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What You Don't Know Can (and Often Does) Limit Your Ability to Compete.

Posted By Guy Timberlake, The American Small Business Coalition, LLC, Monday, April 21, 2014

I spend a lot of time discussing context as it relates to government contracting because it's a critical element for anyone responsible for supporting decision-making. Without a fundamental understanding of your environment, it's pretty much impossible to draw conclusions from the information available via public and private sources.

One area I focus on is in how agencies obligate dollars to contracts and the various instruments available to them for procurement.

For example, if you don't truly understand the difference between an 'Award' and an 'IDV' as it relates to contracting with the U.S. Government, how can your organization conduct analysis of information related to agency forecasts, strategic plans, current and upcoming opportunities and competition? If your company is doing direct business with the Government and you have been awarded contracts and/or contract vehicles, there will be a reference citing one or more of the terms below in the Federal Procurement Data System - Next Generation, even if the awards you have received so far are 'zero dollar' awards which usually indicate the initial award of a contract vehicle such as a GSA Schedule, GWAC or multiple award IDIQ or BPA.

Here's the real meat. If you don't understand these terms and what they mean to your company, then you likely cannot use this information to detect trends in how your current or prospective customers will buy what you sell next time, or the time after that. Additionally, not knowing how these impact you also means you are likely not positioned to engage the next time a buy occurs.

While the below graphic represents governmentwide obligations FY14 YTD, it's very simple to create this visualization so that it represents what you sell to whom you want to sell, the way they buy and in the place they will use it. That is market intelligence you can use to support effective decision-making for your organization.

So here's my question. Which of these award and/or IDV types represents the opportunities your company pursues at your target agencies? Are you sure?

If you want to learn how to access and leverage information like this, contact me to learn about Ethical Stalking for Government Contractors™ and Information To Win™. Both programs will fundamentally change how you look for, look at and use information to find and win government contracts and subcontracts.


The Chief Visionary

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

Tags:  Award  BOA  BPA  definitive contract  GSA  GWAC  IDIQ  IDV  MAC  Purchase order  SCHEDULE  standalone contract 

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