Q&A: Target the right IDIQs and GWACs (and win your share of task orders) [Webinar replay]

With the proliferation of multiple award vehicles such as GWACs and IDIQs, BD, capture, and proposal professionals face many complexities. OMB and OFPP seek to consolidate these vehicles, while agencies like GSA and HHS look for new procurement methods such as prime-only past performance, Agile procurement, and self-scoring. To add to the complexity, once companies win IDIQs they may never realize any significant revenue.

In this webinar, Lisa Pafe discusses recent trends and how to target and win the right GWACs/IDIQs for your company. Lisa also reviews capture and proposal processes that help win task order proposals. Don’t waste your Bid & Proposal (B&P) dollars on empty contract vehicles! Learn how to identify the best multiple award vehicles for your company, win the GWAC/IDIQ, and then pursue and win task orders.

Click to watch the webinar and download the presentation and referenced article

Here are Lisa’s answers to questions our participants asked during the webinar.

Question: Can you provide examples of automated evaluation tools used by the government to evaluate proposals.

Answer: The government may use a variety of acquisition support services, including tools, to help them evaluate bids more efficiently and to support source selection decisions. Examples include:

Question: What automated tools does the government use to evaluate multiple award contract (MAC) proposals? Are they available to contractors, or is there a way to understand how to maximize price to win (Pwin) when facing an automated tool review?

Answer: There are several tools available (see answer above). These are not targeted for contractor use. However, many document analyzers are available to help you review your proposal content for consistency, tone, key words, etc. Examples include Qvidian, Privia, and PMAPS, to name a few. The best way to maximize Pwin related to key word searches is to identify key words based on Sections C, L, and M and then search your proposal to ensure these words are easily found.

Question: We are considering EZGovOpps. How high is the risk of investing in the wrong intelligence program?

Answer: Unfortunately, I cannot recommend a specific product.

Question: What advice would you give to a contractor who is faced with lowest price technically acceptable (LPTA) evaluation criteria on task order RFPs?

Answer: Spend more time on determining the Pwin and less time trying to perfect the solution. Invest in the competitive intelligence and pricing capabilities needed to win. If that is not possible for your company, then find more appropriate vehicles that use a best-value trade-off methodology.

Question: Many government wide acquisition contracts (GWACs) are sponsored by a certain branch Army, DISA, or NASA, and unless you are in that work your past performance does not have that language. How do you overcome that shortfall?

Answer: The only way to overcome past performance gaps is through teaming. However, many GWACs do not allow the prime to use teaming partner past performance. Avoid those GWACs and concentrate on opportunities that allow you to use teaming partner past performance.

Question: When evaluating task order Pwin, do you all believe in a “max Pwin,” that is, if there are four other strong competitors, then your maximum Pwin will be in the 20-30% range? Maybe 40-50% if you’ve marketed and/or are the incumbent? Do too many companies over-estimate their task order Pwin?

Answer: “Max Pwin” for a task order is just one of many analyses you should perform of your win probability. Examine how many bidders there are on the vehicle, but also look at trends. Most MACs experience a flurry of bids in the beginning of the contract, which then dwindles as time goes on, increasing your Pwin. However, the best way to increase Pwin is to perform capture work that includes shaping opportunities in your favor.

Question: Following the statistic that 45% of respondents reported revenue increases, did they also track B&P expenditure increases?

Answer: I do not have data on this.

Question: Can we please quickly recap the trends?

Answer: At least half of federal IT dollars flow through MACs, and these vehicles are especially popular for year-end spending. Agencies see GWACs and indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQs) contracts as a way to save time and money to procure a range of IT and professional services. 2016 will be a very important year as the 10 major GWAC competitions are expected to have a combined ceiling value of $128.6 billion. Other trends we are seeing include more emphasis on past performance and less on the solution at the vehicle level, prime only past performance, and minimum requirements for number of task orders bid and won.


During the webinar, Lisa referenced Bob Lohfeld’s latest article in Washington Technology, Are you ready for the peak season of MACs and GWACs? In this article, Bob notes that 2015 and 2016 mark the high point in a 10-year cycle of MAC and GWAC opportunities. If your company isn’t ready, you might be on the sidelines for a decade or more.


Click to watch the webinar and download the presentation and referenced article


Your speaker: Lisa Pafe, Principal Consultant, Lohfeld Consulting Group
Lisa Pafe, Project Management Professional (PMP) and Association of Proposal Management Professionals (APMP) Certified Proposal Professional (CPP) Fellow, is a Principal Consultant at Lohfeld Consulting Group. She brings 25 years of program, project, and proposal management experience. Lisa serves on the APMP-National Capital Area (NCA) Executive Board as Vice President and 2016 President Elect and is an internal ISO Auditor and LinkedIn Publisher.Previously, Lisa was Vice President at Ace Info Solutions, President of Vision Consulting, and Director of Marketing Services at MAXIMUS. Lisa’s speaking engagements have included PMI-WDC, APMP-NCA, APMP International, and APMP UK. She holds a BA from Yale University, MPP from Harvard University, and MIS from The George Washington University.


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Lohfeld Consulting