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Given the recurring problems with large multiple-award contract vehicles, the government needs to reevaluate how it bundles the purchasing of IT products and services. What started out to be Best in Class acquisitions may be turning out to be more like worst in class procurements. There is no denying that when the government says it is going to bundle up a major portion of the IT market and compete it through acquisition vehicles, companies will fight to the death to be one of the awardees. Bidders know all too well that if they are not a winner on these major acquisition vehicles, they will have to sit on the sidelines for the next five or more years watching their competitors participate in an exclusive club of companies who have been granted access to this market. What started out to be a strategy to streamline IT acquisitions has turned out to … Continue reading Best-in-class, or worst-in-class?
If you attended a proposal writing class years ago, the instructor taught you to include win themes in every major proposal section. The instructor told you to link win themes to discriminators found in your offer and that the most powerful win themes discriminated your offer from those of your competitors. While it is good to differentiate your solution from competitors, it is only part of the equation needed to win. To win, you must consider the Government’s own instructions describing how they evaluate bids when using Federal Acquisitions Regulations (FAR) Part 15 15.101 Best value continuum, as opposed to FAR Part 15.101-2, where they look for the lowest price technically acceptable bid. In FAR Part 15.305 Proposal Evaluation, the Government is clear how they evaluate best value bids, “Evaluations may be conducted using any rating method or combination of methods, including color or adjectival ratings, numerical weights, and ordinal … Continue reading The Rationale for Eliminating Win Themes in Proposals
Federal Government source selection officials are very likely to review your bid electronically rather than in hard copy. Telework is here to stay, and federal proposal evaluators working from home are unlikely to print thousands of pages from multiple bids. Even in the office, printing large documents is wasteful and not environmentally friendly. In addition, over-worked government evaluators look for ways to speed the evaluation process. Increasingly, government evaluators rely on automation to help them efficiently review proposals. Whether the Source Selection Evaluation Board (SSEB) members are using acquisition software to check compliance and document findings or simply the search and find features of MS Word or Adobe Acrobat, they must be able to find content quickly and easily. An important part of planning before you write is identifying important key words for automated content searches. Using key words is not the same as parroting back RFP requirements. It is … Continue reading Five tips to help evaluators find key words (and winning content)