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Do You See the Opportunities You're Missing?

Posted By Guy Timberlake, The American Small Business Coalition, LLC, Friday, October 03, 2014
Updated: Friday, October 03, 2014

Do You See the Opportunities You're Missing?

Just so it's off the table, without hesitation I can say I have been just as guilty of what I'm going to discuss as anyone else. With that out of the way...

If your company is in possession of a multiple award delivery order or task order contract from the U.S. Government, I ask, Do you see the opportunities you're missing?

I literally just hung up the phone after doing an interview with my friend Amy Morris (Morning Anchor at WNEW 99.1 CBS Radio DC) cutting another of my Position To Win™ segments when I recalled something we chatted about related to competition and multiple award contract vehicles. Naturally, that meant I had to go dig up some information so I could get a more clear picture.

The results I found were not what I was expecting and here's why.

When companies pursue multiple-award contracts issued by government agencies, the expectation is they will be part of an exclusive group vying for opportunities available only to them and those they invite. Pursuing GSA Schedules, IDIQs MACs, BOAs, BPAs and GWACs is big business. Not only does it require a certain amount of skill, it's never bad to have some luck thrown in there as well. And the duration of some of these delivery order and task order contracts can range from one year to a decade, making it even more critical to secure a spot, else you run the risk of being shut out of substantive opportunities for some time. But winning a spot on a contract like Seaport-e, SEWP, NETCENTS or OASIS is just the beginning. If you are successful at that stage, then the real work begins, and that is where a lot of companies encounter their biggest challenges. I've worked for and partnered with companies whose post-award strategy involved sitting back and waiting to see what got tossed over the fence. Let me tell you how well that works out.

Which brings me to the real point of this piece. Why would companies make the investment to pursue and win a contract like this and then squander it? If there is even a half-truth to the information I captured today it represents a very poor state of affairs for a number of companies.Let me explain.

I did a review of multiple-award contracts (BOA, BPA, FSS, GWAC and IDC) and orders placed against them (BPA Calls, Delivery Orders and Task Orders) for all of FY2014. I examined only competitive buys and pulled data for those where the government indicated fewer than three offers were received at the BPA Call, Delivery Order and Task Order level. As a reminder, these are only for established contract vehicles awarded to two or more vendors. Here's what I found:

 Beginning at the top line (BPA) here is what I see:

  • GSA/BPA contracts account for $25M in orders placed where fewer than three offers were received. Theis number reflects orders placed during initial award or modification to the initial award.

  • Orders (BPA Call) against BPAs where fewer than three offers were received for each total $1.1B in FY14 obligations.

  • Delivery orders represent buys made against BOAs, GSA Schedules (FSS) , GWACs and Indefinite Delivery Contracts such as IDIQs and MACs. Collectively, these orders account for nearly $31B in obligations where only one or two responses were received by the government.

  • The information submitted by agencies to FPDS-NG indicates agencies processed over 19,400 contract actions in obligating $32B where fewer than three vendor offers were received. For perspective, $20B of that was obligated when agencies cited only one offer was received.

To give you an idea of how many agencies this reaches, sixty-one federal agencies, boards and commissions contributed to the total spend and leveraged multiple award contract vehicles established by 129 different contracting agencies. The top fifteen 'IDV Contracting Agencies' (the owners of the contract vehicles that were used) account for $28B of the spend and include:

  1. Federal Acquisition Service
  2. Army
  3. Navy
  4. Veterans Affairs
  5. NASA
  6. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
  7. Office of Procurement Operations (DHS)
  8. State Department
  9. USAID
  10. Education
  11. Air Force
  12. NIH
  13. DISA
  14. Mint
  15. IRS

 As far as what was being purchased, it covers the spectrum. The NAICS Codes referenced on the multiple award contracts totals 954. Here is a look at the top twenty and the corresponding obligations:

We have a number of companies in The American Small Business Coalition who own or are teamed on many of the contract vehicles referenced here and we will definitely be working with them to ensure at the very least, they are in that range of one or two responses. If your company is involved in one or more of these contracts and this information is news to you, this is about the time I would recommend a sincere retooling of your organization's strategy and a deep dive into the kind of information that will help you make the necessary changes.

In closing, here's a quick note to the awardees of NASA SEWP V. SEWP IV accounts for just over one billion of these low and no competition buys for FY14. Companies on DISA ENCORE II, $390M. Navy SeaPort, $1.5B. Department of Education TIVAS, $665M and State Department GSS, $258M.

Would you like to know more? Click here to call me or email me at You can always view my other articles by clicking here.


The Chief Visionary

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

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