Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contracts are becoming the preferred way that federal buyers make purchases. In order to compete in either the federal product or service sectors, your firm must have an IDIQ. As the use of IDIQs becomes increasingly more predominant, those which do not will be squeezed out of the market.
Looking at the issue from a practical perspective, one could say that those who have IDIQs have a hunting license. More specifically, such companies have a license to seek and bag a particular species in a specific jurisdiction. In the case of the federal market, only the holders of a specific IDIQ are permitted to bid on designated projects. Don’t be caught out in the wild without the proper license!
The five C’s required to write a winning proposal are: customer knowledge, creativity, compliance, clarity and conciseness. All five C’s are needed to maximize proposal evaluation scores.
Newcomers to the federal market underestimate the importance of the five C’s and typically think that slapping together a quick proposal is enough. Proposal evaluators love quick and dirty proposals because they can reject them within minutes and cut down on the work of proposal evaluation; they can get on with evaluating the others in the huge pile of responses. Evaluators hope that many proposals in the pile will lack the five C’s.
Customer Knowledge: The federal buyer must know you and what you can do to solve their problem. You probably should not waste valuable resources writing a proposal without customer knowledge beyond the Request for Proposal (RFP). Advanced sales and customer contact provides (1) the federal buyer with the comfort of reduced risk in selecting you for an award, and (2) you learn what the buyer really wants in order to create a tailored and creative solution to the buyer’s problem (the most critical part of the proposal).
This is what the insiders do (companies with direct federal contracts). They live with the customer and can’t help but understand their needs.
Compliance: Complete compliance with every requirement of the RFP is a necessity because any compliance flaw in your proposal can cause an immediate proposal rejection. Any missed compliance requirement, however small, can relegate you to the reject pile.
Creativity: Once you know the customer, you must creatively present your solution to their problem. A creative technical approach seals the deal. A winning technical approach emanates from (1) customer knowledge and (2) a highly structured proposal writing system. A structured system can take various forms, but the essential element is that the system should produce a detailed proposal outline containing legacy content and instructions before any writing begins.
Most technical writers (the people on the firing line) need structure and guidance to write a clear and concise technical content. Without a system, chaos usually results, particularly if there are several technical writers involved.
Clarity and Conciseness: Your English teachers probably taught you that clear and concise writing begins with a tight outline (organization structure). Government proposal evaluators do not like evaluating lengthy tomes and demand clarity and conciseness. Your proposal evaluation scores will suffer without it. A structured proposal writing system enhances clarity and conciseness.
Avoid letting your CEO throw in self-serving sales pitches without backup and clear evidence relevant to the requirements. An example of this: “ABC Co is a World Class or Best of Breed Company.” Proposal evaluators laugh at such statements; they are the polar opposite of clarity and conciseness.
Interested parties in the Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement – SEWP V Procurement are hereby notified that NASA/GSFC received a significant number of questions to the subject solicitation. Amendment #5 to the solicitation has been released to extend the proposal submission date to November 1, 2013.
All Questions and Answers will be posted for Industry’s review and updates to the final Request for Proposal shall be incorporated in the next release. The next amendment is anticipated to be released on or about October 22, 2013.
This announcement was published on October 17th, 2 minutes after the announcement that the date has been extended to November 1, 2013. Note the statement about the number of questions received and the timing of the posting would indicate that the questions were received within 2 minutes of the extension announcement. To us this would indicate that another extension could be forthcoming on October 22.
Small businesses have by far the best chances of an award by responding to Category B/Group B & Category B/Group C. You have the least technical requirements in these two groups (complimentary IT products) and it is set aside for small businesses. You would be competing with only your peers.
Fedmarket is offering SWEP proposal writing services.
Call sales at 888 661 4094, Ext. 2.
OASIS FBO Notice of October 7: The OASIS Program Office fully intends to establish the proposal due dates 10-14 calendar days from the date that the Government shutdown is resolved. While we foresee no changes to this plan, if there are any changes, the OASIS Program Office will update Offerors here on FedBizOpps.
Most people are predicting that the shutdown will end mid next week which would make the OASIS due date around November 1.
Companies that are primarily information technology (IT) service companies may qualify for OASIS if they have:
- Two (2) professional service that carry NAICS Codes that are not IT codes.
- Minimum of three (3) and up to five (5) primary projects (contracts), each as a prime contractor, and the combined annual value of all primary projects must be equal to or greater than $750,000. And no individual project can be less than $150,000 per year.
By qualifying for OASIS, IT companies have the opportunity to expand their capabilities into other professional service disciplines like management consulting, engineering, and finance. Everyone needs broader capabilities in the current federal market
Our OASIS Model Proposal Template saves companies 4 – 6 billable days of proposal writing time and gives you a head start if the proposal writing deadline is tight.
Read more about Fedmarket’s OASIS Model Proposal and call us to view the template.
Fedmarket also offers full-service proposal writing services for OASIS, call 888 661 4094, Ext. 2 for more information.
On 10/3 GSA issued an Amendment to both the Small and Large Business OASIS Solicitations at FBO.gov. Fedmarket published the OASIS solicitation links on our home page. As indicated in the Amendment the new offer due date is unknown and will be published as an amendment at FBO.gov.
In consideration of the Government shutdown and the associated potential impact on the OASIS proposal preparation process, the proposal due date of this solicitation is hereby suspended indefinitely. A definitive proposal due date will be established once the Government shutdown situation is resolved. Offerors are instructed to NOT submit proposals until further instruction. No other changes.
The updated OASIS Quick Reference Guide at Fedmarket.com shows the core qualifications required by GSA for an award. The primary stumbling blocks that most companies are encountering are:
Contract documents for 3 to 5 primary projects meeting the qualifications requirements in the Quick Reference Guide must be submitted to prove the required attributes of the projects. A contact documents means a document from the government, not a document created by you. Subcontracts with federal prime contracts do not qualify (a clarification in Amendment 4).
You must prove through government documents that you have two Pool Qualification Projects performed under at least one of the listed NAICS Codes to qualify for a pool. Each pool you qualify for is awarded as a separate OASIS contract. If you are having trouble finding NAICS Codes in your contract documents, ask the government for a document that shows that you performed the project under specific NAIS Codes(s).
Evaluation points are heavily weighted toward the evaluation of 3 or more primary projects with high performance evaluation scores. 4 projects are better than 3 and 5 projects are better than 4.
Projects not scored in the federal past performance data base must provide a performance rating questionnaire obtained from the government. You must use the government’s standard point scoring table to score yourself based on the subjective rating in the past performance questionnaire. (The table is not part of the questionnaire). The conversion of subjective ratings to point scores in required in order to complete the self-scoring document required in your offer.
Fedmarket’s OASIS Model Proposal can save days of proposal writing time. Not to mention the proposal writer migraines’ caused by an overly complex solicitation.
Read more about Fedmarket’s OASIS Model Proposal and call us to review the template
Fedmarket also offers full-service proposal writing services for OASIS, call 888 661 4094, Ext. 2 for more information.
It’s back to the drawing board for both large and small businesses. GSA has amended the OASIS RFP for the third time.
The newest update to the OASIS solicitation includes 11 updated forms and changes to the instructions for 5 out of 6 volumes, including file naming convention changes. The government has reduced the number of required relevant experience projects and the minimum values. This may enable some small businesses to participate in the OASIS opportunity who thought they were excluded due to a lack of projects.
OASIS is a complicated solicitation, and after 3 amendments, each with numerous updates, many proposal writers are lost in the quagmire. Save yourself the trouble of trying to decipher – not only the solicitation itself, but the modifications to the RFP you begin working with. Fedmarket offers updates to customers who purchase our OASIS Model Proposal product. We are currently up-to-date with the most recent amendment issued on September 11, 2013.
Currently it appears that GSA is not going to amend the OASIS Small and Large Business Solicitations again or extend the due date of 9/17/13.
Multi-disciplined professional services companies cannot afford to pass up the large revenue potential of OASIS. OASIS is one of a kind and offers great flexibility for federal contracting officers. Historically contracting officers have experienced trouble procuring multi-disciplined professional services through a multiple award contract and have been forced to use expensive and time consuming public bids.
Small businesses are questioning their project experience qualifications because the experience criteria in the solicitation is stringent. Small businesses on the edge should consider bidding because:
- GSA may have trouble qualifying enough small businesses to be politically correct with Congress and the small business community.
- The solicitation scoring scheme encourages bidders to submit qualifications that partially meet the solicitation criteria.
- Proposal writing is largely mechanical using Fedmarket’s OASIS model proposal template with its compliant file structure, file names, and required forms. Technical content is not required and the bulk of the proposal effort involves assembling proof of project experience. Project experience criteria in the solicitation require the bidder to show contract size, work scope, the NAICS code(s) for the contract and proof of performance from (1) contractual documents, (2) federal performance databases, or (3) a questionnaire completed by the federal customer.
It’s all about your score across a wide range of criteria and the number of bidders that qualify for each of the seven pools.
Questions about OASIS call 888 661 4094, Ext.2.
OASIS protest has been sustained temporarily with a decision by end of September.
Agency-level protest of GSA’s OASIS contract moves forward.
Although most protests lose, Fedmarket believes:
- There is a good chance the small business qualification requirements will be relaxed because it is the “politically expedient thing to do”.
- An extension of the proposal due date from 9/17 to somewhere between 10/15 – 11/15 is highly likely.