When GSA referenced Product Service Codes as part of the points accrual for the Alliant 2 and Alliant 2 Small Business GWACs, many companies, large and small, were caught by surprise. Quite a few had to scramble to reassess their competitive standing given this new wrinkle based on a long-standing classification system. It caused a shift in the competitive landscape and helped shed light on a topic that is minimized, if addressed at all by agencies in their outreach and education efforts. It remains a topic grossly misunderstood by industry.
– Guy Timberlake, The Chief Visionary
If you find yourself coming up short in the area of meaningful results in trying to identify contract and subcontract opportunities, you may have a knowledge problem. If you recognize that your cost of acquiring business (we call it C.A.B. Fare) is too high, you may have a knowledge problem. And if the time it takes for you to find and qualify suspects, prospects and leads has you lagging behind your known (and unknown) competitors, then again, you may have a knowledge problem.
What’s driving this is very likely the fact you don’t know what you don’t know and that will most definitely hinder your efforts to move forward, similar to a boat still tied to the dock as it tries to get underway. It’s not insurmountable, but definitely problematic. For example, if you are not aware of the function of NAICS Codes when used in purchasing activities by federal agencies, or the existence and function of Product Service Codes in the same scenario, it’s pretty much guaranteed you’re working too hard and spending too much to arrive at the same place as some of your competition. Additionally, it’s a pretty sure bet you are not close seeing all of the viable opportunities relevant to your offering, and you’re probably seeing a lot of information about requirements of little to no interest too.
The issue is knowledge-in-context. You see information every day, multiple times a day, but it doesn’t resonate because you’ve not developed the knowledge to understand if and why some or much of the information you see would be important, or not.
This is one of the reasons I developed our ‘What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You!‘ topics in B2G Essentials. For the past few years I have been facilitating these seminars, webinars and private training around the country to help companies increase the efficiency of their marketing, business development and capture activities, and seeing great results. Clicking on the graphic below will take you to a self-paced version of one of the sessions, available for purchase in our education portal.
But let’s talk about codes for a bit. The following graphic looks at the use of PSC Codes based on FY16 obligations to contracts and orders that referenced one of the four NAICS Codes indicated. These are the classic Information Technology classifications accounting for nearly 10 percent of the fiscal spend. What you’ll note in this summary is that although the descriptions reference computers and services, what’s actually being purchased is not always an IT product or service.
How well do you understand how agencies classify the goods and services you want them to buy from you?
Government agencies don’t (and shouldn’t) conduct procurement activities based on NAICS Codes alone and vendors shouldn’t rely on a single classification to grow their business.
Happy New Year and Peace!
“The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it.”