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What Are You Waiting For?

GTWithout fail many small business owners are focused on finding ‘low-hanging fruit’ to get that first piece of business with a federal agency or winning short-cycle dollars to keep the lights on and subsidize the pursuit of larger opportunities. Fortunately, one of the only areas of federal contract spending realizing growth is one that was developed pretty much for those reasons.

Why is it so many are standing at the starting line when they should be in full pursuit of these opportunities?

– Guy Timberlake, The Chief Visionary

It happened again just this morning.

During the introduction portion of a training session, several business leaders indicated a need to identify small opportunities that don’t take as long to close. For some it was to get their foot in the door and for others it was to balance out their pipelines in order to keep the coffers appeased to some extent. This prompted a brief but informative narrative about the state of agency spending when they invoke the under-appreciated Simplified Acquisition Procedures found in FAR Part 13.

Here are the highlights:

– agency spending continues to increase – FY2015 is closing in on $20 billion, a $600M increase from FY2014 (DoD is still counting)

– nearly 70 percent of obligations are not attributed to an established contract vehicle – purchase orders reign supreme for these buys

– with two exceptions, more small businesses saw growth via Simplified Acquisitions than other types of procurements and award types

sixty-one agencies issued contracts for goods and services in FY2015 while seventy-nine agencies funded those buys

– those agencies referenced 1,147 NAICS Codes and 2,351 Product and Service Codes in the FY2015 buys

over seventy percent of the purchases were competitively awarded

This conversation about Simplified Acquisitions is nothing new as I’ve been leading this discussion for many years. A number of small businesses have acknowledged this call for action by winning some of this business for themselves either as a result of participating in our training or their own gumption.

The increased use of Simplified Acquisitions is also nothing new as you’ll see below:

20151113 SAP Total FY09 thru FY15Bear in mind, the corresponding governmentwide contracting spend decreases by $100 billion while dollars to these streamlined buys increases, significantly.26486240_m

These facts, the points I cover in my May 2014 article ‘The Neverending Search for Low-Hanging Fruit‘ and your company’s due diligence should make it pretty clear there are opportunities to be pursued and won.

So my question is, what are you waiting for?


Guy Timberlake, The Chief Visionary (bio)

“The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it.”

About Editor-in-Chief Visionary

Go-To-Guy Timberlake is the Editor-in-Chief Visionary of GovConChannel and oversees the creation and curation of relevant and timely 'News And Information That Matters To Small Government Contractors.'


2 thoughts on “What Are You Waiting For?

  1. Great article along with your others on SA’s. Thank you. Main question for us, though, is what supplies/services are being procured? We’re in a specialized niche of laboratory capital equipment (PSC 6640, NAICS 334516). We have a GSA contract and do pretty well on that. We also monitor FBO but rarely see many opportunities on FBO for what we make. Lots of consultants talk of “secret, unpublished” opportunities? But can we actually find out if much equipment like ours is being procured through SA? Searching on the PSC and/or NAICS is too broad.


    Posted by David Norby | December 22, 2015, 11:37
    • Happy Holidays and thanks for your comment and sentiments David! To answer your first question regarding what supplies/services are being procured, let’s look at it this way. There were 1100 NAICS Codes referenced and 2380 PSC Codes referenced in FY2014 for Simplified Acquisitions buys. I imagine the tally for FY15 will be similar. If PSC Codes indicate the primary product or service being procured (note ‘Primary’ versus only) then there were at least that many different goods and services purchased. Believe me when I say the variety is far greater than that number reflects. Also, you note the PSC and NAICS in your comment that I imagine are tied to your FSS. Did you know your company’s goods have been referenced by 39 different NAICS Codes and 75 different PSC Codes over the years? In FY15 there are at least twelve different PSCs and NAICS referenced. Regarding those ‘secret unplublished’ opportunities, how many of the $354K in purchase orders received by your company in FY15 did not result from a synopsis or synopsis/solicitation on FBO? A number of them were below $25K, the synopsis threshold. Keep in mind, orders against a GSA Schedule are ‘delivery orders’ so PO’s are not buys against your schedule. For your last question ‘Can we actually find out if much equipment like ours is being procured through Simplified Acquisitions’ the answer is yes with conditions. You might not be able to obtain all of the knowledge needed from a historical database since the description that is or is not included is the result of what was keyed in at the time of the order. However, a combination of solicitation documents, historical transactions and the all important, knowledge of customer(s), you can definitely find out how they buy what you sell. If you’re interested in learning more about Simplified Acquisitions and specific tactics for identifying prospects and opportunities, take a look at ‘The Complete Simplified Acquisitions Workshop!’ a blended learning program. Here’s the link: http://www.theasbc.org/event/COMSAP116

      I hope you and yours have a wonderful holiday season!



      Posted by Editor-in-Chief Visionary | December 28, 2015, 13:27

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