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Stop Leaving Money On The Table!

Posted By Guy Timberlake, The American Small Business Coalition, LLC, Friday, August 01, 2014

Stop Leaving Money On The Table!

It's possible you've heard me discuss or write about the fact the Rule of Two Can Only Work When You Are Viable AND Visible
! and that many small federal contractors miss being considered for or hearing about potential opportunities based on the simple fact they were not visible to the organization and/or had no visibility into an organization's needs. It's an ongoing problem that I hope is solved one day, but for now I'm going to do my part to chip away at it.

I still believe agency buys made using the Simplified Acquisition Procedures represent a tremendous opportunity for small business concerns for many reasons. Some of those reasons include:

   - the time from identified need to purchase is much shorter than some other procurement methods;
   - most awards are competitive;
   - majority of the obligated dollars go to small business concerns;
   - largest percentage of the obligated dollars are issued to purchase orders and definitive contracts as opposed to established contract vehicles like the GSA Schedule;
   - spending under Simplified Acquisitions increased by nearly $2B during FY13 while the overall governmentwide spend decreased by $56B;
   - RFQ versus RFP generally means lower level of effort in responding.

The bottom line? Why look a gift horse in the mouth? The small business community should maximize this opportunity to supplement our other pursuits in the business of government contracting. Which conveniently brings me to the title of this piece: Stop Leaving Money On The Table!

During FY2013 when more than sixty federal agencies, boards and commissions obligated $17.4B using Simplified Acquisition Procedures, the small business community captured $10B of those dollars to include set-asides and buys that were not set-aside. That means the remaining $7B was awarded to companies considered 'other than small business' during FY2013.

Let me tell you about those dollars and why I'm a little fired up.

Just over $2B of those dollars were awarded as non-competitive buys. The other $5.2B was competitively awarded. Specifically, $5B was 'Competed Under SAP' and the rest split between Competitive Delivery Order, Full And Open Competition and Full And Open Competition After Exclusion Of Sources. With the exception of the few dollars subject to FAR Subpart 13.5 (Commercial Item Test Program) which is not subject to the 'Rule of Two' everything else was fair game for small business. Of the 1,070 NAICS Codes referenced, I don't believe for a minute there are not a bevy of quality U.S. small businesses that could step up for these opportunities and demonstrate to the agencies who made and are making these buys they should have an 'expectation of obtaining offers from two or more responsible small business concerns that are competitive in terms of market prices, quality, and delivery.'

My point? Agencies have obligated over $2B in the same fashion this fiscal year and it's not their fault, it's ours. So here's what we'll do about it. We're going to leverage our Ethical Stalking for Government Contractors™ tactics to create a marketing list of the agencies and specific contracting offices and then we'll reach out to them with information about small businesses who do the kind of work for which they are making these buys. The goal? To develop some 'top of mind' visibility for these companies. We know who the agencies are, what they buy and who they buy from, now it's just legwork.

By the way, of the $5B awarded to non-small businesses in FY13, $3B was obligated to purchase orders and definitive contracts versus GSA Schedule, BPA, etc. The rest was awarded to indefinite delivery vehicles, and we know which one's they were. So part of our "ask" with the agencies will be to establish some Simplified Acquisition-specific BPAs for our folks since BPA buys accounted for $1.6B of that $5B.

The start of FY2015 will include the formation of the SAP Task Force which will undertake a deliberate and direct marketing effort exclusively for small businesses. No offense to the 'other than small business concerns' out there but I want that $5.2B for small businesses.

Want more information? Give us a call to find out about agency spending under the Simplified Acquisition Procedures and to learn about the SAP Task Force.


The Chief Visionary

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

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Eva Freund, The IV&V Group, Inc. says...
Posted Friday, August 01, 2014

This is a great idea and one that should prove very useful to all of us looking to be noticed.

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