The General Services Administration (GSA) on-ramp proposals to the existing One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services Small Business (OASIS SB) Pools 1, 3 and 4 and 8(a) sub-Pools are due on June 27, 2019. OASIS is a Multiple Award (MA), Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract classified as a Tier 3, Best-in-Class (BIC) contract providing solutions for complex professional services requirements. OASIS also helps agencies meet their government-wide spend under management (SUM) goals. SUM is the percentage of an organization’s spend that is actively managed according to category management principles.
GSA issued a Pre-Solicitation Notice on June 26 stating that the final OASIS Unrestricted On-Ramp solicitation will be available on or about July 8, 2019. The notice further stated that GSA intends to add 40 contracts to each of the three on-ramp Pools. With only weeks remaining, it is time to get ready.
Here are five things you can do now to maximize chances of success.
#1 Play the Symphony Demo
GSA is using “a different, streamlined method of submission for proposals, Symphony.” In preparation, GSA advises offerors to update their SAM.gov information to ensure timely access to the system which bidders must also use to submit questions related to the solicitation. Unrestricted bidders have the benefit of access to the Symphony demonstration video. Offerors will need to designate a Proposal Manager who will submit questions and eventually upload proposal files to the new system. Also note the self-scoring scoresheet must be entered into the Symphony system rather than uploading the scoresheet itself.
#2 Read the Q&A
The OASIS SB on-ramp Q&As provided with Amendment 4 include more than a thousand questions and responses. Not all are applicable to the Unrestricted RFP, but many may apply or at least provide insight into how to prepare a compliant and high scoring response. If you are looking for a quick overview, GSA has posted a video on the most frequently asked questions.
#3 Experiment with Maximizing Your Score
The OASIS Unrestricted on-ramps will more than double the number of awards in each Pool. The highest technically rated offerors will receive those awards regardless of how their score compared to the original OASIS awardees. Unrestricted bidders will face much stiffer competition than SB bidders, especially with successful former OASIS small businesses moving up to the Unrestricted Pool.
Unrestricted bidders must assume that all bidders will have qualifying projects of large size covering all or most of the relevant characteristics such as multiple locations, core disciplines, and task orders. Further, most if not all Unrestricted bidders will score well on government systems, industry certifications and facility clearances.
Where bidders may be able to discriminate their offers is Past Performance. With CPARS scores trending toward Satisfactory, those bidders with Excellent CPARS or past performance ratings can achieve highest scores. The difference between five Satisfactory ratings and five Exceptional ratings is 450 points per project, or a total of 2250 points which could certainly represent the difference between a win and a loss. Therefore, experiment with different combinations of projects. Do your five Excellent projects also meet the size and other relevancy standards for scoring well? Review the bottom line for different projects and see how to maximize your score.
#4 Double Check those NAICS Codes!
Lohfeld Consulting is helping a number of small business bidders who assumed their primary and secondary project NAICS codes were correct, only to find out that the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS) reported a different NAICS or PSC codes for the desired Pool. It is possible that you can convince the Contracting Officer (CO) to change the code in FPDS or issue a contract amendment. Otherwise, you must wait until final RFP release at to ask the CO to complete and sign the NAICS or PSC Code Correction Letter stating they erroneously reported the NAICS or PSC code in FPDS.
Since many COs do not want to change a NAICS or PSC code, make sure you have a back-up project. Gather all of the required contractual proof for your desired and backup projects now so you are ready for all scenarios.
#5 Line Up Support Now
With just weeks left to prepare for on-ramps, examine the requirements in the original OASIS RFP, experimenting with different combinations of projects and focusing on gathering the detailed documentation required as proof. Compliance is critical to obtaining an on-ramp spot, and smart bidders line up review support early to avoid disappointment. Your company is not only competing for an on-ramp spot, but also for the most qualified compliance review support to maximize your investment in this opportunity.
How Lohfeld Consulting Can Help
We assess whether your score is high enough to secure a spot and make specific recommendations on how to obtain a higher score. Lohfeld Consulting’s review also identifies areas where offerors may misinterpret the RFP or provide weak or invalid evidence. Our experienced reviewers conduct the careful, comprehensive proposal reviews and provide the detailed feedback necessary to avoid compliance issues that might eliminate your offer from consideration. Our recommendations are based on 100% success on previous submissions.
By Lisa Pafe, Vice President at Lohfeld Consulting Group, CPP APMP Fellow and PMI PMP
Lohfeld Consulting Group has proven results specializing in helping companies create winning captures and proposals.
As the premier capture and proposal services consulting firm focused exclusively on government markets, we provide expert assistance to government contractors in Go-to-Market Strategy, Capture Planning and Strategy, Proposal Management and Writing, Capture and Proposal Process and Infrastructure, and Training. In the last 3 years, we’ve supported over 550 proposals winning more than $135B for our clients—including the Top 10 government contractors. Lohfeld Consulting Group is your “go-to” capture and proposal source! Start winning by contacting us at www.lohfeldconsulting.com and join us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.