2 SELLING ABILITY ONE IN THE CURRENT MARKET Larry Allen Allen Federal Jim Phillips Centre Consulting
3| 2013 NIB/NAEPB National Conference and Expo START AT THE BEGINNING The Current Status of the Federal Market Current Status of the Continuing Resolution CR’s and New Projects Threat of A Debt Ceiling Crisis Still Looms Sequestration Is Still With Us DOD Officials Estimate that 50% of the Acquisition Workforce Has LESS Than 5 Years of Experience ______ But The Government IS Open For Business Missions, Priorities, Emergencies Will All Have To Be Met
4| 2013 NIB/NAEPB National Conference and Expo WHAT’S STRESSING YOUR FEDERAL CLIENT? Pay Freezes Shift From Furloughs To Possible RIF’s Micromanagement From Congress and the IG Community Traditional Factors: Bureaucracy, Shifting Mandates, Etc.
5| 2013 NIB/NAEPB National Conference and Expo HOW TO MAKE THESE WORK FOR YOU Be The Trusted, Reliable Supplier Walk That New CO or CS Through The Process, Don’t Assume They Know! Position Yourself as a Business Partner - If you don’t have it help them find it Stress Experience in Market Speed of Need, Quality Items, Great Values Monitor/reinforce exceptional past performance record Listen To Their Story First, Then Tell Yours Everyone has a “hot button” – Understanding a buyer’s hot button allow you to differentiate yourself from others. Help Solve Other Problems When You Can
6| 2013 NIB/NAEPB National Conference and Expo CHANGES TO SUPPLY & ACQUISITION What They Mean To You Office Products, Jan/San & Other FSSI Programs More on this follows GSA 3PL Plans Single Agency “Total Solutions” Contracts LPTA Buying Small Business Goal Pressure
7| 2013 NIB/NAEPB National Conference and Expo HOW DO YOU CONFRONT THOSE CHALLENGES? Tell The Ability One Story Put a Face With a Name Disparate Economic Impact One Pager New Staff Be Unfamiliar With Ability One Requirements Target Specific Agencies Past Successes Existing and New Relationships Stress Best Value, Quality of Product, Secure Supply Chain Form Strategic Alliances With Industry Partners FSSI Contract Holders & 3PL Contractor(s) Participate in Buying Groups and Other Vendor Coalitions
8| 2013 NIB/NAEPB National Conference and Expo CONFRONTING CHALLENGES CONTINUED Reminders About Mandatory Source Status Are Appropriate – Especially in a “Set It and Forget It” World Get Help From NIB and Ability One For Special Circumstances Constant Communication with Major Buyers GSA DLA VA
9| 2013 NIB/NAEPB National Conference and Expo SO WHAT MAKES YOU ATTRACTIVE TO A PRIME CONTRACTOR? Potential Business Opportunity You’ve Already Identified That They Can Help With You Have Specialized, Niche Items Experience In The Federal Market Experience/Relationship With A Specific Customer That They Do Not Have Reliable/Quick-Ship Capability Ability One Status Can Be A Positive Evaluation Factor
10| 2013 NIB/NAEPB National Conference and Expo WHERE DO I FIND THESE PRIME CONTRACTORS? All Large Prime Contractors Have Small Business Offices To Identify Partners With Socio-Economic Status Free Media Sources Like Govexec.com and Federalnewsradio.com, regularly mention larger contractors in the news Many Companies, and Associations, Host Small Business Days for Contractor “Speed Dating” Industry Association Membership One-on-One Meetings
11| 2013 NIB/NAEPB National Conference and Expo WHAT ELSE Subscribed to Industry Publications Government Executive, Federal Computer Week, Federal Times, etc. Active marketing both with issuing sources and with contracting entities Internal Training on Compliance
12| 2013 NIB/NAEPB National Conference and Expo COMMON TRAITS OF SUCCESSFUL CONTRACTORS Focused On The Federal Market Put the time and resources not just into sales, but relationship building Anticipate changes that can impact your business, quickly identify problems Learn from others Successful CEO’s Say: “Don’t go it alone”
13| 2013 NIB/NAEPB National Conference and Expo WHY YOU NEED TO SELL & MARKET Ability One Status Is Just The Beginning Allows You To Sell More Easily, Gives You Legitimacy How Good A Tool It Is Depends on Who Is Using It No Business Is Guaranteed Must Call On Customers & Develop Leads
14| 2013 NIB/NAEPB National Conference and Expo MAKE USE OF RESOURCES Use Information From Free and Paid Resources to Draft Internal Growth Plans Develop & Use New Contacts In & Out of Govt. Participate in The Market, Including Events Like Conferences, Awards Shows, Etc. Identify New Opportunities, Competitors and Risks Dedicate Internal Resources To Make It Work Be Prepared When Less Dedicated Firms Leave the Market
15| 2013 NIB/NAEPB National Conference and Expo WHAT ELSE Subscribe to Industry Publications Government Executive, Federal Computer Week, Federal Times, etc. Active marketing both with issuing sources and with contracting entities Internal Training on Market Changes And, Where Necessary, Compliance
16| 2013 NIB/NAEPB National Conference and Expo MORE TIPS Successful firms adopt a “client for life” operating model Clients tend to re-use Trusted Suppliers Add new tasking with minimal competition
17| 2013 NIB/NAEPB National Conference and Expo THE SELLING RECTANGLE End-User – The Most Obvious Person Program Manager - Sometimes The EU’s Boss, Sometimes the Same Person CFO – Only If You Want To Make Sure The Agency Has Money The CO – Repeat After Me: “The CO Is The ONLY Person Who Can Bind The Gov’t. To A Contract”
18| 2013 NIB/NAEPB National Conference and Expo A QUICK LOOK AT THE FUTURE Federal Budget Will Continue To Be Tight For Foreseeable Future, But Specific Opportunities Will Exist New Procurement Methods Pose Challenges For Ability One Sales & Distribution Make Sure You Tell Your Story Procuring Agencies – Especially New Contracting Officers Logistics Contractors Don’t Be Afraid To Use Congressional Allies When Absolutely Necessary Make Sure YOU Stay Up To Date On What’s Happening In Your Area
19| 2013 NIB/NAEPB National Conference and Expo FSSI (Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative) Major OMB/GSA initiative to create new buying programs to achieve greater discounts/lower prices based on consolidation of buying across government agencies. All agencies direct to evaluate spending and propose product/service markets suitable for Strategic Sourcing. Goal is to then target those markets deemed suitable through creation of new “mandatory” contract vehicles. GSA is a big player here – directed by OMB to establish 5 new FSSI contracts in 2013 & 2014.
20| 2013 NIB/NAEPB National Conference and Expo FSSI (Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative) OS3 – Office Supplies Current OS2 FSSI BPAs tied to Schedule 75 to expire June 2014. Fifteen BPA holders currently, of which 13 are Small Businesses GSA at work on acquisition strategy for successor FSSI vehicle Strategy complicated by fact that Schedule 75 has been closed for five years to new offers GSA appears to prefer an “open market” procurement strategy to replace this contract. Expect RFP in December/January time frame!
21| 2013 NIB/NAEPB National Conference and Expo FSSI (Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative) JanSan/MRO Supplies Draft RFQ for Schedules based BPA issued in May 2013 Draft RFQ subsequently revised in response to industry comments Extensive Q&As has extended release of final RFQ – Coming soon! You must be an applicable Schedule holder and be Ability One approved to compete Vendors not winning BPA seats can seek to become participating dealers on other BPAs holder contracts. If you don’t win a BPA and/or become a participating dealer, this market will likely close for you!
22| 2013 NIB/NAEPB National Conference and Expo Data Reporting & Pricing Tools Transactional data reporting a major new mandate. Commands strong E-Commerce capability. Another area where you shouldn’t assume customer understands requirements – Get ahead of them! Emergence of “Prices Paid” and Other Pricing Tools Creating keen focus on prices paid at the transactional/order level Need to understand what dynamics are driving your prices and your competitors because someone is going to start watching!
23| 2013 NIB/NAEPB National Conference and Expo TYING IT ALL TOGETHER Federal Government Is Open For Business & Will Buy What You’re Selling Use A Targeted Approach When Pursuing Business – Rifle vs. Shotgun Consider New Relationships/Channels Promote/Educate on Ability One Compliance Be Patient Have A Sense of Humor
24| 2013 NIB/NAEPB National Conference and Expo QUESTIONS/COMMENTS
25| 2013 NIB/NAEPB National Conference and Expo Contacts Larry Allen Allen Federal Business Partners 703-999-6046 firstname.lastname@example.org Jim Phillips Centre Consulting 703-288-2800 email@example.com