SAM Survival Guide

Many companies have encountered tremendous frustration and confusion in their attempts to migrate to, update, or register in SAM. “SAM” refers to the government’s new System for Awards Management ( ). SAM was recently developed to consolidate several separate (and at times redundant) online databases such as the CCR, ORCA, FedReg and EPLS.

An active SAM registration is necessary for any company or individual to receive contracts, grants, or payments on such from the federal government. Although the consolidation of legacy databases was well intentioned enough, the site has been less than user friendly, and was introduced prior to the system being 100% ready.

Despite improvements made over the past year, many aspects of the site remain cumbersome. We offer the following tips in an effort to simplify the process and maintain your sanity:

• Be Patient. There are numerous sections that need to be completed, verified and accepted. Have your pertinent company information available when you begin the process. Each section must be completed in order to proceed to the next. Required information ranges from company points of contact to critical certification assertions. Each section needs to be completed accurately, as there are outside verifications done by Duns & Bradstreet and the small business administration in order to finalize the registration.

• Know your NACIS Codes. You will be required to provide the North American Industry Classification Codes that pertain to your business. If you are migrating from CCR, these should have been included in your CCR registration and you may have them on hand. If not, they can be found or verified at You will also want to ensure your FSCs (Federal Supply Classifications) and PSCs (Product and Service Codes) are listed correctly.

• Check the boxes. Each FAR clause must be accepted or taken exception to individually. Make sure you have a check mark in each box, or the system will reject your submission.

• Do not include hyphens in phone numbers or FAX numbers in any section.

• Save your work (Especially after completing a section). The system will time you out if you do not hit the “save” button during idle periods of 30 minutes or longer.

Still having trouble? Feel free to give us a call. We have assisted a number of our clients with this process and will be able to help your company Survive SAM.

For your convenience we offer you a PDF version for easier download. SAM Survival Guide