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Governmentwide acqusition contracts: how many is enough?

Virtually every IT contractor needs to be a participant on one or more GWACs. Why? Because more than 50% of all procurements for information technology products and services are acquired using these vehicles.

The GWAC has several well-known advantages. Among them:

Generally speaking, there are many fewer competitors bidding on the government's requirements than exist in a full and open environment.

Terms and conditions are prenegotiated.

* Some agencies will only permit procurement for their internal needs from a GWAC that the agency "owns."

* It provides the contractor with a single point of contact vis a vis the GWAC program manager.

* As a participant in the GWAC, your enterprise is pre-approved to do business with the sponsoring agency, as well as other government entities.

While many government agencies have no GWACs, there are those organizations that have an excess of this type of contract. The cost in time and money to win such a contract can be considerable.

Given this, an enterprise must be selective in the number and type of GWACs that it elects to pursue. A contractor must focus on both the agencies and offerings that are a fit for both the solutions and the contractor's marketing efforts. For example, it is of little good to pursue a GWAC for a Defense agency if the contractor does not hold at least a Secret facility clearance.

The right number varies with the size and portfolio of the contractor. Generally speaking, three or four GWACs may be the optimum number for a moderate size (under $50 million) contractor.

Remember, by definition, this type of contract vehicle permits most any agency to buy from your GWAC. So evaluate ruthlessly where to spend your bid-and-proposal dollars when considering the GWAC that is open for bidding.

For more information go to www.senecacreekconsulting.com.

By Peter Adler

Seneca Creek Consulting
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Author:Adler, Peter
Publication:Set-Aside Alert
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 6, 2007
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