Strategic Solution

The NMR is an exception to the requirement that a manufacturer perform at least 50% of the cost of manufacturing the products (not including the cost of the material) under a manufacturing NAICS code. Primarily guidance is covered under 13 CFR § 121.406 and FAR 19.102(f)(4) through (8). Reference Small Business Utilization for more information on the NMR. 

The customer agency would be responsible for requesting a specific waiver from the SBA under a small business set aside for which there are no small businesses who can provide the equipment, even using the non-manufacturer rule. The NIH has not obtained any waivers. A list of the current “blanket” waivers can be found on the SBA website.

Yes. The Non-Manufacturer Rule (NMR) applies to orders over $25,000 under the GSS Desktop Laptop vehicle that are set-aside for small business and provides a mechanism for VARs to offer products they do not manufacture themselves. However, the NMR requires that a small business performing under a set-aside contract/order must provide the product of a small business manufacturer unless the SBA has granted either a waiver or an exception to the non-manufacturer rule. See more information on the Non-Manufacturer Rule.

Best in Class (BIC) means that something has been designated by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as a preferred governmentwide solution that:

1. Allows acquisition experts to take advantage of pre-vetted, governmentwide contract solutions;
2. Supports a governmentwide migration to solutions that are mature and market-proven;
3. Assists in the optimization of spend, within the governmentwide category management framework; and
4. Increases the transactional data available for agency level and governmentwide analysis of buying behavior.

To see the five rigorous criteria for Best in Class solutions as outlined by OMB, please visit the Acquisition Gateway and Best in Class (BIC) Resource page.


Generally speaking, agencies should use BIC solutions to save time and money. Acquisition professionals can confidently use and recommend BIC solutions, knowing that they have undergone thorough vetting processes. 

1. BIC solutions help direct agencies to solutions that offer favorable, pre-negotiated terms and rates while avoiding the time-consuming process of having to conduct a new (and redundant) solicitation.
2. Because BIC solutions are required to have all of their transactional data in the Prices Paid Portal, market research and estimating processes are easier and government-wide insights into buying behaviors are growing more robust.
3. BIC solutions support government-wide migration to mature, market-proven solutions and facilitate the optimization of spend within the government-wide category management framework.

BIC solutions should be considered and used “to the maximum extent practicable” by acquisition professionals government-wide, per OMB Memo M-17-22.