June 19 webinar demonstrates use of federal data to establish marketing strategies

The SBA is hosting a webcast that will consist of a live demo of three primary federal market research tools to help identify potential contracting opportunities.

The webinar will demonstrate the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS), FedBizOpps (FBO), and various publicly-available procurement forecasts published by federal agencies.

The one-hour webinar will be held on June 19 at 10:00 am EST.

To register, visit: http://events.sba.gov/EventManagement/EventRegistration.aspx?id=614fbe79-f5d1-e311-a143-02bfa56e2a24.

A call-in number and access code will be emailed to registrants prior to the scheduled webcast.

Companies seeking government contracts may turn attention to state and local markets

As competition for contracts with U.S. federal government agencies increases, companies that seek to maintain or increase their government sales may set their sights on states instead.

Indeed, this may already be happening: for one thing, more than 500 people attended the “How to Market to State Governments” conference held in March by the National Association of State Procurement Officials (“NASPO”), a record for the event.

While seeking new business opportunities is generally a good thing, contractors accustomed to the way things work at the federal level should understand that state-level procurements can be a very different game. Bid protests at the state level can be especially tricky, not only for disappointed bidders, but for awardees as well. Contractors should take certain proactive measures when participating in state-level procurements to secure their chances for award.

According to a 2012 NASPO survey, only six states had at that time completely adopted the Model Procurement Code developed by the American Bar Association.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.mondaq.com/unitedstates/x/310810/Government+Contracts+Procurement+PPP/StateLevel+Procurements+Youre+Not+In+Kansas+Any+More+Unless+You+Happen+To+Be+Selling+To+Kansas&email_access=on

Government cuts cause contractor revenue losses and strategic changes

Sequestration forced revenue losses among almost two-thirds of contractors in 2013, according to a survey by two consulting firms released last week.

Almost 31 percent of the 220 firms that responded to the survey by Market Connections Inc. and Lohfeld Consulting Group Inc. said their revenue fell by more than 10 percent, while another 30 percent reported declines of nearly 10 percent.

In response to government market pressures, contractors are re-architecting by expanding into adjacent markets (45 percent), modifying lines of business (35 percent), and putting greater emphasis on the front-end of the life-cycle to improve capture strategies an

More contractors are pursuing new opportunities in state and local government, international markets, and energy in 2013 than in 2012. Pursuit of healthcare opportunities is still high on the list of new and adjacent markets contractors are pursuing:

  • State and local government: 48 percent in 2013 vs. 29 percent in 2012
  • Healthcare: 39 percent in 2013 vs. 38 percent in 2012
  • International markets: 36 percent in 2013 vs. 29 percent in 2012
  • Energy: 33 percent in 2013 vs. 20 percent in 2012

“It is clear that sequestration and the government shutdown have had a tremendous impact on the government contracting community,” said Lisa Dezzutti, president and CEO of Market Connections, Inc. “Contractors need to think outside the box, leverage their expertise in adjacent markets and focus on business development and capture strategies that will increase win rates.”

Contractors are making the following investments in the front-end of the lifecycle to enhance the business development and capture process and increase win probability:

  • Improving capture and proposal processes: 40 percent
  • Adding more business development/capture personnel: 39 percent
  • Enhancing capture and proposal tools and infrastructure: 28 percent
  • Increasing use of consulting services: 19 percent
  • Adding more technical personnel to support business acquisition: 15 percent
  • Adding personnel to write proposals: 12 percent

A full copy of the survey results can be downloaded at: http://www.marketconnectionsinc.com/index.php/Infographics/sequestrationgovernmentshutdowninfographics.html?Itemid= 

New guidebook reveals how government and industry select small businesses

There’s a brand new resource available to you — free of charge — courtesy of the national community of procurement technical assistance centers (PTACs).

Braddock’s The Winning Edge: How Government and Corporate Buyers Select a Small Business Supplier – 2014 Edition is a practical guide designed for small to medium sized businesses that provides important insights into the decision-making process within the government and large corporations, with an emphasis on the evaluation and selection stages.

Topics include:

  • Overview of the government procurement process
  • How government procurement officers evaluate a small business supplier
  • How small businesses can identify and win subcontracting opportunities
  • Characteristics that corporate buyers are really looking for in a small business supplier
  • Next step resources

A special electronic edition of Braddock’s The Winning Edge is available at no charge to PTAC clients thanks to the generous support of Microsoft Corporation.  Download your free copy today by clicking right here.

We hope you find this resource useful.   As always, we at the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC) stand ready to answer any questions you may have and help you take the next steps in your government contracting pursuits.

Tech’s Contracting Academy to teach cost & price course in October

The Contracting Education Academy at Georgia Tech is offering a course focusing on the Fundamentals of Cost & Price Analysis in government contracting on October 14-25, 2013.

This comprehensive, two-week course begins with an in-depth review of the market research process, and provides instruction to help students understand and analyze contractor pricing strategies.

Attendees will learn to accomplish cost-volume-profit analysis, calculate contribution margin estimates, and develop cost estimating relationships in order to accomplish an effective price analysis pursuant to FAR Subpart 15.4.

After learning the basic elements of price and cost analysis, students will build and defend a pre-negotiation objective, including a minimum and maximum pricing objective with a weighted guidelines assessment. After successfully defending their pricing objectives, the students will practice face-to-face negotiations.

This course is targeted toward new hires to the contracting career field.   For government contractors, this course also provides invaluable insights into the government contracting decision-making process.

Student performance will be assessed by graded exams on math fundamentals and applied course material as well as an exercise for student participation and completion of negotiations.

CON 170 – Fundamentals of Cost & Price Analysis is Defense Acquisition University-equivalent training that satisfies the FAC-C and DAWIA certification programs.   In addition, 7.35 CEUs are granted for successful course completion.

For more information or to register, please visit: http://www.pe.gatech.edu/courses/con-170-fundamentals-cost-and-price-analysis

New app takes government contracting mobile

The race to open up government data to the public is typically described in terms of creating better services for citizens and new opportunities for businesses and nonprofits.

The benefits of open data can sometimes show up closer to home, however, as demonstrated by the new mobile application hōrd, which allows government contractors to track project solicitations from their iPhones.

Hōrd was developed by the company GovTribe, founded by three former Deloitte consultants. The app allows users to search for federal contracting notices and awards using keywords. They can also search by a contractor’s name to keep tabs on what their competitors are up to.

App users can also “hōrd” a particular notice to receive alerts every time it’s updated.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.nextgov.com/mobile/2013/08/new-app-takes-government-contracting-mobile/68555/

There’s growth in state and local contract spending

For those who specialize in work for state and local governments, it can be unsettling to read headlines announcing teacher layoffs in Chicago or bankruptcy in Detroit.

However, the big picture for local governments and school districts is looking much brighter.

Deltek’s growth forecast for state and local consumption of information technology goods and services improved this year to 3.2 percent, with the total market expected to grow from $58.5 billion in 2013 to $68.6 billion in 2018.

One of the best annual market indicators is a review of the governors’ State of the State addresses.

This year, we found governors restoring K-12 education funding and promising to rein in tuition at public universities.

Governors also called for innovative ways to reduce correctional spending and improve health care and social services. All of these goals must be supported by technology investments.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/capitalbusiness/contractors-should-watch-state-and-local-spending-trends/2013/08/02/49101f54-f621-11e2-9434-60440856fadf_story.html

Contract planning is Academy’s next course in July

Ever wondered how the Government plans its acquisition of products and services?

  • As a contractor, wouldn’t you like to gain insights into the process?
  • As a member of the acquisition team, don’t you need to learn how to conduct acquisition planning properly?

The Contracting Education Academy at Georgia Tech will address these questions, and much more, in a five-day class, “Contract Planning in the FAR” (CON090-2) to be presented July 8 – 12, 2013.

This in-depth course covers all aspects of acquisition planning, including how to conduct market research, how to describe buying needs, and the preference for the acquisition of commercial and non-developmental items.

This course is the second module in a series of four educational modules that examine the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), the Government’s “procurement bible.”

  • For government contracting officers, this course is required to maintain a contracting warrant.   A warrant is a written document providing a contracting officer with the limits of his or her authority.   Per FAR 1.601-2, Contracting Officers have the authority to “enter into, administer, or terminate contracts and make related determinations and findings” to the extent of the authority delegated to them by their warrant.   Georgia Tech’s Contracting Education Academy offers a set of courses — each equivalent to Defense Acquisition University course standards — that help contractng officials maintain their warrants and enhance professional development.
  • For businesspeople who compete for and fulfill government contracts, Academy classes are equally pertinent.  Contractor personnel who attend Academy courses gain real-world knowledge about how government officials are trained to formulate and administer contracts.   Insights in these areas provide invaluable guidance pertinent to reaching greater success in competing for, winning, and fulfilling government contract work.

Georgia Tech offers the entire CON 090 course series in world-class facilities on its campus in midtown Atlanta.  From groups of 10 or more, Georgia Tech also brings any of its government contracting courses to the workplace.

For details on all classes, including the FAR Fundamentals course, please visit http://www.pe.gatech.edu/Subjects/Acquisition-Government-Contracting.   To make arrangements for any of the courses to be taught at your place of work, email us at: info@ContractingAcademy.gatech.edu or give us a call at 404-894-6109.

Procurement Opportunities Guide now available at no cost

The 2013 edition of Braddock’s Procurement Opportunities Guide, An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Selling to Governments and Corporations, is now available to GTPAC clients at no charge!

Braddock’s Procurement Opportunities Guide is a primer designed to help small business owners and decision makers understand the government procurement and private sector procurement spaces.  The Guide provides an overview of government and corporate markets with an emphasis on who buys and how buying decisions are made.  The Guide also presents “next step” resources for federal and state governments and the private sector.

Topics covered by the Guide include:

  • Selling to the federal government/state governments
  • Selling to large corporations
  • Selling to foreign governments and international organizations
  • “Green” procurement
  • Special resources for Women-, Minority, and Veteran-owned businesses
  • A glossary of procurement related terms, a procurement preparation checklist, information about teaming agreements and joint ventures, and more.

Braddock’s Procurement Opportunities Guide is published and copyrighted by Braddock Communications, Inc.  This special PDF edition of Braddock’s Procurement Opportunities Guide is available at no charge to you thanks to the generous support of Microsoft Corporation.

Download the Guide here: https://netforum.avectra.com/eWeb/DynamicPage.aspx?Site=APTAC&WebCode=PUBPOG


‘How to do business with GSA’ webinar Feb. 27th

The U.S. General Services Administration’s Office of Small Business Utilization is sponsoring an on-line webinar on Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, from 9:30 to 11:30 am EST.

This webinar gives businesses the opportunity to the “learn the federal ropes” from marketing to promoting sustainability.

GSA’s Office of Small Business Utilization advocates for small, minority, veteran, HUBZone, and women business owners.  The webinar will focus on the steps to “Doing Business with GSA” through contracting
options, sustainability, and more, including:

  • GSA’s procurement policies and methods
  • Accessing government solicitations
  • Marketing your products/services
  • GSA Schedules Program Pros and Cons
  • The GSA Mentor Protege Program
  • GSA and Sustainability

Space is limited.  Reserve your webinar seat now at: https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/152980351

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

System Requirements:

  • PC-based attendees requirements: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server
  • Mac®-based attendees  requirements: Mac OS® X 10.5 or newer
  • Mobile attendees requirements: iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ phone or Android tablet

For additional information, please contact Janice Bracey at janice.bracey@gsa.gov