I want to be sure folks don't think my ongoing discussion themed "No Contract Vehicles Needed" is me saying you don't need a contract vehicle to generate sustainable business in the federal sector, that would be silly. However, for everyone that believes (and professes) having a contract vehicle is the only way to do business with the government, this blog post, among others, is me saying "I beg to differ."
Uncle Sam has competitively and non-competitively awarded more than $90 billion in goods and services in FY13 where the Award/IDV Type referenced indicates a buy that did not tap a GSA Schedule, BPA, GWAC or other Indefinite Delivery Contract.
With that being said, this entry is the setup for a complimentary one-hour webinar we'll be hosting for our members and partners this Friday (May 31st at 11:00AM and again on Wednesday, June 5th at 3:00PM) to give them a deeper dive into exactly how the Department of Defense awards contracts this way, how much they spend, to what extent they compete these buys and what they buy when they do award this way.
Standard stuff, right? Okay, here we go.
Taking into consideration DoD contract data is delayed ninety (90) days for reasons of operational security, you can assume the "actual" numbers are significantly greater than what I'm reporting here. We'll know for sure in ninety days! Additionally, I'm only going to cite information about competitive buys (i.e., Full and Open Competition, Full and Open After Exclusion of Sources and Competed Under Simplified Acquisition Procedures). If you were to go back and add in all of the follow-on and non-competed buys, these numbers would jump considerably. Not that they aren't already impressive enough.
- The Department of Defense has awarded just shy of $26 billion based on the competition types
- Of the twenty-two DoD agencies on the report, five (5) account for nearly $25 billion of this spending
- Only one of the twenty-two agencies has spent less than one million YTD
- More than 900 NAICS Codes have been referenced. The top ten account for $16.6 billion in spending.
- Nearly 600 Product PSC Codes account for just over $6 billion YTD
- More than 1100 Service PSC Codes account for nearly $20 billion in awards YTD
- Full and Open Competition accounts for $20 billion in awards
- Small businesses have captured nearly $4 billion of these awards YTD
Part of the reason I'm talking about this is simply to assist with radar calibration, and not mine. That is, many companies seem to get wrapped around their own axles looking for specific types of business, effectively ignoring other viable opportunities right in front of them. Think about it. If you have a GSA Schedule, are you going to walk away from an opportunity just because the agency is not utilizing the FSS to make the buy? Some of the answers I have gotten over the years might surprise you.
Then there is what I call the "snooty" factor, which applies to companies who believe they understand Simplified Acquisitions and want nothing to do with them because they equate them to Micropurchases (buys for goods and/or services up to $3K always paid via GSA SmartPay).
They don't know what they are missing.
Not only are buys made using Simplified Acquisition Procedures potentially much, much larger than Micropurchases, there is also an inherent (FAR-based) preference for awards to small businesses. While according to the FAR, every purchase order issued is a Simplified Acquisition buy, not every Simplified Acquisition buy is issued via a purchase order. In the case of DoD YTD, they have awarded in excess of $1 billion in purchase order awards.
Adjusting your radar for market research means enhancing your context. Without the ability to understand what you are looking at, you could have every piece of information needed to score your next win right in front of you, and you would never know it.
Over the next several weeks, we'll be spending time looking at DoD spending and digging into the various services and agencies. If your business is in CYBER/IT, Professional Services (Non-IT) or Construction and Facilities Services, tune in for an upcoming simulcast of "No Contract Vehicles Needed" as we host three sessions each month and highlight spending related to those offerings.
If you don't know what you don't know, ask for help
Peace.The Chief Visionary
"The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it."