Teaming and Developing_a_Winning_Proposal 25 July 2013

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Closing the Gap by Teaming:

Preparing Small Business Owners to

Contract with the Federal Government

Presented by

Tony Price

14 August 2013

1

Every contract award is like winning the Super Bowl

Every new request for proposal is a new Super Bowl

You will not win every Super Bowl but it sure is nice being in the game

2

Overview of

Federal Government Contracting

USA – LARGEST Procurer of Supplies and Services Worldwide

Around 2,000 buying agencies in the Federal Government

USA – Spends $570+ Billion of Annual Budget on Goods and

Services

DoD spends $361.3B or about 65% of that

USA – Statutory Minimum 23% of Annual Spending to ALL

SBs via 15 USC 644(g)

If Small Businesses want to be to

play the game

in the game

– to successfully

, they must know how

COMPETE and WIN

!

You cannot win without a strong and well-rounded team.

3

The Federal Procurement

GAME

The GAME

The PROCESS

The RULES

The PLAYERS

The STRATEGY

Procurement of All Supplies and Services for the United

States Federal Market

Federal Acquisition SYSTEM

o

3 Branches of Government

o

Checks / Balances

o o

Taxpayer Funds

Annual Appropriations

Federal Acquisition Regulations

(FAR) and its Supplements

o

Acquisition Central www.arnet.gov

Buyers: Contracting Officers

Sellers: Prime Contractors,

Subcontractors, Vendors

Developing a Competitive

Winning Proposal Document

4

Government and Commercial

Procurement

Four main differences between Government and commercial procurement:

o

Government-unique audit and accounting requirements

o

Government-unique specifications and standards

o

Technical data rights

o

Government-unique contract requirements

5

Government and Commercial

Contracting

Government Commercial

Orientation of Procurement Best value/low cost

Procurement Structure

Role of Congress/ Judicial

Branches

Commitment Authority

Acceptance

Termination Clause

Suspension of Work

Contract Litigation

Performance and

Social/Economic

Formal defined by FAR

Provides direct input and guidance

Actual

Final and Conclusive

No anticipatory profit/fee

Cost recovery, no profit/fee

Federal law prevails

Less formal

Uniform Commercial Code

(UCC)

Implied

Flexible

Usually contains anticipatory profit/fee

Profit/fee not prohibited negotiable

State law prevails

6

Tips On Doing Business with Federal

Agencies

or with anybody else for that matter

Tip #1 - Do your homework…Surf the web.

Tip #2 - Demonstrate responsiveness

Tip #3 - Understand the opportunities

Tip #4 - Let the client talk. Listen carefully to what they have to say.

Tip #5 - Market project managers, they know the clients and they are the folks bringing in the money

7

Tips Continued

Tip #6 - Execute and execute well

Tip #7 - Bad performance is a death sentence to a small business

Tip #8 - Small businesses are important but not at the expense of quality

Tip #9 - Find your own work

Tip #10 - Demonstrate that you know what you are doing

8

So where do you start?

Know yourself: Understand your capabilities (superior product, competitive pricing, outstanding customer service), Be realistic

Determine your market (geographic, etc.)

Know your customer: Do some homework (see next slide)

o o o o o

Federal Procurement Process

Websites

Small Business Administration

Other advocacy agencies (SBDCs/PTACs)

YOUR SMALL BUSINESS SPECIALIST

9

So what can you do?

Visit potential clients

Get to know your clients

Ask what

keeps them up at night

Study the money business

Don’t forget your subcontractors

10

What are

they

looking for in a contractor?

Highly qualified and capable firm

Address all criteria

Fully articulate your approach

Relevant experience is key

Fully address any weaknesses

Past performance will be important

11

What do Primes

look

for?

High quality past performance

Financial stability

Excellent reputation

Reasonable costs

Good safety record

Reliability

Customer focus

Responsiveness

Relevant experience

Quality management and people

Able and willing to take on new work

Willingness to strive for a win/win situation

Ability to work as a team

12

Capability presentations

Arrange thru your small business specialist

Sell your capabilities

Product demos

Reference material (brochures, pamphlets, line cards)

Get a debrief/feedback

Follow-up

13

Marketing

Same techniques apply when marketing to large, prime contractors

If practicable get general information on an activity before you visit

o

Who should you talk to or meet with?

o

Respect

Chain of Command

or protocol

o

Prepare – review web-sites, etc.

Consider what can your business can do for them?

14

Marketing

Networking

o

Chambers, small business groups, professional societies (SAME) and organizations

o

Attend seminars or hold your own (be a speaker at industry functions)

o o

Networking with competitors

News releases

Your website

Always carry business cards

Referrals

o

Ask current clients to refer you to others

15

Marketing

It

s not only who you know that counts, it

s who your clients know that is important, too.

Relationships can be more important than the product or service sold (especially in a competitive market).

Learn to accept rejection gracefully .

Do you believe in your product and company?

Would you do business with yourself?

16

Outreach conferences

Who sponsors Outreach Conferences?

o

Members of Congress

o

Various Government Agencies

o

Chambers of Commerce

Vendor Days (local emphasis)

o o

Government Credit Card

Information Technology, Furniture, etc

o

High Tech or Environmental

Focused Events- Specific Audiences targeted

o o

Specific Acquisition (Pre-solicitation)

Specific small business group (WOSB, 8(a), Vet)

Subcontracting

• o o o o

The Small Business Act requires that small business firms have maximum opportunity to participate as subcontractors on Federal contracts

o o

Small Business

Small Disadvantaged Business/8(a)

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU/MI)

- applies to DoD

Women-Owned Small Business

HUBZone Small Business

Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business

Veteran-Owned Small Business

18

Proposal Case Study - Assumptions

Customer

Solicitation Type

Procurement

Offeror (or Bidder)

Proposal Due Date

Now how do I get started …?

U.S. Federal Government

Department or Agency

Request for Proposal

(RFP)(FAR Part 15)

Complex Services or Manufactured

Products Based Upon Specs/Dwgs, or Performance Description > $1M

Service Disabled Veteran

Owned (SDVO)

o o

Prime Contractor

Dedicated Team Member

30 Calendar Days from

Receipt of RFP

19

Breaking Down the Proposal Requirements

How to Analyze the RFP …

Read the Entire Document as a Whole

Dissect the Statement of Work (SOW),

Specifications, Drawings, Technical

Descriptions

Develop Work Breakdown Structure

(WBS)

Review the RFP Instructions & Evaluation

Criteria

Responsiveness v. Responsibility

20

Breaking Down the Proposal Requirements

How to Analyze the RFP …

Relate the Source Selection Process with the

Proposal Development (Point to Point) – Don

t

Miss ANYTHING!

Develop a Compliance Checklist

Correlate Each Requirement to an Evaluation

Criteria

Develop a

Proposal Outline

Kick-off Meeting

Handout for the

Submit Request for Information" (RFI's) as outlined in the solicitation instructions if the specification is not clear. RFI's usually cut-off about 2-5 days before solicitation closes.

21

Identifying the Team Members

Identify the Best Available Candidates for the Proposal Team

Make Writing Assignments with Members Strengths in Mind

- THIS IS NO TIME TO EXPERIMENT OR TRAIN -

o o o o o o o o o o o

Technical (or Engineering) Specialist

Management/Operations Specialist

Estimator or Cost(s) Analyst

Contracts Specialist

Logistics/Procurement/Small Business Specialist

Quality/Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) Specialist

Past Performance/Projects & Resumes Specialist

Expert Word Processor

Graphics Designer/Artist

Editor & Proof-Reader

Proposal Coordinator

22

Identifying the Team Members

• o o o

Don

t Overlook the Need for:

o

Consultants – Subject Matter Experts (SME)

Fill Gaps in Team Manpower & Experience

Add Expert Support in Niche Areas

Provide Inside Knowledge of Customer & Competitors

o

Teaming Partners – Large & Small Business Providers of Supplies and Services

Exclusive v. Non-Exclusive

Formal v. Informal

Dedicated Subcontractor/Supplier Competitive Pools

Reproduction Function - Internal or External

Overnight Courier or Other Transportation Carrier

23

Selecting the Team

Selecting Teaming Partners

o

Assess team member capabilities

Business, financial, other resources

o o o o

Assess team member past performance

Assess team member past performance with the client

Assess team member relationship with the client

Assess legal constraints

Organizational conflicts of interest

Debarments/suspensions

Qualification requirements

o

Assess team chemistry

Management styles, corporate cultures, strategic visions

Successful Teaming Qualities

o o

Compatible contractors

Good teaming agreements in place

24

Teaming

Why would small businesses want to team?

o

Enables firms to complement each others capabilities

o

May enable firms to offer the best combination of performance, cost and delivery

o

May enable small businesses to successfully compete for larger scale contracts

o

To develop relationships and capture work on multiple opportunities

25

Teaming

Most teams are either:

o o

Prime/Subcontractor relationship

Joint Ventures

Prime/Subcontractor Relationship:

o o o

Prime is responsible for contract performance

Government has privity of contract only with the prime

Relationships normally identified before offer is submitted

o

SBA checks for affiliation

26

Following Award - Debriefs and Lessons-Learned

When the Customer Announces the Contract Winner – Always Request a Debrief – WHETHER YOU WIN OR LOSE …

As the Winner –

o

Learn About What You DID BETTER than Everyone Else –

Strengths

o

Learn About What May Need Improvement for the Future –

Weaknesses

o o o

Continue to Develop a Better Relationship with the Customer

Build Customer Trust and Show Humility

Begin to Cultivate Follow-On Work – It

s never too early

FIX THE WEAKNESSES IDENTIFIED IN THE DEBRIEF!

27

Following Award - Debriefs and Lessons-Learned

As the Unsuccessful Offeror –

o

Learn about the Proposal Weaknesses v. the Proposal

Strengths

o

Learn more about What the Customer Really Wants and

Why You Didn

t Provide it THIS TIME …..

o

Continue Gathering Business Intelligence (BI)

o

Request Info regarding New Opportunities – It

too early …

s never

FIX THE WEAKNESSES IDENTIFIED IN THE DEBRIEF

!

28

Acronym List

ARNET – Acquisition Reform Network

BAA – Broad Agency Announcement

BD – Business Development

BI – Business Intelligence

CCR – Central Contractor Registration

DFARS – Defense FAR

DHS – Department of Homeland Security

DoD – Department of Defense

EH&S – Environmental, Health, &

Safety

EO – Executive Order

FAR – Federal Acquisition Regulations

IFB – Invitation for Bid

FSS – Federal Supply Schedule

FOIA – Freedom of Information Act

GFY – Government Fiscal Year

GSA – General Services Administration

GWAC – Government-Wide Acquisition

Contract

ID/IQ – Indefinite Quantity/Indefinite

Delivery

MAC – Multiple Award

ODC – Other Direct Cost(s)

PL – Public Law

RFP – Request for Proposal

RFQ – Request for Quotation

SB – Small Business

SBA – Small Business Administration

SDB – Small Disadvantaged Business

SDVO – Service Disabled Veteran

Owned

SME – Subject Matter Expert

SOW – Statement of Work

UCF – Uniform Contract Format

USA – United States of America

USC – United States Code

WBE – Women Business Enterprise

WBS – Work Breakdown Structure

WOSB – Woman-Owned Small Business www.militarywords.com

29

Business Opportunities Websites

Free/No-Cost

www.sba.gov

www.fedbizopps.gov

www.grants.gov

www.gsa.gov

www.arnet.gov

www.firstgov.gov

www.defenselink.mil

www.dla.mil/db/procure m.htm

Paid Fee Sites

www.epipeline.com

www.eagleeyeinc.com

www.input.com

www.onvia.com

www.bid-search.com

www.softshare.com

www.cch.com

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Reference Materials – Self Study

Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR)

FAR Part 10 – Market Research

FAR Part 11 – Describing Agency Needs

FAR Part 12 – Acquisition of Commercial Items

FAR Part 13 – Simplified Acquisition Procedures

FAR Part 14 – Sealed Bidding

FAR Part 15 – Negotiated Procurements

FAR Part 16 – Types of Contracts

FAR Part 17 – Special Contracting Methods

FAR Part 19 – Small Business Programs

Periodicals

National Contract Management Association Magazine & Journal

National Association of Purchasing Managers – Institute of Supply Mgmt.

Magazine

National Defense Industrial Association Magazine

Government Executive Magazine

Websites

www.arnet.gov www.firstgov.gov

www.acq.osd.mil

31

Questions?

Ask me now or, call me at 410-688-5116 or email your questions directly to:

[email protected]

32

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