As we do every year, many of us are wrestling with the latest array of new or re-competing multiple award IDIQ contracts.
No doubt, it’s tempting to pursue each and every multiple award IDIQ contract that seems to be even a slight fit for your business. After all, what is a contract vehicle? It’s either a means to access a customer (or group of customers) or a means by which your competitors shut you out. Egad! Fear and consternation!
When these opportunities emerge, however, how many of us stop to make some hard (but resource- and strategy-conscious) decisions about what is worth a pursuit? How often do we find ourselves contemplating the role of prime contractor? Or working the phones to check with everyone we know to get on a team?
This method can work, but any federal contractor can benefit from starting with a handful of fundamental questions that can steer the multiple award IDIQ contract pipeline decision making.
- How many of your previous IDIQ pursuits yielded results?
- If results were less that satisfactory (or, let’s be honest – outright terrible and yielded zero results), what went wrong?
- Were these multiple award IDIQ contracts the right contract vehicles for my business?
- Did I bother to match my desired customer with indications that they would actually use the contract?
- Did I identify the alternative contracts for my customer to use instead of the new/re-competing contract?
- Did I focus any tangible effort to pursue work using that contract? Why or why not? What happened?
It’s hard to resist the many opportunities to snag yet another “hunting license” to add to your firm’s collection (aka pipeline), but if it’s unused, under-pursued, overly expensive, etc, then it has little value. (Remember that even as a subcontractor, you are consuming limited time and resources. Every hour that you spend answering data calls from the prime is an hour that you aren’t investing in your own pursuits.) Thus, as you approach these new and tempting multiple award IDIQ contracts, be mindful of that they may be no more than shiny objects and evaluate how much time they’re truly worth. I’m not suggesting that you forget these potentially game-changing contract vehicles; rather, just be smart about your own strategy and pursuits.
Above everything, do your homework on the true value of an IDIQ and how it aligns with your business.
Stay focused and good hunting!
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