenges of printing, binding and delivering an order on this scale halfway around the world to East Africa would be considerable for a large business; that StratComm, Inc., a service-disabled veteran-owned small business, was able to not only meet but exceed USAID/Tanzania's demanding requirements on such a short time-frame, was nothing short of extraordinary - and a powerful testament to Bob's leadership and can do attitude, as well as his team's thorough and uncompromising professionalism."
"In my four years at AID, no contractor ever performed better on behalf of the taxpayer."
-Douglas Dye, USAID/Tanzania Contracting & Agreement Officer