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 “in the game”, they must know how
to “play the game” – to successfully “COMPETE and WIN”!
You cannot win without a strong and well-rounded team.
3
The Federal Procurement “GAME”
•
The GAME
•
•
The PROCESS
•
•
Procurement of All Supplies
and Services for the United
States Federal Market
Federal Acquisition SYSTEM
o
o
o
o
The RULES
•
The PLAYERS
•
The STRATEGY
•
3 Branches of Government
Checks / Balances
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
Performance and
Social/Economic
Best value/low cost
Procurement Structure
Formal defined by FAR
Less formal
Role of Congress/ Judicial
Branches
Provides direct input and
guidance
Uniform Commercial Code
(UCC)
Commitment Authority
Actual
Implied
Acceptance
Final and Conclusive
Flexible
Termination Clause
No anticipatory profit/fee
Usually contains anticipatory
profit/fee
Suspension of Work
Cost recovery, no profit/fee
Profit/fee not prohibited negotiable
Contract Litigation
Federal law prevails
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’ business
• Ask what “keeps them up at night”
• Study the money
• 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 Networking with competitors
o 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 Government Credit Card
o Information Technology, Furniture, etc
o High Tech or Environmental
•Focused Events- Specific Audiences targeted
o Specific Acquisition (Pre-solicitation)
o Specific small business group (WOSB, 8(a), Vet)
Subcontracting
• The Small Business Act requires that small business
firms have maximum opportunity to participate as
subcontractors on Federal contracts
o Small Business
o Small Disadvantaged Business/8(a)
Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU/MI)
- applies to DoD
o Women-Owned Small Business
o HUBZone Small Business
o Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business
o 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 Prime Contractor
o 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” Handout for the
Kick-off Meeting
• 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 Technical (or Engineering) Specialist
o Management/Operations Specialist
o Estimator or Cost(s) Analyst
o Contracts Specialist
o Logistics/Procurement/Small Business Specialist
o Quality/Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) Specialist
o Past Performance/Projects & Resumes Specialist
o Expert Word Processor
o Graphics Designer/Artist
o Editor & Proof-Reader
o Proposal Coordinator
22
Identifying the Team Members
• 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
o Dedicated Subcontractor/Supplier Competitive Pools
o Reproduction Function - Internal or External
o Overnight Courier or Other Transportation Carrier
23
Selecting the Team
• Selecting Teaming Partners
o Assess team member capabilities
Business, financial, other resources
o Assess team member past performance
o Assess team member past performance with the client
o Assess team member relationship with the client
o 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 Compatible contractors
o 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 Prime/Subcontractor relationship
o Joint Ventures
• Prime/Subcontractor Relationship:
o
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
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 Continue to Develop a Better Relationship with the Customer
o Build Customer Trust and Show Humility
o 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’s never
too early …
• FIX THE WEAKNESSES IDENTIFIED IN THE DEBRIEF!
28
Acronym List
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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
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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
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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
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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
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•
•
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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