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Going at it without a contract vehicle? The best agencies and states are...

Posted By Guy Timberlake, The American Small Business Coalition, LLC, Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Let me make sure I understand the situation.

You took the plunge and started looking for government contracts sometime in the last few years but you didn't listen. That is, you did not succumb to the dozens of solicitation emails received when you created your CCR (now SAM) profile. You know, the one's from organizations around the country saying your company would do at least $5 million in business with the government, if you let them handle the processing and submission of a GSA Schedule for you. I mean I'm sure after they did a thorough review of your offering and determined the amount of business going to the federal supply schedule for what you do and the agencies you want to pursue, made it a veritable no-brainer. Or not.

Good on you for not becoming one of the victims.

I'm not saying you don't currently or will ever need a GSA Schedule, but contrary to much of the "advice" offered to new entrants and even those who have been at it a while, the heaven's will not open up and rain down contract dollars, on you or anyone else. The same can be said about any of the mechanisms that allows government agencies to do business by placing a "call" or "order" against established indefinite delivery agreements or contracts.

Here's my point. Since the start of FY12, federal agencies have made thousands of buys worth billions of dollars that were not placed against an established agreement or contract. In fact, if we take just those buys that were competitively awarded, the total comes in at just over $40 billion. That total includes only the purchases made where the extent competed included: Competed; Competed Under SAP; Full and Open, and; Full and Open After Exclusion of Sources. No direct awards or follow-on awards in the bunch.


Here are a few fine points to help get your head around it.

  • The top five agencies account for $34 billion of the total dollars spent. They are DoD, Energy, NASA, HHS and USDA.
  • The top five states (place of performance) are California, Washington, Texas, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Combined they account for $14.5 billion of the YTD spending.
  • The number one extent competed? Full and Open which accounts for $32.4 billion.
  • The top five NAICS Codes represent just over $10 billion in spending YTD. More than one thousand were used representing pretty much everything purchased by the U.S. Government.

Here are my questions. Do you know the difference between a BPA Call, delivery/task order, definitive contract and purchase order? Do you understand their implications based on how your company is currently positioned?

Part of closing the deal with a customer includes knowing how they buy and if you will be allowed in the room when the deal is actually closed.


The Chief Visionary

"The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it."


Tags:  competitive  definitive contract  purchase order  sap  simplified acquisition 

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