Don’t eliminate yourself from procurement awards by making these mistakes

By Kevin P. Young, Principal Market Intelligence Analyst

As I mentioned in my last blog, “Growing your FY23 pipeline,” the new fiscal year, which kicked off on October 1, offers a myriad of contacting opportunities for GovCons of all shapes, sizes and disciplines. From the standard federal budget programs to existing and new procurement vehicles, such as Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs), Governmentwide Acquisition Contracts (GWACs), and Indefinite Delivery / Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contracts, there is plenty of opportunity out there.

New programs earlier announced by the Administration provide substantial funding, including the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the $860 billion Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

Here are a few key, albeit sobering, facts about – and recommendations for – effective federal government procurement:

  • Some 23% to 26% of all prime and subcontract federal contract awards are targeted for Small Business Enterprises (SBEs). Those include SBA 8(a) Business Development, HUBZone, Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB), Economically Disadvantaged Woman-Owned Small Business (EDWOSB), Small, Small Disadvantaged, Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) and Native Americans / Alaskans / Hawaiians.
  • There are more than 500,000 companies – of all sizes registered, via the System for Award Management (SAM), to do business with the U.S. Federal Government. Many of those GovCons, perhaps as many as 20%, have missing or incorrect information in their registration(s).
  • Most of our SAM-registered GovCons will see an annual gross revenue of $0.00 due to the complexity, cyclicality and competitiveness of federal government procurements.
  • Request for Proposal (RFP) responses that appear to be missing required primary and secondary information, requested appendices and/or obligatory design formatting – including typeface, type size and page margins – are often paused by reviewers and never considered for formal evaluations and scoring. Quite simply, with hundreds – sometimes even thousands – of RFPs to consider, it’s common for federal government reviewers to “thin the herd” by setting aside submissions that don’t pass first glances.
  • Usually, more than one federal government examiner will review, evaluate, and score your GovCon’s RFP response – most likely by section. It’s critical to have each section tight, every requirement addressed and all questions succinctly answered. Oftentimes that includes the cover letter, executive summary and key personnel resumes as well.
  • Ensure your GovCon’s key differentiators are addressed in all sections and that your company earns its full scores per area. Do not “leave points on the table,” to paraphrase NFL Hall of Fame Coach Vince Lombardi: “Leave it all on the field.”

With such a competitive environment, and all the hard work that goes into preparing and submitting an RFP, you don’t want to be disqualified for something you can control. Avoiding these pitfalls is an easy way to increase your chances of an award.

Interested in keeping up with trends in government IT? Subscribe to immixGroup’s Government Insider blog now!

Here are some of my recent blog posts you may be interested in:

How IT vendors can get a piece of the $1.2T infrastructure bill
Small businesses make headway in government: Are you properly registered?
Turn year-end disappointments into successful pursuits

About Kevin P. Young
Kevin P. Young is a 34-year veteran of the Federal Government Industry, serving in executive, professional, management consulting, speaking / training, and adjunct professor roles. He is recipient of the IBM Excellence Award, IBM Marketing Award, and – as a site team – Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, sponsored by U.S. Department of Commerce. He currently serves as Senior Market Intelligence Analyst for Arrow Electronics / immixGroup.

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