"Responding to Get the Contract"


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"Responding to Get the Contract"

  1. 1. “ Responding to Get the Contract” Improve Your Business Performance Charles Sadler, CHSP, CHSC, CGMP Executive Director and CEO, SGMP
  2. 2. Government Contracting Facts <ul><li>Less than 5% of the businesses in the United States do business with the U.S. Government. </li></ul><ul><li>The U.S. Government is the largest company in the world. Approximately $1 billion in new opportunities in the services sector of Government contracting is available to bid on by private business each day. </li></ul><ul><li>The federal government signs over 11 million contracts a year. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Fun with Government Words Can You Find the Acronyms? <ul><li>-When referring to pork, you can </li></ul><ul><li>use the word PIG, HOG or SOW. </li></ul><ul><li>-HOW FAR CAN IT BE TO RUN </li></ul><ul><li>THE LENGTH OF THE MALL? </li></ul><ul><li>-BOY, YOU NEED A CERTS FOR THAT BREATH! </li></ul><ul><li>-What airport are you arriving at, DCA, POC, ORF or LAX? </li></ul>
  4. 4. How the Government Buys… Cutting Through the Red Tape   <ul><li>The government purchases the products or services it needs by two methods, sealed bidding and negotiation. </li></ul><ul><li>Invitation for Bid (IFB) </li></ul><ul><li>Request for Proposal (RFP) </li></ul>
  5. 5. Invitation for Bid (IFB) <ul><li>The sealed bidding is a formal process which involves the issuance of an Invitation for Bid (IFB) by a procuring agency. </li></ul><ul><li>Following receipt and evaluation of the bids, a contract is usually awarded to the lowest priced bidder, determined to be responsive and responsible by the contracting officer. </li></ul>
  6. 6. IFB Process (usually include) <ul><li>A copy of the specifications for the proposed purchase </li></ul><ul><li>Instructions for preparation of bids </li></ul><ul><li>The conditions of purchase </li></ul><ul><li>Delivery and payment schedule. </li></ul><ul><li>The IFB also designates the date and time of bid opening. </li></ul><ul><li>Each sealed bid is opened in public at the purchasing office at the time designated in the invitation. </li></ul><ul><li>Facts about each bid are read aloud and recorded. </li></ul><ul><li>A contract is then awarded to the low bidder whose bid conforms with all requirements of the invitation and will be advantageous to the government in terms of price, and price-related factors included in the invitation. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Request for Proposal (RFP) <ul><li>The second method of competitive proposals is buying by negotiation which involves the issuance of a Request for Proposal (RFP) and the negotiation of each element in the proposal. An award is made to the proposer who has the best proposal in terms of both technical content and price. </li></ul>
  8. 8. RFP Process <ul><li>When buying by negotiation, the government uses procedures that differ from sealed bidding. Buying by negotiation is authorized in certain circumstances by law under applicable Federal regulations (Federal Acquisition Regulation or FAR). Negotiation procedures, may be applied to an RFP when negotiation authority has been properly documented by the contracting office. </li></ul><ul><li>For example, items or services may be purchased by negotiation when it is impossible to draft adequate specifications or to describe fully the specific item, service, or project. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Government Contracting Terminologies       <ul><li>Bid - a tender, proposal or quotation submitted in response to a solicitation from a contracting authority </li></ul><ul><li>Closing Date - the deadline for all bid submissions </li></ul><ul><li>Competitive Bidding - offers submitted by individuals or firms competing for a contract, privilege or right to supply specified services or merchandise </li></ul>
  10. 10. Government Contracting Terminologies ( continued ) <ul><li>Contract - obligation between competent parties, a legal consideration, to do or abstain from doing some act </li></ul><ul><li>Contract Amendment - an agreed addition to, deletion from, correction or modification of a contract </li></ul><ul><li>Contractor - one who contracts to perform work or furnish materials in accordance with a contract. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Government Contracting Terminologies ( continued ) <ul><li>Procurement - the process of obtaining material and services which includes the determination of requirements and acquisition from a supply system or by purchase from the trade </li></ul><ul><li>Proposal - an offer, submitted in response to a request from a contracting authority, that constitutes a solution to the problem, requirement or objective in the request </li></ul>
  12. 12. Register with the Government Agency as Vendors   <ul><li>Government agencies will typically require that your company be registered with them before they can do business with you. </li></ul><ul><li>If you wish to do business with the Federal government you must register with the Central Contractor Registration (CCR). </li></ul>
  13. 13. Central Contractor Registration (CCR) www.ccr.gov <ul><li>Government agencies and private industry are only required to register in the database once with subsequent requirements for annual updates. Registering with CCR automatically registers you with every Defense agency. 427,892 Vendors registered with CCR </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>Federal Government RFP format and composition is mandated by the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). They are typically broken down into sections that are identified by letter. </li></ul>What's in a typical Federal Government RFP?
  15. 15. <ul><li>Identifies the title of the procurement </li></ul><ul><li>Procurement number </li></ul><ul><li>Point of contact (POC) </li></ul><ul><li>How to acknowledge amendments and how to indicate “No Response” if you decide not to bid </li></ul><ul><li>Section A often appears as a one page form </li></ul>Section A. Information to offerors
  16. 16. <ul><li>This is where you provide your pricing. </li></ul><ul><li>It defines the type of contract, identifies Contract Line Items (CLINs), and Subcontract Line Items (SLINs) that identify billable items </li></ul><ul><li>Describes the period of performance, identifies option periods (if any) </li></ul><ul><li>Provides cost and pricing guidelines. </li></ul><ul><li>This section is often presented and responded to in tabular form. </li></ul>Section B. Supplies or Services and Price/Costs
  17. 17. <ul><li>Describes what the Government wants you to do or supply. </li></ul><ul><li>Outside of your pricing, most of your proposal will be responding to this section, tell them how you will deliver what they need. </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes this section is contained in a separate appendix and is frequently associated with other appendices in Section J with other details to enable the bidder to understand the nature and scope of the tasks requested in Section C. </li></ul>Section C. Statement of Work (SOW)
  18. 18. <ul><li>Defines how all contract deliverables such as reports and material will be packaged and shipped. </li></ul><ul><li>This information is important as these instructions may effect costs </li></ul><ul><li>and raise logistics issues. </li></ul>Section D. Packages and Marking
  19. 19. <ul><li>Describes the process by which the Government will officially accept deliverables and what to do if the work is not accepted. </li></ul><ul><li>This can also affect costs and identifies tasks you must be prepared to </li></ul><ul><li>undertake. </li></ul>Section E. Inspection and Acceptance
  20. 20. Section F. Deliveries or Performance <ul><li>Defines how the Government Contracting Officer will control the work performed and how you will deliver certain </li></ul><ul><li>contract items. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Section G. Contract Administrative Data <ul><li>Describes how the Government Contracting Officer and your firm will interact. </li></ul><ul><li>How information will be exchanged in administration of the contract to ensure both performance and </li></ul><ul><li>prompt payment. </li></ul>
  22. 22. Section H. Special Contract Requirements <ul><li>Contains a range of special contract requirements important to this particular procurement </li></ul><ul><li>Such as procedures for managing changes to the original terms of the contract </li></ul><ul><li>Government furnished equipment (GFE) requirements, and government furnished property (GFP) requirements. </li></ul>
  23. 23. Section I. Contract Clauses/General Provisions <ul><li>Identifies the contract clauses incorporated by reference in the RFP. </li></ul><ul><li>These clauses will be incorporated into the contract. While it doesn’t require a separate response, it’s terms will be binding. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Section J. Attachments, Exhibits   <ul><li>Lists the appendices to the RFP. These attachments can cover a wide range of subjects ranging from technical specifications through lists of GFE. </li></ul><ul><li>It generally is used to provide data you need in order to respond to the Statement of Work. </li></ul>
  25. 25. Section K. Representations/Certifications and Statements of Offerors   <ul><li>Contains things that you must certify to bid on this contract. </li></ul><ul><li>These can include things such as certification that you have acted according to </li></ul><ul><li>Procurement integrity regulations </li></ul><ul><li>Your taxpayer identification </li></ul><ul><li>The status of personnel ownership of your firm </li></ul><ul><li>Type of business organization </li></ul><ul><li>Authorized negotiators </li></ul><ul><li>That your facilities are not segregated </li></ul><ul><li>That you comply with affirmative action guidelines </li></ul><ul><li>Whether you qualify as a small business disadvantaged business, and/or women owned business, etc. </li></ul>
  26. 26. Section L. Proposal Preparation Instructions and Other   <ul><li>Provides instructions for preparing your proposal. </li></ul><ul><li>These include any formatting requirements, </li></ul><ul><li>How they want the material organized/outlined </li></ul><ul><li>How to submit questions regarding the RFP or procurement </li></ul><ul><li>How the proposal is to be delivered, </li></ul><ul><li>And sometimes notices, conditions, or other instructions </li></ul>
  27. 27. Section M. Evaluation Criteria   <ul><li>Defines the factor, sub-factors, and elements used to “grade” the proposal. </li></ul><ul><li>Proposals are graded and then cost is considered to determine who wins the award and gets the contract </li></ul>
  28. 28. How to read a Federal Government RFP   <ul><li>You Don’t Have to Read the Whole Thing! </li></ul>GUESS WHAT?
  29. 29. What You Should Read   <ul><li>The format for most Federal RFPs is fixed by the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). The FAR mandates that RFPs be divided into sections A through M. </li></ul><ul><li>Of these, the key sections are: </li></ul><ul><li>L, M, C, B </li></ul>
  30. 30. Section L.   <ul><li>Is where you’ll find the instructions for formatting, organizing, and submitting your proposal </li></ul>
  31. 31. Section M.   <ul><li>Is where you’ll find the criteria that will be used to evaluate your proposal </li></ul>
  32. 32. Section C.   <ul><li>This is where they say what it is they want you to propose (the Statement of Work or SOW). </li></ul>
  33. 33. Section B.   <ul><li>This is where they tell you how to format your pricing </li></ul>
  34. 34. Section C.Y.A. <ul><li>Just in case and to CYA check J & k as the government will hide important stuff (like the Statement of Work) in Section J, attachments. </li></ul><ul><li>Section K is where they put the “Certs and Reps” (Where you may have to “Certify” or “Represent” that you are a U.S. firm, a minority firm or that you haven’t defaulted on previous contracts, etc.). </li></ul>
  35. 35. The Best Approach to Reading an RFP   <ul><li>First look at Section A (usually the cover page). In a box on this page is the due date. Now you know how much time you have to prepare your response. </li></ul><ul><li>Next jump to Section L and focus on how they want the proposal organized. Whether you think it makes sense or not, you absolutely must follow their outline. </li></ul>
  36. 36. The Best Approach to Reading an RFP  (continued) <ul><li>3. Then go to Section M and find out how you will be graded and what they think is important. </li></ul><ul><li>4. Now go to Section C and find out what you have to propose doing or supplying. Read Section C with the evaluation criteria in mind. </li></ul>
  37. 37. Some Things to Look For  (L) <ul><li>When reading Section L: Look for > </li></ul><ul><li>Instructions regarding page count, page layout (margins, fonts, page sizes), </li></ul><ul><li>Media (disk, CD-ROM, video) </li></ul><ul><li>Submission method </li></ul><ul><li>Outline/content </li></ul>
  38. 38. Some Things to Look For  (M) <ul><li>When reading Section M: Look for > </li></ul><ul><li>Scoring method, </li></ul><ul><li>Score weighting, </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluation process, </li></ul><ul><li>Past performance approach, </li></ul><ul><li>“ Best value” terminology. </li></ul>
  39. 39. Some Things to Look For  (C) <ul><li>When reading Section C: Look for > </li></ul><ul><li>Requirements (are they explained, understandable, and/or ambiguous?) </li></ul><ul><li>Contradictions (between requirements as well as Section L and M) </li></ul><ul><li>Feasibility </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunities for differentiation between you and your competitors </li></ul>
  40. 40. Some Things to Look For  (B) <ul><li>When reading Section B: Look for > </li></ul><ul><li>correspondence to the requirements and evaluation criteria. </li></ul>
  41. 41. RFI-Request for Information <ul><li>RFIs are often announced on Fedbizopps (http://www.fedbizopps.gov). You can do searches for the following words to find them: </li></ul><ul><li>RFI </li></ul><ul><li>” Request for Information” </li></ul><ul><li>” Sources Sought” </li></ul><ul><li>” Market Survey” </li></ul><ul><li>” Pre-Solicitation Notice” </li></ul>
  42. 42. Why Respond to RFI <ul><li>An excellent way to identify new business opportunities, </li></ul><ul><li>Find a point-of-contact, and </li></ul><ul><li>Establish a relationship with the customer before the RFP hits the street </li></ul><ul><li>Often, it can be many months from the release of an RFI to the release of an RFP, and not all RFIs will result in an RFP release. </li></ul>
  43. 43. Responding to Get the Contract <ul><li>Know your company, know the client </li></ul><ul><li>Discover Bidding Opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Read and understand the RFP </li></ul><ul><li>Review the key components and parts </li></ul><ul><li>Follow the instructions </li></ul><ul><li>Know your competition </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare the RFP and meet deadlines </li></ul>
  44. 44. Now That The Red Tape Has Been Cut… <ul><li>It is your turn to go out there and sharpen your skills with RFP’s! </li></ul>