When we last blogged on ACES, we focused on the basics of what ACES is. No doubt you’ve spent quality time reviewing our blog and a plethora of USAID materials to either get smart on ACES or to simply revisit your long-lost friend of an opportunity (remember DRAGON? We do!). The intention of this blog series is to inform you on ACES in order to help you make some informed decisions to go forward (or not). Remember, whenever it comes to opportunities it’s OK to walk away.
Let’s continue on our journey into ACES with a look at what IQCs (or IDIQs for you not so USAID indoctrinated persons) feed into ACES.
Who’s who in the USAID ACES Zoo?
This opportunity has been a moving target over the years. The plot thickens when we consider the dual unrestricted and restricted lanes intended by USAID. The restricted lane is particularly interesting due to the success of some formerly small USAID-centric businesses, whose rapid growth has pushed them into the large business category. The capture implication here is that the small business potential competitors may be a leaner competitive field that in years past when ACES was known as DRAGON. We could easily argue this point in many different ways, but let’s consider this through the lens of IQC and other contracts that potentially feed into ACES in terms of technical capabilities and past performance enabled credibility.
Note that we use the anticipated NAICS code of 541611 and its size standard of $15 million to determine whether or not a business is small. We also constrain spending to generally similar professional services purchased by USAID from the contractor in question. Consider this as a quick view into strong competitors in both large and small categories. Note that we have a more expansive list than the below that covers potential teaming partners and a more comprehensive view of the competitive landscape. Contract us at email@example.com for more details.
|Contractor||Size||ACES feeder contracts||Average Relevant USAID Contract Obligations
|Chemonics International||Large||Encouraging Global Anti-Corruption and Good Governance (ENGAGE), Rule of Law (ROL), Legislative Strengthening Services (“Strengthening Deliberative Bodies”), Public Financial Management (PFM)||$496,714,823|
|Development Alternatives, Inc. (DAI)||Large||Encouraging Global Anti-Corruption and Good Governance (ENGAGE), Rule of Law (ROL), Legislative Strengthening Services (“Strengthening Deliberative Bodies”)||$197,754,225|
|Tetra Tech||Large||Encouraging Global Anti-Corruption and Good Governance (ENGAGE), Rule of Law (ROL), Legislative Strengthening Services (“Strengthening Deliberative Bodies”)||$187,230,243|
|Management Systems International (owned by TetraTech)||Large||Encouraging Global Anti-Corruption and Good Governance (ENGAGE)||$92,551,078|
|Research Triangle Institute||Large||Examples include the former Democratic Local Governance & Decentralization contract, Governance Accountability Participation and Performance (GAPP)||$48,775,948|
|Checchi and Company||Large||Rule of Law (ROL)||$27,921,051|
|Social Impact||Large||Legislative Strengthening Services (“Strengthening Deliberative Bodies”)||$19,883,765|
|International Business & Technical Consultants, Inc. (IBTCI)||Large||Examples of work include Somalia Program Support Services||$18,785,931|
|ECODIT||Small||Some governance experience, but most prime contract work is in clean energy, environmental initiatives||$10,176,282|
|International Business Initiatives Corporation (IBI)||Woman owned small business||Not a feeder contract, but their work under Human and Institutional Capacity Development is indicative of their capabilities to pursue ACES||$5,607,191|
|Development Transformations||Veteran owned small business||Not a feeder contract, but their core USAID experience comes from the Support that Augments Rapid Transition (START) IDIQ||$3,730,806|
|Democracy International||Large||Rule of Law (ROL) and START IDIQ||$2,500,609|
|Casals & Associates||Large||Encouraging Global Anti-Corruption and Good Governance (ENGAGE), Rule of Law (ROL)||$1,546,447|
Note that this list is where very closely related, recent contracts to ACES and total overall market share at USAID meet. We must not forget that ACES will have both large and small businesses competing together, with some allocation for small business awards.
There are also some other notables with minimal prime contract sales, but might make their way into this competition include:
- AlterModus International
- Development Professionals, Inc. (DPI)…part of Millennium DPI joint venture which did Rule of Law (ROL) IQC
- E. Austin Associates
- Millennium Group leaning on experience from Millennium DPI joint venture which did Rule of Law (ROL) IQC
- New Rule LLC
- Panagora Group
- Tipping Point Solutions
- The Urban Institute
We also have a blast from the past in the form of two other contracts that create a foundation of competitors (many of which are accounted for above). Keep in mind the below pair of contracts.
- Building Recovery and Reform through Democratic Governance (BRDG)
- Democratic Local Governance & Decentralization
Why do we care about these competitors which are our key takeaways:
- Knowing your competitors helps you assess your chances to win…how scary do they look?
- Knowing the competition will assist you to identify where you can differentiate
- Remember that there are many truths in government contracting and we have “co-opetition”…competitors can also be teammates when opportunity and timing align
- Use this as a potential list to build your team, but there is yet much due diligence to do
- Learn more about the total business
- Find the decision makers, engage them to get swift action
- Avoid the ones that may not play nice with others…not all partners work with you in the spirit of true partnership
If you would like to learn more, we’ve taken the time to dig further into these competitors so you don’t have to do more heavy lifting! Just reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As always…stay focused…do your capture homework. There are some great opportunities out there. Good hunting!
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