Government Contracts Market Penetration

If you are interested in the world of government contracting, there is a lot to know. The process for pursuing these opportunities requires many steps and can be challenging too. But if done right, it will be worth your time investment and can potentially provide lucrative results.

It is tough getting into the federal government contracting market. It is perhaps even harder for a one-person company. But it is possible with some clever strategy.

The Challenge of Market Penetration

Entering the highly competitive federal government market with the highly complex requirements of its procurements can be daunting. Usually, vendors penetrate the market either as prime contractors or as subcontractors.

To be successful in winning a prime contract, you need to write a compelling proposal that fully commits your company and ensures compliance with all terms of the deal. This means they are 100% responsible if anything goes wrong. Make sure everything is on point.

The federal government contracting industry is a tough, highly competitive business. But if you have the know-how to win prime contracts, then focusing on those first might be your best opportunity for market penetration. On the other hand, without current or past relevant experience, your company’s proposal will not be scored well, resulting in a low probability of winning (Pwin).

Another good way to find opportunities is to become a part of the GSA schedules program. The General Services Administration (GSA) is an independent agency of the US Government that helps manage and support federal agencies. GSA ensures industry partners make sure they are compliant with basic federal regulations and policies. They offer fair-priced goods and services. They use streamlined purchasing practices, saving time and money for all parties.

Become A Subcontractor

One of the best ways to penetrate the federal government contract market is to become a subcontractor. There are two ways this can happen. Before a proposal is submitted by a primary bidder, you can be selected to join the bid team as a subcontractor. Or you can be selected to join the winning vendor.

Join Proposal Teams

A good tactic is to offer your smaller company to work the primary bidder. This is often an excellent way to enter this contracting market. This means an easier workload responsibility and is an opportunity to gain relevant experience.

Join Contract Teams

When a contract is awarded, hard-working entrepreneurs should find their way to subcontracting. Some of these prime contractors invest incredible resources in business development and helping write proposals. However, following the award, they often under-resource the project. In other words, the primary bidder will put tremendous effort into a winning proposal but fail to obtain the needed employees to complete the project.

One of the most overlooked contracts that can be easily won by a subcontractor is an understaffed contract. These come with low overhead costs and great benefits. You should identify staffing challenges in these types of programs, then approach the prime contractor’s program manager ready to work.

Conclusion

Entering the world of government contracting is not an easy process. It requires many things to know and certain basic steps. Contract compliance is indispensable for success. But a good tactic for new government contractors to enter the federal government market is to join forces with a winning bidder.

Government Contracting Buying By Negotiation

The government may buy by negotiation when the value of a contract exceeds $100,000 and requires highly technical services or products. This procedure is more than just issuing a Request For Proposal (RFP), Request For Quotation (RFQ), or Request For Tender (RFT) and waiting for proposals.

When you buy through negotiations, it means that each element of your purchase must first be negotiated with different companies before a winner can be determined. The selection is based on their technical content as well as how much they are willing to offer in exchange.

The method of buying by negotiation is a different procedure from sealed bidding and is a procedure that is required under certain conditions and regulated by applicable federal rules found in the FARs.

The Impact Of Government Buying By Negotiation

One impact is that if a vendor bids weakly, then the government will find no space for negotiation. If a vendor bids strongly such as offering technical expertise, then the government will negotiate the offer as probably the best value.

Another impact is the source selection technique known as The Lowest Price Technically Acceptable (LPTA). This means a process by which the government determines that a particular tender or proposal can be awarded at an affordable price.

Regarding the LPTA technique, there are two types. One type leans solely on technical demands for the selection. The other type is cost-plus bidding, which simply means the best bid will probably win.

FAR 15

The Federal Acquisition Regulations (FARs) are the rules for government acquisition. Under FAR 15.101, the government is directed to seek the best value through source selection techniques. One is Sole-Source Contracting. The other is Competitive Bidding.

Sole-Source Contracting

If a government contract is awarded without going through a bidding process, it is considered to be an “in-statue sole-source.” This means that there can only ever be one bidder for this specific type of work. The sole-source contract is a type of business deal where only one company can meet the requirements for this particular project.

Competitive Bidding

Competitive bidding is a process by which the government will select one bidder from many competitors to complete an order. This increases competition and allows agencies access to products or services at lower costs.

Conclusion

The government’s purchase of goods and services through negotiation has increased over the years. This is because it allows for purchases worth more than $100,000 without having to put out a Request For Proposal (RFP), which can take up valuable time in getting bids from potential vendors. When buying items by negotiation, the government uses procedures that differ from sealed bidding. Buying this way is authorized under certain circumstances in Federal Acquisition Regulations or FAR.

The Proposal Coordinator Guide

The Proposal Coordinator Guide

The Proposal Coordinator

The function of the Proposal Coordinator is very important. It can be summarized as the manager of a business proposal development as though he must do all of the particular tasks in its development. In doing this, he must oversee the diligence and efficiency of a team of proposal writers and Subject Matter Experts (SMEs).

The proposal coordinator is the primary driver and manager of the successful development of the business proposal. He will also help with designing completed business proposals and their storage for future use.

A primary concern will be constructing a compelling proposal. When you are putting together a proposal, it is important to present your company in the best possible light. You want potential customers and clients alike to understand why they should choose yours over all others for a particular project or bid on available work.

Responsibilities

As the primary director of the development of the proposal, he is responsible for establishing the guidelines, vision, and ensuring compliance with all requirements. Proposals are usually created with a timeline, so every team member will work closely together to complete them. He may manage a team of 50 proposal writers and SMEs.

As the proposal coordinator, he will be responsible for editing and designing finalized proposals. He will also need to share these documents with various audiences to make their case known, including thorough graphic layouts or PowerPoint presentations.

As the proposal coordinator, he will either be developing or following an established template to make sure that all future proposals are fully developed and professional.

As a Proposal Manager, he will have the opportunity to work with many different teams and stakeholders. He will be responsible for keeping deadlines as they assist in developing proposals that meet client needs while staying within budget limits.

Skills

There are certain skills that the proposal coordinator should have and be excellent at them all if possible. He will discuss much with the team members and SMEs, so he should be an excellent communicator. He will need to manage plans and time well. He should be socially aware. He should be detail-oriented. He should be able to think critically and analytically. He will need to be able to solve problems wisely and efficiently. Some other skills that would prove very helpful are:

· Graphic designer

· Salesmanship

· Psychology

· Researcher

· Editor

The Challenge Of SMEs

When it comes to proposals, dealing with SMEs can be very challenging. The problem is that SMEs have their own pressing responsibilities and do not always see the urgency when making a decision about what needs or should be included in an upcoming proposal.

The proposal coordinator is responsible for taking all of that information and shaping it into a professional-looking document. They must do this while facing tight deadlines, often without any input from the business owner or their team members.

Conclusion

Proposal Coordinators are the key to creating winning proposals. They can help you identify your needs, set up meetings with vendors, and review documents before they are submitted for bidding. His function can make or break their company’s reputation.

Government Proposal Solutions

Government Proposal Solutions

Winning a bid on a federal government Request For Proposal (RFP) can be the new beginning your business needs to grow. To get this opportunity, you must submit an impeccable proposal that is fully compliant with all the RFP requirements.

A winning bid proposal should speak for your business. Let the federal government know that you are the perfect company to do this project. But the first impression by the government agency is important. If you are not accurate or professional in how you present the proposal, then the government agency may form an unfavorable opinion about it before they even know what services will be provided.

A smart solution to this challenge is to take advantage of a proposal management platform that is powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Natural Language Processing (NLP). Below is the description of the Proposal & Contracts Suite developed by Scion Analytics:

The Proposal & Contracts Suite

The Proposal & Contract Suite is the out-of-the-box component that helps you prepare successful RFP responses with proposals and contracts. It is comprehensive and fully customizable. With the suite you can:

· Shred Your RFP

Analyze (shred or parse) your RFPs for terms such as “must,” “shall,” “will,” as well as your custom keywords or phrases. Six file types are supported.

· Excel Templates

Templates provide flexibility. They are:

· Easy to use

· Establish consistency and uniformity

· Helps eliminate rework, errors, and the cut-and-paste method

· Shorten proposal development time

· Apply best practices

· Generate A Compliance Matrix

· Use the Shipley Associates’ template or create a cross-reference compliance matrix

· Auto-populate requirement sections such as Section L

· Filter requirements

· Share your matrix with a single click

· Identify and Validate Acronyms

Your documents can be quickly scanned for acronyms. It can identify both defined and undefined acronyms, erroneously or inconsistently used acronyms and repeatedly defined acronyms.

· Compare Documents

You can identify differences between two similar documents in a side-by-side interactive window. Provides color-coded displays of modified, inserted, and deleted document elements.

· Readability Analysis

Determine the readability ranking of segments or paragraphs according to your business concerns.

· Ensure Compliance

The critical need for full compliance can be ensured. Use the duo compliance tools for this. Use the cross-reference compliance matrix window, which can identify neglected concerns. Use the gap analysis report, which can display missing concepts.

· Compare Resumes

Compare multiple resumes easily. With the Weighted Analysis/ Resumes dynamic application, you can identify what is important for the position you are trying to fill.

· Customization

Each dynamic application of the CAP is fully customizable, allowing you to create your own solutions.

A Customizable Proposal & Contract Suite

· Each dynamic application is fully customizable. An organization can create its own task workflows that will suit its company’s needs. The applications are versatile and elastic tools.

· RFPs and contractual documents can be thoroughly analyzed and rendered into a structured format. This ensures the discovery of all requirement terms, Federal Acquisition Requirements (FARs), keywords, phrases, and acronyms. Even the customized dictionaries, acronyms, and keyword libraries that are important to a business can be discovered with the suite.

Best Value Government Contracting

Best Value Government Contracting

What Is Best Value Source Selection?

Government contractors are a huge industry. They provide goods and services to the federal government. Many businesses and individuals contract with one of the federal government’s agencies to provide goods or services, a construction project, or some other tasks. These businesses are known as government contractors.

The federal government seeks goods or services to be provided at the best value. Though both practices of awarding to the lowest bidder and best value source selection may seem similar, they are very different. The practice of best value source selection refers to the federal government awarding a contract to the best value vendor. This vendor will in fact provide the best solution for the agency’s needs at an acceptable price.

Best Practices

Below are some key best practices used by the federal government to ensure best value source selection:

· FAR Regulated

The government requires that contracts be awarded to those who offer the “best value.” Agencies are instructed in Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) regulations for selecting these sources.

· IDIQ Contracting

The federal government has an extensive procurement process for contracts that are “fair and reasonable.” One way they do this is by using the Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) method. This establishes one overarching contract used across multiple minor projects with no bidding necessary on each individual project saving time and effort. IDIQ contracts are a popular way for government agencies to purchase services without having the hassle of individually bidding each project. This single contract structure, paired with a Unit Price Book (UPB) that has been set up beforehand helps reduce time

spent on procurement and eliminates change order negotiations. This is because work items can be priced out already at first glance by using this method’s unit price book system. IDIQ contracts are more lucrative than most other types of government contracting, so they are often used to fill smaller and medium-sized projects.

· Use Of UPB

By using the UPB, contractors are guaranteed a payment based on how much work needs to be completed for each task proposed in their RFP. This creates an easier path since there is no need of negotiating change orders which can cause budget issues or strain between parties involved.

Best Value Government Contracting Importance

Choosing a low bidder is not always the best way to spend your money. Choosing one with proven track records and experience will ensure that during construction, rework doesn’t happen as much. This is because you already know this person can deliver on time and within budget without issues. Such issues could lead to overages at some point in the future, or more work being needed if done incorrectly.

Conclusion

The federal government is the largest customer for vendors. But the government agencies want the best value more than the best price. One of the best sourcing techniques is the increasing use of IDIQ. This contract allows for both benefits to contractors and significant time and costs savings for the government.

This contract structure uses one long-standing contract instead of issuing new contracts from the beginning every time the government agencies need another construction project. This can help speed up the procurement process, thereby reducing administrative processes.

Submitting Questions To The Government

Submitting Questions To The Government

Intensive questions that are driven by the text of the Request For Proposal (RFP), and intelligent communication is an excellent way to develop a well-scoring proposal. The more information you can gather about the RFP, the better is the chance that it will be successful for both parties involved. There needs to be much communication in the form of intelligent questions about an RFP.

The challenge of preparing questions for the government can be difficult, but it is not impossible. Knowing how to prepare good-quality responses that contain thoughtful questions will get you more information and clarify their project intent. This is important if you want your plan to score well.

There are definitely some questions or the way some questions are asked that you should not put to the government agency to answer. For examples:

· You do not want to ask questions whose answers could reveal information about your company’s capabilities or strategies. These disclosures can be exploited by your competitors to your disadvantage.

· Do not fail to read carefully and thoroughly the Request For Proposal (RFP) by which you miss an important information detail. If you read the detail in their RFP, you would not be asking about it. This asking will then show poor diligence or poor understanding of the RFP concerns.

Best Practices

Below are some important best practices that should be part of the preparation of questions for the government agency:

· The texts of RFPs are usually elaborate or complex, having many sections and paragraphs. Use a template with its columns to cross-reference questions to paragraphs, sentences, etc. This method can help navigate your questions and concerns for the requesting agency.

It will prove very helpful, efficient, and work in your favor. You may want to add a column for suggested responses.

· It is important that you cite the RFP language about which you need to understand more clearly. If there are inconsistencies between sections of the RFP and your proposal, be sure to cite those passages that need to be changed.

· When making questions, be careful to recite the wording of the RFP or stay close to it so you do not manipulate the RFP inadvertently. Do not offer comments about your company’s strengths or weaknesses. Maybe offer a suggested response in places to which the government may be willing to conform.

Conclusion

Submitting intelligent questions that use the best practices will help your team provide a comprehensive, well-scored proposal. This will create a favorable impression on contracting officers who are less likely to produce negative feedback and expedite future opportunities.

Another careful way to ask intelligent questions and get the feedback you need is to use proposal management software that uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Natural Language Processing (NLP).

The Proposal & Contract Suite, developed by Scion Analytics, is an out-of-the-box solution. It can provide efficient templates and cross-reference matrices that help you prepare good questions and well-scoring proposals. It is comprehensive as well as fully customizable.

Government Proposal Writing

Government Proposal Writing

Not all proposals are created equal, or at least, they should not be. They should each be creative, persuasive, and memorable for the business they represent to win their bid on a Request For Proposal (RFP). However tricky this may sound at first, it does not need any specific skillset beyond creativity. It is about understanding how best to portray your message that aligns with the real strengths and capabilities of your company.

A proposal writer, sometimes called a bidder, is the key player in writing compelling responses to questions posed by an organization. This person’s goal is to help articulate and win new business for their client with accurate information about what they have to offer.

The proposal team is one of the most important parts of any corporation. They are responsible for responding to and following up on all proposals that come into the office. The RFP response writer reports to the coordinator or manager who will work closely with them throughout their project management time frame.

Winning a bid on a government contract can be the new beginning your business needs to grow. To get this opportunity, you must submit an impeccable proposal that meets all their specific requirements and is compliant with current regulations.

Below are some key tips to help ensure this successful proposal:

Begin Before The RFP

Experts suggest that your efforts should be backward at first. That is, begin working on a proposal before the RFP is released. Position yourself to obtain as much information about the requesting federal government agency regarding what solution they are seeking and with what specific requirements. Knowing how they will evaluate your proposal will help too.

Experts advise that you show understanding of the RFP customer’s needs by reflecting these requirements in the proposal. They suggest you talk to

them before and throughout the offer and even after it is submitted. How well the customer is known is what helps to win the bid.

Some of the customer-learning questions could be:

· What is the specific solution they are seeking?

· Is cost a major concern?

· What will compel the customer to award this contract?

· What problems or concerns disturb the customer the most?

· Can the competitors be divulged?

Gather Key Information

The written proposal should reflect all the needs of the customer in a mechanical manner that overlooks nothing. Gather all the ingredients that go into a proposal. These include your management plan, methodology, and quality assurance plan to name some important ones. There are many others you will want to include when preparing for bidding on contracts, so learn about them beforehand if possible.

Show Your Greatness

Experts say most of the proposals are not only uninspiring but also vague. They often emphasize similar values and ordinary greatness. You should avoid this by using tangible differentiators that will matter most on your customer’s end. If the proposal does not show how you are different from the ordinary great vendors, it will not win the bid.

Conclusion

RFP proposals should each be creative, persuasive, and memorable for the business they represent to win their bid on a Request For Proposal (RFP). It is critical that they be different than the ordinary vendor proposal or they will not win the bid.

One of the best ways to overcome the challenges of writing proposals is taking advantage of software tools enhanced with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Natural language Processing (NLP). The Proposal & Contracts Suite is an out-of-the-box solution.

What sets Scion Analytics’ proposal management software apart from the competitors? A chief reason is that the suite is designed to be customizable in nearly every aspect of the platform without writing macros or code.

What Is A Bidders’ Conference?

What Is A Bidders’ Conference?

What Is A Bidders’ Conference?

A bidder’s conference, or a pre-proposal conference, is a meeting that a government agency will schedule upon releasing new bid proposals. The conference serves two functions. It gives interested and eligible vendors the chance to ask questions about the agency’s project. It also allows bidders more insight as to whether they regard it as suitable for their company’s capabilities.

The Purpose Of A Bidders’ Conference

With the bidders’ conference, companies seeking government contracting can ask any questions they have about the project during the conference. This will ensure that all vendors know if their company is qualified enough for this work. This will also indicate whether the project is a worthwhile contract pursuit for the vendor’s best interests.

The Time Of A Bidders’ Conference

The appointment of a bidders’ conference depends on whether the project is short or lengthy. It also depends on the determined period during which bidders can submit for the project. If it has a short turnaround, then the conference will be speedily announced within days after the RFP release. There may not be a conference at all. Longer submission periods will call for a conference within the first two weeks. It usually takes place at the worksite.

The Location Of A Bidders’ Conference

At the bidder’s conference, potential bidders get answers to all of their questions about where and when the work will take place. Along with giving you an idea of what the need is and how long it would take to complete this project, the bidders are given a chance to tour the worksite.

Conclusion

Interested vendors should take advantage of a government agency’s bidder’s conference. Asking questions at the conference and its possible tour of the project site will be very informative. It can give understanding regarding both the suitability of the project and give a sense of the probability of winning the bid. The RFP should be read through for conference events. Some will be mandatory while others will be optional.

How To Respond To Solicitations

How To Respond To Solicitations

Responding to either federal government or private sector solicitations for purchasing goods or services is all about persuasion. Persuading the requestor that your company’s solution is the best value for their needs.

Below are some key tips for crafting a persuasive response proposal:

Read The Solicitation Carefully

A meticulous reading of the entire solicitation is necessary to understand well the need of the customer and what they hope to obtain as a solution. Do not just rush to the Statement of Work (SOW). Read the introductory language as well. This is important because the government will explain what problem they need solving. This will position you to better craft a winning proposal. They will usually state what type of contract is being offered, such as an Indefinite Delivery/ Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) or a fixed-price contract.

Develop A Response Checklist

Develop a checklist as to what points of the solicitation will be responded to and in what order so as not to overlook anything.

Below are some key checklist items to accomplish:

· Assign tasks and establish deadlines according to how much time each task takes

· Make sure no one gets left behind with their work undone when deadline day arrives

· Make sure your assignments are well-organized and error-free with an editor or two playing an important role in making it happen

· Make certain that all statistics, cross-references, etc., have been verified before submitting them for review

· Checking that all responses and attachments have been assembled correctly

· Everyone has a copy of the final version

· Following any instructions given in regard to submission layout

· How they are to be delivered for the Request For Proposal (RFP) delivery deadline

Provide Past Experience

The government is required to seek solutions according to its Federal Acquisition Regulations (FARs). Two important qualities it will consider are the price and past performance. This experience must be within the last three years, it must be relevant, and you must have been either the primary contractor or the subcontractor. Stress why this past experience is relevant to the current need.

Provide Attractive Pricing

The government has a good understanding of what goods and services should cost to acquire. Do not think you can get rich by fooling the government. Offer a low but fair price. Having high technical abilities can make up for a lack of relevant experience. The government will give you a neutral rating for this lack. However, if you have partnered with a subcontractor who has the relevant experience, then consider teaming with them on this current need in your proposal. Adding more value items while lowering your price may also persuade the government too.

Prepare The Cross-Reference Matrix

A cross-reference matrix is a key to efficient compliance assurance. When it comes to responding efficiently to contract RFPs, using automation software is critical for saving resources and time. The Proposal & Contract Suite, developed by Scion Analytics, is valuable for enhancing RFP responses and ensuring proposal compliance.

Conduct A Kickoff Meeting

It is essential to conduct a kickoff meeting. They encourage teams to come together and plan out their approach, or they can cause a lot of stress if not

executed well enough with care. Ultimately, they must actualize the careful development of the response proposal, or it will be a waste of time.

Conclusion

Government solicitations have short deadlines, so you need to carefully read the request and develop a meticulous checklist to follow. Using proposal automation software that is empowered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) is a smart maneuver as well.

Procurement Life Cycle

Procurement Life Cycle

What Is A Procurement Life Cycle?

The procurement cycle or procurement process is a series of events that lead up to the final business purchase. These steps include identifying needs and arriving at an acceptable price for meeting those requirements. All the steps in the procurement cycle are the responsibility of the procurement manager.

Steps To A Procurement Life Cycle

An efficient procurement process is critical to ensuring a company’s financial well-being. An effective system can help you pay the right price, deliver products quickly, and work with partners who understand your needs since they are unique to your company alone.

Below are the fundamentals of the typical procurement life cycle:

Needs Are Recognized

· Identifying Requirements

The procurement process starts when a company needs to obtain goods or services from an outsourced company. These items can be internal, meaning they are required for running your business, and external if it is anything that will eventually end up on sale for other customers.

· Finding Suppliers

When a company has identified its requirements, it must find potential vendors who may supply the goods or services. This process involves simple Web searches or more structured measures like Requests For Proposals (RFPs) and Requests For Queries (RFQs). Then it is narrowed down from there based on price level as well the quality of service offered by each vendor.

Price And Purchase

· Negotiate A Price

Negotiation is the most important part of any contract. It is your chance to make sure that you are getting a good price for the product or service. It is a process that involves assessing critical factors like pricing structure, the scope of work, and the terms. In this way, you can find out more cost-saving opportunities including dynamic discounting.

· Finalize The Purchase Order

The next step after an organization finalizes its contract with a supplier is to raise the purchase requisition or PR. This includes information about pricing and quantity as well as describes what is being purchased from which provider. Then they can carry out their work effectively while always following proper procedures. This can prevent issues later down along this process chain.

Once the purchase order is approved, the finance department releases it to a supplier. This document contains information like what is in an invoice and how much you owe them for their services or products.

· Receive The Invoice And Process The Payment

When a supplier receives your purchase order, they will send you an invoice with the agreed-upon price and instructions on how to pay.

Procurement Received

When companies do receive the goods or services, it is important that they audit the supplier and make sure these items meet all quality standards. With a little forethought, the risk of downtime can be greatly reduced. It is important to contact your supplier if something goes wrong with an order. Make sure they know what needs fixing so that it does not affect other customers’ orders as well.

Conclusion

The “how” of buying from a supplier is fairly constant across vendors, but the details will vary depending on who you choose. Identifying requirements and finding suppliers are two fundamentals that do not change much no matter what type or size company one works for. Negotiating contract terms can also be done in different ways between each individual relationship. But placing and receiving orders requires some customization based on whether there is inventory at hand already.