There are many different types of ways that the federal government will issue requirements; they have to solve a problem. Think about it like this, if the government has a problem, they will pay for the solution. That in and of itself is an important distinction. It is imperative for the contractor to present their business as a Solution Provider. In other words, the business is more than just doing whatever they do. They solve problems! The problem that needs solving may be in the electrical field and solved by an electrician, but the solution is what the government is buying, not the electrical equipment or the electrician. They are buying the expertise of the electrician.
The Government and Market Research
One of the ways the feds will reach out is by conducting what they call, Market Research. The first one is called a Sources Sought or Request For Information (RFI). This is the government’s way of allowing you to do their research for them while marketing your Capability, Capacity, Credibility, and Past Performance (3CP2)™. The Sources Sought requires you to respond to a Scope of Work in a way that demonstrates your capability of performing that kind of work. If two or more companies with the same type of certification respond, then the government is allowed to set that requirement aside for that group of certified companies. This is called a “Set Aside” and allows the participants to compete against like “capacity” companies.
Many of your competitors will have to spell out their competitiveness and distinctiveness in their solution to be awarded a contract. Therefore, learning how to respond to an RFI or Sources Sought can give you a competitive advantage.
The Government and Solicitation
The next type of solicitation is a pre-solicitation. Here, the government is testing the waters to see if companies understand their problem and can provide a solution. Sometimes they will alter their actual SoW (Scope of Work) based on what is learned in the Pre-Solicitation and Sources Sought phases of the procurement.
The next step is the RFP itself. The Request for Proposal requires all offerors to submit in a time-sensitive manner with the best solution and best price. There are more commonly two types of evaluation criteria put into this RFP. Lowest Responsible Bidder and Best Value Offered by a Responsible Offeror. And what this means is that the top criteria dictates their selection process. We encourage our clients to only pursue Best Value Contracts. That is, unless they have something amazing to offer at an extremely competitive price. Best Value allows the offeror to present a solution to the government’s problem. It may be more expensive for the government, but the best practical solution offered in the submittals.
If you’re looking to win in government contracting, our team of experienced veterans is here to guide and support you. We know what it takes to stand out and give you a competitive advantage. Contact us today to empower your business for tomorrow. Reach out for a tailored consultation and let’s propel your business to new heights!