Why is this step important: Understanding the vehicles your customer uses is important for a few reasons. First, if your customer puts a lot of money through a couple massive indefinite contracts then it is going to be harder for you to get to those dollars, at least in the short term. Second, it saves us from some potentially expensive mistakes.
1. Go to GovTribe: Because we are just starting off and cash might be a little tight we are going to use a free trial membership to GovTribe to understand our customers' use of vehicles. Go to govtribe.com and create a user name and password, its free and you don’t have to give a credit card or anything.
2. In govtibe go Go to the agencies section
Does your anchor customer use Indefinite Contracts: The first question is what extent your customer uses these large vehicles. If they barely use them then we don't have to worry much about them, at least for the first few years in business. On the other hand if they use these Indefinite vehicles a lot then we will need to find people that are already on them and start building relationships
- Note on GovTribe: You may be looking at the charts that govtribe gives you and be wondering why we didn’t do all out analysis through it, well as great of a system as it is we've found that you can compare and contrast and drive to the level of detail we need more easily in excel. Plus, comfort with the raw government data is a critical skill that few people have
3. Then scroll down and see what vehicles they are using and how much spend is going through them
Take a look at the vehicles listed and compare each number to the total spend at the agency, for example in the instance above VA spent $4.8B over four years so about $1.2B a year and the VA's total spend was about $70B over the last four years. So VA is spending about 2% of its total spend through their largest vehicle, not a ton. But I still recommend you click on each vehicle and read the description, if it looks like it covers the kind of work you plan on doing then make a note of it in your worksheet.
Web search: Now google for the name of each vehicle plus the word "application" and "*.gov" and see if you can find the application requirements. Be sure you are going to .Gov websites. There are a lot of pages out there from consultants that will charge you to get on schedule or the IDIQ. You may decide to use one but for now lets just understand what is in there so find the requirements list.
what you are looking for: As you look for application instructions look for docs with "Application," "Admission," "PWS," or "Statement of Work" in them and then inside those docs we are going to want to find the "Representations, Certifications, and Other Statements of Offeror." This section lays out the boxes that you need to check before you can bid on the work.
Open the Workplan: Go to the workplan class and download and open a the workplan, then save a copy on your computer and open it. Towards the bottom you will see the IDIQ Reps and Certs section.
Populate the workplan: As you find requirements in the IDIQ applications begin to add them to the workplan. The things you should look for in particular are:
- Insurance requirements
- ISO 9000
- Whether you have to have a DCAA compliant accounting platform
- Pricing validation
- How many Past Performances you need to have
- Letter of credit from a bank
- Any other certifications that sound like they will require significant effort
- Licenses your employees need to have
- Security clearances you need to obtain
"The time" to get on an indefinite vehicle: As the name implies Indefinite contracts don't end which makes it unclear when you will be able to bid on them, that being said there are "on-ramps" every couple years so we want to be ready when that happens.
CONVERSATION WITH A FOUNDER
Topic: What was the first piece of work that you won?