Over the years I’ve had my hands in deals procured through established contract vehicles such as BPAs, GWACs, IDIQs and the GSA Federal Supply Schedule, and I’ve had plenty of business occur where those were not factors. As the federal spend grew, so did the number and usage of agency-specific and governmentwide delivery order/task order contracts. You and the agencies can find an established contract to fit practically every situation and every type of product or service.
If you have one (or more) of these vehicles, the following information might reveal things you were not aware of, and if you do not possess one, consider this a trigger to find teaming partners who do. Lot’s of them! You’ll understand why in a few minutes.
I’m always curious about how dollars flow and decided to check out the stat of indefinite delivery vehicle obligations during the first quarter of FY 2015. Here are my caveats. As of this report the ninety (90) day OPSEC window has not fully elapsed for DoD transactions, so you’re seeing all but roughly forty-five (45) days of defense spending for Q1. Also, I’m only mining the Federal Procurement Data System for this report so agencies not required to submit data to this system are not included in the tally. Even so, I have quite a few dollars to discuss with you. Finally, I’m only looking at initial awards (vice obligations resulting from modifications) and those contract vehicles that were competitively awarded. I will dig down deeper near the end to show you only those dollars obligated via competitive ‘Fair Opportunity.’
Q1 FY2015 Competitive Initial Award Obligations to Single/Multiple Award Indefinite Delivery Vehicles (IDV)
From October 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014, 147 contracting agencies (one step below the ‘department’ level) obligated just over $12 billion to an array of Basic Ordering Agreements, Blanket Purchase Agreements, Federal Supply Schedules, Governmentwide Acquisition Contracts and Indefinite Delivery Contracts issued and administered by 137 different IDV contracting agencies. This equates to fifty-two different agencies, boards and commissions involved in these first quarter activities with DoD, VA, GSA, DHS and Justice contract vehicles (in that order) accounting for $10.5 billion of the Q1 spend.
What products and services did agencies procure during Q1?
If you’re curious about what agencies were buying, the graphic below provides a snapshot of dollars obligated by Product and Service Code or PSC. PSCs indicate the primary product or service purchased in a given transaction and are very granular when compared to NAICS Codes. In spending $12 billion via IDVs in Q1, agencies referenced 1,179 PSC Codes. The top 25 by spending account for just over $7 billion of the Q1 spend.
Which agencies were making these buys?
Since I mentioned the number of contracting agencies that contributed to the first quarter spending, this next graphic shows the top 25 contracting agencies by Q1 obligations. Interestingly, these agencies account for all but one billion of the first quarter IDV spend I’m reporting on.
Here are the obligations where competition occurred from start to finish.
Here’s where things take a downward turn.
While the $12 billion represents obligations to single and multiple award contracts vehicles that were competitively awarded, let’s assume that if you are currently not part of a team for one of these vehicles, your best bet is where competition is still a factor. So let’s part ways with all of the single award task order contracts and any Fair Opportunity competitions that were not a ‘Competitive Set-Aside‘ of ‘Fair Opportunity Given‘ and see what we come up with.
In peeling back the onion to get to the truly competitive opportunities, we’re left with just over one-quarter of the original dollars with ‘other than small business’ obligations ahead of small business obligations by $600 million.
For your company, you can easily tap the same free resources I did to carve out a snapshot of the landscape at the agencies of interest, specifically based on what you sell and for certain contracts or contract vehicles. It can help you identify opportunities and potential points of entry.
Like to know more about public sources of government contracting data and using them to find and win contracts and subcontracts? Click here to learn about Ethical Stalking for Government Contractors™.
Guy Timberlake, The Chief Visionary
The American Small Business Coalition