TArticles tagged with: RFP

MULTI-PART SERIES: Meeting with Acquisition officials – Up close and personal, Part 1

A COVID conversation with Jacob Bertram, former Director of Contract Operations at GSA

Just because COVID-19 is forcing us indoors doesn’t mean that we can’t get together and learn from one another. Lohfeld Principal Consultant and capture expert Dr. Doug Himberger interviewed Jacob Bertram, former GSA Contracts Director. In this first installment, Doug and Jacob discuss building customer relationships as part of developing a strategy for winning business at an agency. [Doug] Thank you to Jacob Bertram for joining me. For our readers, Jacob is a former government contracts director and acquisition professional now with industry. When he was with the government, he supported DOE, DCMA, DCAA, and GSA. We have some questions that we’ve been dying to ask the government, and we’re really looking forward to hearing how Jacob reflects on them. [Jacob] Thank you, Doug. [Doug] Our first overall topic is developing customer relationships. My first question has to do with the way industry interacts with customers in general. Doesn’t the … Continue reading MULTI-PART SERIES: Meeting with Acquisition officials – Up close and personal, Part 1

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Best Practices for a Task Order Proposal Factory

A number of best practices will enable success in responding to rapid turnaround TO RFPs.

The trend in Federal procurement is to award more and more work through task orders on multiple award contract (MAC) vehicles. MAC contracts go by many names: Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (ID/IQ) contracts (single award or multiple award) GSA Schedules (sometimes referred to as Multiple Award Schedules and Federal Supply Schedules) Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs) Government-wide Acquisition Contracts (GWAC) MAC contracts are generally awarded based on qualifications, experience, and merit. Bidders are evaluated for past performance, quality certifications (CMMI, ISO, etc.), corporate experience, security clearances, and internal systems such as cost accounting, estimating, and purchasing. Once the MAC awards are made, specific project work is issued and funded through individual task orders (TOs). Different contract vehicles use different terms for these requests: task order request (TOR), request for task order proposal (RTOP), request for task execution plan (RTEP), task order request for proposal (TO RFP), etc. When a TO RFP is issued, the … Continue reading Best Practices for a Task Order Proposal Factory

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How to review your proposal to move beyond ‘Acceptable’

At a minimum, proposals must be compliant and responsive.

This article was originally published on May 1, 2020 on WashingtonTechnology.com We all know that, at a minimum, proposals must be compliant and responsive. If a proposal meets this minimum bar, the evaluator is likely to award it an Acceptable rating. But what if, despite several rounds of color team reviews, the proposal barely meets this mark? A Mediocre Proposal We can assume that an Acceptable proposal will not win in a federal government competitive best value trade-off, unless other bidders also submit Acceptable proposals, and price is the determining factor. Under the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), government evaluators must make an award based on benefits offered by the proposer. Those benefits may include features of the proposed offering with proven benefits, or a low price, or some combination of the two. Still, unless the win strategy is based on a low bid, the goal of our color team reviews … Continue reading How to review your proposal to move beyond ‘Acceptable’

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Winning “must win” deals

Understand the customer’s needs, not just their requirements

“Oh, by the way, this is a must win deal for us,” my boss said as we concluded our conversation. The RFP had dropped, and I was to lead the final proposal effort. The company was getting ready to graduate from the small business world. Like many, we were looking to win as many small business IDIQ vehicles as we could to cushion our transition. The opportunity fit within our core competencies—but with an agency and government sector new to us. While there had been some pre-RFP activity and team building, it was focused on smaller companies familiar with the sector, but not with the agency. My work was cut out for me! Carefully considering the situation, I determined we needed to do three things to win: Fully understand the customer’s needs, not just their requirements. Propose a strong solution to meet both the requirements and the needs. Build in … Continue reading Winning “must win” deals

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