Monday Morning Contracting Tips
August 28th 2017
FedBizOpps (FBO) a great tool, if used properly.
The end of Federal Government fiscal year is upon us, we’ve got a little over 30 days before the government officially shut down its spending for 2017. What could be your next approach? Identify who were the 2017 contracts awardees; maybe there’s some sub-contracting opportunities going in to 2018 that you can support. You may be asking how do I find those companies who won prime contracts in 2017. Allow me to share with you a few ways of best utilizing FedBizOpps (FBO). There are three tips for researching contract awardees, probable bidders and marketing strategy by showing your interest in opportunities.
1. Go to FedBizOpps (FBO) and use the “Advanced Search” feature there to look for contract opportunities and contract awards in the NAICS category that describes what you sell (look up your NAICS codes here). Set whatever date parameters you’d like (FBO will allow you to search back many years). You also might want to set some geographic limits on your search. Be sure to select both active and archived documents as well as awards. After you hit the Search button, you can then sort through the resulting list (which is compiled by most recent contracts back to the oldest). Drill down into contract awards postings to see which agencies have bought what you sell and who’s won these contracts in the past.
2. Whenever you go to FedBizOpps and look at an active solicitation, you should get acquainted with using the two buttons labeled: “Add to Watchlist” and “Add Me To Interested Vendors.” The first one will ensure that you are sent updates on the solicitation. The second button will add you to a list of interested parties; it allows the contracting officer to assess potential interest in the solicitation, and when the “View Interested Vendors” module has been activated, it allows anyone to see the list of interested parties, along with all their contact information. Once you register, this is a good way to “see and be seen.”
3. If the “View Interested Vendors” module in FedBizOpps has not been activated for a particular solicitation, you may wish to email the points-of-contact listed in the posting and request that they activate it so that all may see the list. Let them know that you are interested and qualified to participate and wish to pursue a partnering arrangement. If you are a small business – particularly one in a socio-economic category the government gives preference to – be sure to point that out. Contracting officers will understand that your gaining access to the list could help facilitate small business participation in the contract.
August 14th 2017
Cost and Pricing
FAR 15.402 states that the contracting officers shall purchase supplies and services from responsible sources at fair and reasonable prices. In establishing the reasonableness of the offered prices, the contracting officer shall obtain certified cost or pricing data when required by 15.403-4, along with data other than certified cost or pricing data as necessary to establish a fair and reasonable price or when certified cost or pricing data are not required by 15.403-4. Cost and Pricing has always been a challenge when developing an awarding winning proposal. Many companies have challenges developing Cost and Pricing Model that supports their pricing.
What Cost are considered to ensure the best Cost and Pricing Proposal:
- Fixed Costs
- Variable Costs
- Direct Costs
- Indirect Costs
- Material Overhead
- Labor overhead
- General and Administrative (G&A) Costs (Can be considered as Indirect Cost)
- In the government world, profit is both good and necessary. FAR 15.404 states that it is in the government’s interest to offer contractors opportunities for reasonable profit. Profit stimulates efficient contract performance, attracts the best capabilities of qualified business concerns to government contracts, and maintains a viable industrial base. The main factors that influence profit are 1) competition 2) objectives of business 3) necessary investments and 4) risks involved. If profit is calculated too high, it could remove your Cost Proposal out of the competitive zone.