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The Pareto Principle - GovCon Edition

Posted By Guy Timberlake, The American Small Business Coalition, LLC, Monday, August 08, 2011
The 80/20 Rule is alive and well in Government Contracting. In fact, due to environmental factors such as our Nation's debt, Continuing Resolutions, a late start to the budget and ever-increasing competition, some think it should be updated to be the "95/5 Rule."

Congratulations! You are one of the 599 companies (or joint ventures) awarded the GSA STARS II contract. You have the privilege of competing for work for the next ten years in a select crowd where there is no guesswork as to who your competition is.

That's the good news.

If like me you listen to folks like Larry Allen (president of Allen Federal Business Partners), Larry said (in a Washington Technology article) he expects a small number of businesses, as low as 5 percent, [will be] getting a significant amount of work on STARS II.

So ninety-five percent of you just spent a lot of time and money for pretty much nothing, if you subscribe to this philosophy. It's the same story for many other GWAC's and the GSA Schedule. In the same Washington Technology article, Ray Bjorklund of FedSources (someone else worth listening to), compared the competition’s likelihood to the Navy’s major IT contract, Seaport-e. It had more than a thousand businesses on the contract, but only about 50 companies received a lot of work.

So, how will you ensure you are part of the 5% instead of the 95%? My first bit of advice is to not sit back and wait for task order requests to be sent to across the proverbial transom. Be sure your company and team understand exactly how business can be prosecuted on this contract vehicle and then get out there and make the business happen!

Once the notice to proceed is issued, of course.

- The Chief Visionary

The person who says it cannot be done should stop interrupting the person doing it.

Tags:  80/20 rule  budget  competition  debt  govcon  pareto  principle 

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Comments on this post...

Richard Dean, Geneva Software, Inc. says...
Posted Monday, August 08, 2011
I'm just so confused by the higher mathmatics! Here's an idea, let's focus on building relationships - both governmental and coopetively and I'll bet we shall all be winners!
Permalink to this Comment }

Gary J. Gray says...
Posted Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Seaport E is a much broader than IT having only two the 22 functional areas-- Information System Development, Information Assurance, and Information Technology (IT) Support; and Software Engineering, Development, Programming and Network Support--for pure IT. Research and Development; Engineering, Systems Engineering, and Process Engineering; Prototyping, Pre-Production, Model-Making and Fabrication Support are some of the others.

In addition, the cost of submititing the IDIQ proposal is much less ($10,000 or less) with the primary competition coming at the task order level--where it should be. So if you are, or intend to, do business with the Department of the Navy, SEAPORT E is a relatively easy and cost effective way to go.

Best regards,

Gary J. Gray
President and CEO
Acquisition Systems Associates
Permalink to this Comment }

Michael Anderson, Native American Contractors Assn says...
Posted Wednesday, March 13, 2013
It would be interesting to see the Seaport-e data. It is often touted as a great contract vehicle; and then again, I have heard many verbally throw their hands up in frustration. I suspect the truth is somewhere in between -- or am I wrong?
How many task orders have been issued under Seaport-e? How many have been bid on? How many of those bids were small business? How many have been awarded and of those, again, how many were small business?
The data should provide some opportunity to see the facts. Like one cable news channel often proclaims "we report, you decide."
Thanks for what you and ASBC do for us!
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