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Making sense of Federal Alphabet SEWP

in Agency Focus, Federal Contracting by David Lowe 1 Comment

When you start diving into selling to the federal government you are immediately confronted with funky acronyms- and they never stop!  It’s almost as if you have to develop an acronym to be considered a real program.

Some of them are pretty funny too like the irony of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration being NOAA (pronounced Noah).  Nasa’s SEWP (pronounced soup) stands for Solutions for Enterprise Wide Procurement and to enhance the funny punny, they added Business Operations and Workstation Laboratory (BOWL).  How about the IBOM aka Ionizing Brownout Mitigation System or the abbreviation for National Museum of American History – NMAH (pronounced enema).  One of my favorites is the RHQDAPU – Reporting Hospital Quality Data for Annual Payment Update pronounced rack-da-poo.

GSA has a list of most used procurement acronyms so you can familiarize yourself with them.  In the meantime here are a few of the most common procurement acronyms…

BPA- Blanket Purchase Agreement

IDIQ- Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity

POC-  Point of Contact

CO- Contracting Officer

BOA- Basis of Award

If you have a favorite, leave a comments with yours!

Not to be outdone or left behind, we here at isiFederal have a few of our own…

Isi- Integrated Solutions Initiative (sounds government-esk right?)

LIMRIC™- Leverage (relationships), Influence (the process), Monitor (for winnable opportunities), Respond, Improve, Capture

The acronym I know of and my very favorite is WIN. That stands for WIN.  Pronounced WIN, aka in your face, oh yeah baby, success and show me the money!  (Couldn’t resist) Seriously, agree that WIN is your favorite acronym and you want to get in or enhance your federal sales, call 888-9-GET-isi.

Myth: FedBizOpps is the Best Place to Find New Opportunities

in Agency Focus, Bidding Basics, Developing Your Federal Strategy, Federal Contracting, Reaching Your Buyers, Understanding Your Market by David Lowe 1 Comment

If you go to www.fedbizopps.gov you will find around 19,000 opportunities. Huge, right? Look closer… those 19,000 are categorized in one of the following: Presolicitation, Combines Synopsis Solicitation, Sources Sought, Modification, Sale of Surplus Property, Special Notice, Foreign Government Standard, Award Notice, Justification and Approval, Intent to Bundle Requirements.

If you search all opportunities in the past 365 days, you will see that only 196,564 actually were posted. Let’s look closer… 74,426 were not even real opportunities (Presolicitaions, Sources Sought, Canceled etc.). That isn’t all… When you consider some were not awarded at all and about 80% of RFP’s are so heavily influenced by industry (winnable only by the contractor who assisted in writing the scope), that leaves about 3,000 opportunities per month – Nationwide across all industries. That is why most companies think there is too much competition – and they are right if FBO is your source.

Last year according to isiFederal Intelligence research, 2,623,071 contracts were awarded last year with 218,589 contracts being executed every single month (now that is more like it). That means only about 4.5% of opportunities actually hit the street on FedBizOpps and most of them are already baked for the competition.

FedBizOps Myth? BUSTED

Here is a video with some more on FBO… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNapeaNsJ3A&feature=share&list=UUT7lk1QZ641AoAeFE8YUG8g

Disaster Preparedness and Recovery

in Agency Focus, Federal Contracting, Reaching Your Buyers by David Lowe Leave a comment

Last Friday, a storm blew through Maryland with 80 mile an hour winds and several inches of rain.  Unlike any storm I have seen, the lighting was almost constant and the trees were being bent and twisted so much so that we lost several stout oak trees and branches were strewn all over the place.  At about 11PM last Friday the power went down.  The next day we saw the damage and it looked like a warzone.  We have 5 poles down in different places so we can probably expect another several days of running on generator power just to keep the freezer cold.

Governor O’Malley has requested federal assistance for this event.  This is a step short of Katrina where FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Administration) was called in to help with the emergency. Now, FEMA is an interesting agency.  They spend money quickly with pre-registered companies that provide specific services.

How can you tap into FEMA spending?

FEMA wants to know about you so make sure you visit [Link Updated: Doing Business with FEMA] and follow the instructions to register your company. If you provide Debris Removal you can register with the Debris Removal Contractor Registry https://asd.fema.gov/inter/drcr/home.htm.

Registering your company is important because FEMA responds to emergencies like hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and other natural and man-made disasters. If your company is known before the event happens, you will be in position to jump on an opportunity when the federal government is called on for disaster relief.

Pre-disaster registration is mandatory.  Just as important is pre-marketing your product and service offerings to buyers.  isiFederal can help you find and reach key decision makers before they start spending the money.  Companies that are known before the opportunity is posted are 5 times more likely to win.

By the way…

FEMA is an agency just like other agencies. FEMA’s published opportunities can be found at “New and Existing” but don’t stop there. FEMA is a DHS agency so there are many opportunities within DHS for you as well. Visit for details on doing business with DHS where you will find a link to the DHS forecast for DHS and all the sub agencies.

MythBusters- FedBizOps

in Agency Focus, Federal Contracting, Understanding Your Market by isiFederal Leave a comment

Mythbuster: FedBizOps

Myth: Is the best place to find new opportunities really FedBizOps? If you go there right now you will find around 38,400 opportunities. Huge, right? Look closer… those 38,400 are categorized in one of the following: Presolicitation, Combines Synopsis Solicitation, Sources Sought, Modification, Sale of Surplus Property, Notice, Foreign Government Standard, Award Notice, Justification and Approval, Intent to Bundle Requirements.

If you search all opportunities in the past 365 days, you will see that only 60,699 actually were posted. If 60,699 is the annual total it must mean that a huge portion of the 38,400 are not even real opportunities. That isn’t all… When you consider some were not awarded at all and about 50% of RFP’s are so heavily influenced by industry (winnable only by the contractor who assisted in writing the scope), that leaves about 2,000 – 2,500 opportunities per month – Nationwide. That is why FedBizOps is a competitive nightmare and why most companies think there is too much competition.

Last year according to isiFederal Intelligence research, 2,718,964 contracts were awarded last year with 226,000 contracts being executed every single month (now that is more like it). That means only about 1% of real opportunities actually hit the street on FedBizOps.

FedBizOps Myth… BUSTED.

Secret Agencies

in Agency Focus, Federal Contracting by isiFederal 1 Comment

Secret Agencies

We are not talking about NSA, CIA or any other spy agencies, we are talking about unknown agencies would drive right past their office and not know they were there. I should know, I have driven past a few of them for years in DC.

Bureau of Reclamation $1.1B

US Marshal Service $1.1B

USGS (Geological Survey) $1.1B

CNCS (Corporation for National Community Service) $1.2B

GPO (Government Printing Office) $1B

Many of these obscure agencies have contracting officers with budgets that rival fortune 500 companies. Guess what… if you don’t know who they are, chances are your competitors don’t either. Most of these smaller agencies also have more modest purchases. This helps keep their purchasing underneath the major federal contractors’ radar and also can make it more manageable for you. In almost all cases, these smaller agency contracting officers not hounded by hundreds of sales people either which makes them very willing to talk. Click USA.GOV for a list of hundreds of agencies.

Sole Source Contract Spending Drops

in Agency Focus, Federal Business News, Federal Contracting by isiFederal Leave a comment

According to John Hutton the Director of Director of Acquisition and Sourcing at the Government Accountability Office (GAO) Federal spending for non-competed contracts dropped from 36% to 31% since 2005. Historically, sole source contracts have been linked to defense-related purchases based on specific requirements; GAO estimates that approximately 13% contracts government-wide are sole source contracts. isiFederal intelligence supports those statistics, but there is more to the story.

Smaller Percentage, Bigger Money

Looking more closely at the numbers, the dollar values are far more impressive with Singe Offer Received (SOR) contracts and it is across the board. Through intelligence research for hand tools we found 39% of those purchases sole sourced for $8.5M- most of them military. SOR contracts were only 7% but the dollar value was $86.8M nearly 67% of the total tool purchases.

Research for utility construction was sole sourced at a rate of less than 1% but SOR contracts garnered 64% of total contracts for $164M – that is 48% of all utility construction awards. Marketing and Advertising services intelligence revealed similar numbers with $1.2B in spending with 50% of all contracts having one response. How about logistics, 33% SOR, 82% had 4 bidders or less.

How can you develop sole source and single response contracts?

It comes down to relationships with buyers.

Source: Govloop.com and isiFederal Intelligence
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