Tips for Producing a Compliant and High-Scoring SEWP VI Proposal

Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement (SEWP V: May 2015 – April 2025) has been a lucrative contract with $62.8B to date in sales, according to the SEWP VI Industry Day on October 23, 2023. SEWP contract revenues have consistently grown since its inception in 1993, and SEWP VI promises to be even more lucrative, given its expanded scope and capabilities:

  • Multiple contract types at the order level (Firm Fixed Price, Time & Material, Labor Hour, Fixed Price Award Fee, Fixed Price Incentive Fee)
  • Services and Professional Services at the Master Contract level
  • Scope of Category A is expanded and clarified (see Table 1)
  • Two new service categories added, and technical services expanded
  • Use of the United Nations Standard Products and Services Code® (UNSPSC®) classification to facilitate procurement

Offerors will benefit from the expanded service requirements in Category C if they meet the past performance requirements for SEWP VI. In addition, the SEWP Program Office indicated there is currently no expected cap on the number of awards. To qualify for an award, interested vendors must meet the RFP criteria.

Recent comments from the SEWP Program Office have noted that they are in the process of expanding the eligibility for an award.  Now is the time to re-evaluate your participation in SEWP VI to spur your company’s long-term growth.

Steps to Creating Your SEWP VI Proposal

Now is the ideal time to go back and check work previously completed for SEWP VI or to create new proposal entries to produce a high-scoring proposal in compliance with Table 1 requirements. Offerors can analyze the draft request for proposal (RFP) (09/08/2023), Industry Day slides (10/18/2023), and previously answered questions to develop their response in time for an RFP release in February 2024.

Table 1: Draft Request for Proposal (DRFP) Outline

VolumePhaseComponentPage Limit
IOneSF1449 Blocks 12 and the indicated Offeror required fill-ins in the clauses, provisions, and attachmentsExcluded
  (a) ISO 9001 and CMMI CertificationExcluded
  (b) Mandatory Experience Excluded
IITwoPast Performance 
  (a) Information from the Offeror10 Pages
  (b) Cover Page, Indices, Customer Evaluations, and Termination/Descope informationExcluded
IIIThreeMission Suitability 
  Technical Approach, Volume III-A90 Pages
  Cover Page, Indices, SOW Compliance MatrixExcluded
  Letters of AuthorizationExcluded
  Category A: IT Solutions (and representative content areas) IT Computer Systems/Storage Devices/Computer Facilities Networking Technology/Mobility and Communications Software and Cloud Technology Supporting Technology/Security Technology A/V Equipment and Accessories Product-Based Services30 Pages
  Category B: IT Enterprise-Wide Solutions (and representative content areas)IT-Managed Services Enterprise-Wide Network Services Enterprise-Wide Innovation Services   IT Service Management Enterprise Service Program Integration  Enterprise-Wide Information and Data Analytics Services (IDAs) Enterprise-Wide Application Services/Software Development Enterprise-Wide Cybersecurity Services Enterprise-Wide Cloud Services  Enterprise-Wide Digital Multimedia and Technical Communications Services30 Pages
  Category C: IT Services (and representative content areas)Network Services Innovation Services   Information and Data Analytics Services (IDAs) Application Services/Software Development Cybersecurity Services Cloud Services  Digital Multimedia and Technical Communications Services IT Operations and Maintenance/Help Desk/Call Center Support Database Services In-Scope Training30 Pages
  Management Approach, Volume III-B10 Pages
  a) Cover Page, Indices, Phase-in Plan, Small Business UtilizationExcluded

To win a contract, your proposal must be compliant, consistent, and score highly across all evaluation criteria. SEWP VI divides its review into three phases and three volumes, as described below.

Phase One, Volume I – Certification and Mandatory Experience

Phase One, Volume I evaluation criteria are pass/fail. The offeror must provide evidence to verify certification and mandatory experience requirements.

  • Certification: All offerors must provide third-party verification of a current ISO 9001:2008 or 9001:2015 Certification. Category B and C offers must provide verification of Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) via a current CMMI-Development (CMMI-DEV) or CMMI-Services (CMMI-SVC) Appraisal at Maturity Level 2 or higher, however, recent remarks from the SEWP Program Management office at a recent industry day noted that these requirements will likely be reduced to acquiring these certifications within 1 year of a SEWP VI award for small business.
  • Mandatory Experience:
    • Category A: Offers must provide an Excel document reflecting at minimum 2,000 different Contract Line Item Numbers (CLINs) with solutions for each sub-area and pricing. 
    • Category B: The offeror must have a minimum of four relevant experience projects (REPs) for each of the mandatory experience sub-areas. Each Project must be a minimum of $30M in total value size of a single order or contract.
    • Category C: The offeror must have a minimum of three REPs (and for Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone), Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), and Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Business (EDWOSB) offerors, a minimum of 2 REPs) for each mandatory experience sub-area. Per the draft RFP, each REP must have a minimum of $30M in total value size of a single order; but recent remarks by the SEWP Program Office indicated that they may be lowering the size standard significantly. The new size standard is 3 REPs of $5M or more for small business offerors, and 2 REPs over $2M for all other disadvantaged small business offerors.

Phase Two, Volume II – Past Performance

To pass Phase II, offerors must provide up to three past performance summaries for completed or ongoing contracts within three years of the RFP. They must also submit summaries that meet the RFP’s size and content coverage requirements (Table 1). For example, large businesses proposing in Category A and B must provide summaries with at least an average annual value of $2.5M and cover at least four content representative areas. All past performance summaries must come from the prime contractor and should demonstrate the following:

  • Exceptional Merit and Relevance: The offeror should describe projects highly pertinent to all requirements and of equal size, scope, and complexity. The experience should be clear, compelling, documented in detail, and backed up by evidence.
  • Exemplary Performance: The offer must explain precisely how they completed projects in a timely, efficient, and cost-effective manner. They should provide examples where they exceeded expectations or added significant value. Exceptional Contractor Performance Assessment Reports (CPARs) and customer commendations can validate an offeror’s claim of exemplary performance.
  • Problem-Solving Capabilities: Offerors should describe their ability to overcome problems in a manner that benefits the customer and reflects positively on their ability to manage and mitigate risks without disrupting ongoing operations. It is not yet finalized whether the SEWP Program Office will allow subcontractor’s references to support the requirement.

Phase Three, Volume III – Mission Suitability

Phase III, Mission Suitability, requires offers to obtain a high confidence rating across Category A: IT Solutions, Category B: IT Enterprise-Wide Solutions, Category C: IT Services, and the Management Approach. To gain a high-confidence rating, offerors must provide:

  • Understanding: The Offeror must provide a detailed understanding of the size, scope, complexity, and risks associated with the Government’s needs. This includes all technical, operational, logistical, and time-sensitive requirements. The offeror should also understand the agency’s needs, technical environments, user types, and constraints.
  • Approach: The Offeror must provide a logical, efficient, and feasible plan to accomplish the requirements. The plan should cover methodologies, technologies, logistics, management, timelines, safety standards, and other relevant details.
  • Minimal Government Intervention: The offeror must demonstrate the ability to perform the work effectively without extensive oversight or input. Offerors should demonstrate self-sufficiency, expertise, and the ability to manage projects within all required service and quality levels.

Conclusion

Navigating the complexities of the SEWP VI proposal requires diligence,expertise, and an understanding of the RFP’s requirements. Successful offerors will verify their proposals are comprehensive, detailed, and tailored to meet the RFP requirements. Given the page limits, their proposals will demonstrate quality over quantity and emphasize their competence and ability to exceed requirements. In addition, offerors must establish their ability to manage task orders with minimal government intervention and showcase their internal management capabilities, risk mitigation strategies, and commitment to quality and timelines.

By Brenda Crist, Vice President at Lohfeld Consulting Group, MPA, CPP APMP Fellow

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 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 $170B 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 LinkedInFacebook, and Twitter.

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Brenda Crist