Additional Purchasing Vehicles – Ask how you can get one!
Blanket Purchasing Agreement
Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 8.405-3
BPA’s can be established by contracting officers using pre-competed GSA schedule pricing or other valid pricing that can be supported as reasonable. BPA’s can be awarded to one or several companies and can be agency specific or used government wide.
Once awarded a BPA, federal buyers needing products or services can issue a “call” against the BPA up to the set maximum amount of the call. BPA are not subject to further competition and can be awarded as often as needed up until the total amount of the BPA is reached. While most BPA’s do not guarantee federal money, cap amounts can range to millions of dollars.
BPA’s can be huge assets for companies because they have virtually no competition. Obtaining should be a top priority when developing your federal strategy. Remember, BPA’s do not guarantee Once you have a BPA, effectively marketing that becomes the key to successfully booking sales against this very powerful purchasing vehicle.
IDIQ – Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity
IDIQ contracts provide for an indefinite quantity of services for a fixed length of time – usually a base year and four option years. IDIQ’s usually contain minimum and maximum quantity limits and can be utilized up to the IDIQ limit. IDIQ’s are usually competed using a set criteria to determine if the company is providing fair and reasonable pricing to the government. IDIQ’s are often awarded to multiple companies then “task orders” for specific scopes of work are competed between the awardees.
IDIQ’s are considered some of the most valuable and lucrative contracting vehicles because the agencies have defined needs and have identified a core group of qualified companies who can fulfill those products or services on a regular basis. Some IDIQ’s are mandated by agencies as the primary vehicle and can be worth billions over the term of the contract.
IDIQ winners have a distinct competitive marketing advantage over any other company competing for federal business. The key to successfully obtaining an IDIQ revolves around solid proposal development and good past performance within the agency and other federal projects.
Even if federal buyers are mandated to use a certain IDIQ does not mean they have to buy from you. Marketing and maintaining good relationships with buyers is key to successfully winning task orders on a regular basis through your IDIQ.
GWAC – Government Wide Acquisition Contract
GWACs are MA (multiple award) IDIQ (Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity) contract vehicles that focus on IT products and services. There are currently 13 GWACs each of which are utilized for tens of billions in federal sales every year.
GWACs usually are awarded for five-year terms. Some have on-ramping and off-ramping (a method utilized to bring on additional vendors) but most are re-competed when the five year term is nearing completion. To win a GWAC your company needs to demonstrate exceptional management with the ability to handle fast turn task orders, often in high volumes. Proposals for GWACs are complex and require significant time and expertise to prepare.
Once awarded, your GWAC works like an IDIQ. The biggest exception is that almost of the GWAC contracts are mandated for use by at least one agency. This virtually guarantees sales once you have your GWAC as the competition pool is only the few companies who hold the GWAC.
Most companies who win GWACs and market them effectively are literally transformed from small to large businesses overnight. However, small businesses that win maintain their Business status throughout the GWAC term allowing them to compete for Small Business Set Asides in spite of dramatic growth.