Based on the number of inquiries we receive about the across the board need for a hunting license (a.k.a. established contract vehicle) in order to be viewed as a viable or legitimate government contractor, I thought this would be a good conversation piece. Not certain of the implications of the graphic below?
You might be one of the many who falls into my category ‘How do you connect the dots if you don’t know what the dots mean?’
– Guy Timberlake, The Chief Visionary
There is quite a bit of confusion in the marketplace when it comes to how companies research and position themselves for future agency buys. Not necessarily from the standpoint of identifying the customer, the problem or the competition as those are pretty straightforward. Many companies spend a lot of time and money chasing customers and opportunities because they don’t understand how buyers intend to solicit opportunities and/or how they plan to award them. Too many companies rely on rumor and innuendo when it comes to these aspects of doing business, or worse, they get sold a bill of goods by some of the unsavory ‘experts’ seeking to help these companies acquire a GSA Schedule, IDIQ, GWAC or other IDV (Indefinite Delivery Vehicle) without so much as asking the companies what they do and with whom they would like to do it.
For example, the GSA Schedule is a great mechanism depending on what you sell and your current or intended customer alignment. There are many other factors that come into play as well, but in the end, the number of dollars tallied as sales against the GSA and VA Schedules each year is very much overshadowed by the number of dollars obligated by agencies using contracts and contract vehicles that are not part of the Federal Supply Schedule program. And if you’re getting calls about pursuing a Multiple Award Indefinite Delivery Vehicle (MA-IDV), keep in mind the majority of fiscal obligations still wind up on Single Award Indefinite Delivery Vehicles.
So here’s a look at the current FY2015 spend by Award and IDV Type. It’s incomplete because DoD obligations are reported to the public ninety days in arrears, but this will give you a good idea of where things are.
By the way, pay close attention to the ‘difference.’This is the biggest of the big picture views from a spending standpoint, but one from which you can easily extrapolate information specific to your knowledge needs. In fact, you could have the information and be using it in a matter of minutes if you understand ‘what the dots mean.’
The latest participants of our FPDS-NG blended learning workshop just received access to their online ‘community of interest’ where they have access to videos, discussion forums and more. Over the course of online content and an in-person (or web-based) lab session, they have a solid understanding of how to leverage and exploit information from the source just like in the graphic above.
When they’re done, they will know ‘what the dots mean’ and a whole lot more.
“The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it.”