Archive for October 2013

Essential Elements Federal Proposal Writing

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.

NASA SWEP V Due Day Extended to November 1

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: Small Businesses Can Still Make an Offer

OASIS FBO Notice of October 7The 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:

  1. Two (2) professional service that carry NAICS Codes that are not IT codes.
  2. 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.

OASIS Due Date Extended Indefinitely

On 10/3 GSA issued an Amendment to both the Small and Large Business OASIS Solicitations at 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

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 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.