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How To Respond To A Government IDIQ Contract

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Winning a federal government task order contract, also known as an Indefinite Delivery/ Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract, can be the opportunity to earn millions of dollars. Further work can be had through the subsequent task orders that may be engendered from it. There are important steps that can be taken to help ensure that your company wins one of these IDIQ contracts.

The Difference Between An IDIQ And An RFP Contract

A task order in government contracting is a smaller, special request that is announced by the government agency, usually for a service rather than a product. It is the direct result of a type of contract called Indefinite Delivery/ Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ). It is directed to a smaller group of pre-vetted contractors.

A Request for Proposals (RFP), on the other hand, is announced by the federal government for all interested contractors. In awarding contracts, the government considers expertise as well as low pricing. By law, government agencies are required to make public calls for services to prevent unfair commercial favoritism. This public invitation stimulates competition. RFPs demand detailed specifications, more skill, cost-effectiveness, and strict compliance. The contractors submit a proposal describing what they can provide and at what price for the requesting government agency.

Task orders and contract RFPs are mostly similar but there are a few differences. The response is the same, but the expectations are much more limited.

· The IDIQ contract is a type of request that allows the government to place orders for supplies and services without specific quantities. This means there is no minimum or maximum order size. So companies only have their own requirements in mind when bidding on these contracts. This puts them at an advantage because they can provide whatever it takes (i.e., anything from one bottle all the way up).

· The pricing structure is different between them: The task order is issued by the agency having pre-negotiated, ceiling prices. The contract RFP typically has no ceiling price structure.

· Regarding qualifications, the government agency has a group of experienced vendors to select from who have done previous work, while the contract RFP calls publicly for all qualified vendors to compete.

· Task orders can be issued as ordinary calls for bidding or set aside for special groups such as veteran-owned or women-owned small businesses. Ordinary RFPs can call for a small business as well, but the competition is open to any qualified vendor.

· Task orders typically will not require past performance to be demonstrated because this will already be known from previous contracts. The ordinary RFP typically requires past performance to be made known, ranging from three to five years past.

· The turnaround speed is different: 10 days for the task order compared to 30 days for the standalone RFP.

How To Win An IDIQ Contract

Below are some best practices to apply toward winning the IDIQ contract:

· Target Your IDIQ Contract

By targeting the right IDIQ RFP, you can ensure that your company’s scope of service aligns with what is being asked for in an upcoming contract. This will help increase efficiency and success rate when submitting bids for your company.

· Team Up Smartly.

Finding the right teaming partners is essential for any company wanting to maximize its efficiency. You should look at both your capabilities and those of a prospective partner so that you can cover each other’s gaps in an effective manner.

· Perform Informed Capture Planning

The person filling out this form should also make sure to check in with their contracting officers or other references before submitting a Pre-

Purchase Questionnaire (PPQ). This will give them an opportunity to address any potential issues regarding performance. This can inform you on what they think might happen if there is ever such a request made by either party involved during negotiations later.

· Provide Compelling Finalization

When all of this work has come together, you will finally submit a proposal to prospective clients. This critical step in developing an effective response is finalizing the details for your offer and ensuring that it stands out from other competitors.

· Think Of The Evaluator

A response should be written in such a way to be easier for the evaluator’s flow. This will not disrupt their ability to track down information, leading them away from compliance issues or disqualification. Outlining your approach based on instructions and PWS/SOW can help guide the discussion by establishing appropriate ground rules early on.

· Provide Compelling Narratives

It is crucial to implant themes that prove you understand the customer’s pain points. Now that you have a clear idea about what needs to be included in your proposal, provide appropriate information supporting this demonstration of understanding. Include narratives of relevant success stories.

· Conduct Color Reviews With SMEs

Reviewing your responses regularly can help you identify opportunities for improvement. Using the industry-standard color team review process will enable the necessary changes needed to perfect it. When conducting color team reviews, it is important to consult SMEs.

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