Let’s say you own a pet grooming service and want to increase your clientele by 50% in the next year. Why are potential customers likely to use your service over a competitor’s? Is your business conveniently located? Do you offer competitive pricing or bundle deals? Have you built rapport with pet owners? Do you have a YELP page - if so, what are people saying about your services?
This type of selection process is quite similar to what governments go through in purchasing products and services. The one distinction is that unlike your private pet grooming business, the government uses tax payer dollars to pay for goods, products, and services and must exhibit impartiality and not favor one competitor over another.
Like your potential pet grooming buyer, the Federal, State, or Local government buyer is interested in five critical things:
- • Do you understand their needs?
• Have you done this before?
• What are your qualifications?
• Who will actually do the work?
• What will it cost?
Thus, the typical government buyer will ask for some variation of these five factors in their search for the most appropriate vendor. Selecting the right vendor is a complex process which, in the case of Federal contracts, is governed by the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR). The FAR guides contracting offices in the options available for different types of contracts. Most aspects of the FAR were developed to promote fairness and consistency and, for the most part, are mirrored in State and Local contracting practices as well.
After a need has been determined and a budget is approved, each government buyer will first determine what type of contract will be awarded and the criteria for selection. This decision can result in numerous options, including issuing a Request for Proposal or an Invitation for Bid, and whether the award will be made based on Best Value or LPTA. Best value is when the final evaluation attempts to balance the tradeoff between quality (technical competency or past performance) and price or cost. LPTA is defined as Lowest Price, Technically Acceptable.
No matter what option the buyer exercises, the key to writing a winning proposal involves creativity, ingenuity, attention to detail, and cost consciousness. Projecting your corporate philosophy, past performance, and techniques must be done in such a way to conform to the buyer instructions while also writing to touch the individual reviewer’s “hot buttons” and known desires, which points to researching each buyer’s needs.
Over the past few years, Rolyn has developed a highly efficient and effective government procurement response system, involving all of its key staff members and dependent on a full discussion of each response between operational, marketing, management, and accounting staff. We are quite proud of our success rate due to this coordinated approach to writing winning proposals.
We respond to and mitigate property damage on many government, federal, and military facilities. Our experience allows us to respond to, and mitigate emergencies and property disasters within proper local and state guidelines, and within some of the most secure government spaces in the world. Rolyn is a holder of GSA schedule 899-8, which allows state and local governments to procure disaster recovery products/services from this schedule when a disaster is declared by the President.
About the Author
Willie Davis directs all of Rolyn’s business development and acquisition activities related to government services. He has provided a key role in assisting Rolyn gain a strong and strategic presence within a number of government and public markets.