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How the winners won SEWP V

Washington Technology Article

If you’ve been following NASA’s $20 billion Solutions Enterprise Wide Procurement (SEWP V), you might be interested in knowing how the bidders won their awards. Like many procurements, this government-wide contract started out as a highly competitive procurement that received over 200 proposals from companies competing to win a coveted award on this 10-year (5-year base plus one 5-year option) IDIQ contract. When awards were first announced, disgruntled bidders filed protests with the Government Accountability Office (GAO), and NASA voluntarily agreed to reevaluate the proposals. After reevaluation, the agency made 202 contract awards, and every bidder who submitted an acceptable proposal was given a contract award. With no bidders left to protest, SEWP V moved forward as the contract of choice for many government organizations. Here are the details of what happened, and you can draw your own conclusions about the surprise ending to the evaluation process. SEWP procurement description...

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7 questions to answer when making bid/no-bid decisions

Washington Technology Article

Did you ever wonder why some companies have higher win rates than others? You might think at first that these companies have smarter people who are better trained at proposal writing, better proposal development processes, and maybe newer tools to help them write winning proposals. While all of these reasons may be valid, there are often more subtle reasons that have less to do with people, process, and technology and more to do with executive decision-making and the health of their new business pipeline. Let me explain why this is the case. Picking losers over winners Making good bid decisions is the quickest way to raise your company’s win rate. It is far quicker than hiring better people, improving poor proposal processes, or investing in capture and proposal technology. In fact, making better bid decisions brings about an immediate improvement in win rate and, as an added bonus, lowers your...

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Is DOD moving away from LPTA?

How long will it take to trickle down?

Industry has long objected to the use of lowest priced, technically acceptable (LPTA) procurement strategies for technical/professional services and complex solution procurements, and it now appears that DOD is moving away from this practice. Narrowing the use of LPTA Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, Frank Kendall, issued a memorandum on March 4 to clear up confusion about when LPTA is appropriate as a source selection process. His memo states LPTA “has a clear, but limited place in the source selection best value continuum” and narrowly defines when LPTA is appropriate for DOD procurements. This memo signals a shift away from the LPTA source selection process. Download a copy of Kendall’s memo titled, “Appropriate Use of Lowest Priced, Technically Acceptable Source Selection Process and Contract Type.” According to Kendall, LPTA should only be used when procurements meet four specific conditions: The requirements are well defined; The risk...

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20 ways to reduce B&P costs and still win

Washington Technology Article

Many companies have experienced flat or declining sales in the prior year and, consequently, are dealing with reduced bid and proposal (B&P) budgets this year. This begs the question, can proposals be written in a less-costly way without reducing win rates? Obviously, we can reduce proposal costs, but many cost-reduction initiatives cause win rates to plummet. To find out why proposals cost too much, I asked our proposal consulting team to share their insights. Since this team works on the front lines of about 400 proposals per year, I was sure they could offer valuable insight into why costs are too high and what companies can do to reduce proposal costs without lowering win rates. Here are some of the reasons we found that proposal costs are higher than they should be. False starts Some companies fail to review the RFP before starting their proposal. In these instances, they kick...

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