Search This Blog

Saturday, July 2, 2022

Your Rights and Obligations Under a Government Contract Stop Work Order


                                                   Photo Courtesy Eyebeam dot Org

During government shutdowns or other circumstances where the government reserves the right to order a cease work, actions must be taken recognizing receipt of the stop work order and the relationship of the order to resumption of effort, funding constraints, contract terminations and associated business risk.

PURPOSE

The purpose of a stop work order is to immediately bring to a halt the effort on a contract and any further performance and related cost against that contract. 

It is usually necessary when unforeseen circumstances necessitate the action, such as the government shutdown or similar exigencies. An example of a clause that appears regularly in most government contracts, reserving the government's rights to stop work, is as follows:

"Stop-Work Order (Aug 1989)
(a) The Contracting Officer may, at any time, by written order to the Contractor, require the Contractor to stop all, or any part, of the work called for by this contract for a period of 90 days after the order is delivered to the Contractor, and for any further period to which the parties may agree. The order shall be specifically identified as a stop-work order issued under this clause. Upon receipt of the order, the Contractor shall immediately comply with its terms and take all reasonable steps to minimize the incurrence of costs allocable to the work covered by the order during the period of work stoppage. Within a period of 90 days after a stop-work is delivered to the Contractor, or within any extension of that period to which the parties shall have agreed, the Contracting Officer shall either—
(1) Cancel the stop-work order; or
(2) Terminate the work covered by the order as provided in the Default, or the Termination for Convenience of the Government, clause of this contract.
(b) If a stop-work order issued under this clause is canceled or the period of the order or any extension thereof expires, the Contractor shall resume work. The Contracting Officer shall make an equitable adjustment in the delivery schedule or contract price, or both, and the contract shall be modified, in writing, accordingly, if—
(1) The stop-work order results in an increase in the time required for, or in the Contractor’s cost properly allocable to, the performance of any part of this contract; and
(2) The Contractor asserts its right to the adjustment within 30 days after the end of the period of work stoppage; provided, that, if the Contracting Officer decides the facts justify the action, the Contracting Officer may receive and act upon the claim submitted at any time before final payment under this contract.
(c) If a stop-work order is not canceled and the work covered by the order is terminated for the convenience of the Government, the Contracting Officer shall allow reasonable costs resulting from the stop-work order in arriving at the termination settlement.
(d) If a stop-work order is not canceled and the work covered by the order is terminated for default, the Contracting Officer shall allow, by equitable adjustment or otherwise, reasonable costs resulting from the stop-work order.
(End of clause) "

ACTIONS

A stop work order is to be taken literally.  Under a stop work order the government makes no guarantees it will take any further deliveries whatsoever, regardless of the contract type. A stop work order means just that.  Stop work and stop incurring cost. 

Upon receipt of a stop work order you have no guarantee of payment for any transaction date-stamped in your accounting system after the date of the stop work order (or the commencement date of a stop work order specified in a Contracting Officer's Letter).

 I suggest clients receiving these orders close the charge numbers applicable until the stop work order is lifted with an order to resume effort and immediately notify any effected suppliers and subcontractors to do the same.

To the degree the government has made progress payments or has any other form of payment invested in the product to date it has ownership rights in the product. If that is the case treat the physical material work-in-process as government owned, store it as such without performing any more effort on it and await further disposition.

To the degree the government has not paid anything on the contract or delivery order they have no ownership rights to the product and you are free to complete it and sell it to another customer (commercial or government) that has not stopped work. If the government recommences the order, quote a new price and delivery from ground zero.

At the bottom line a stop work is blunt and to the point.  Treat it as if you will never hear from this customer again to manage the risk.  

To the degree you do hear from the CO again and he or she has the funding to recommence work, be prepared to submit a proposal for what it will take to start the effort and a realistic delivery schedule to complete the it, but do not build any retroactive costs incurred during the stop work period into your logic and expect to bill them; they may not come to payment fruition. 

CONTRACT TERMINATIONS AND FUNDING CONSTRAINTS

Note that in the above cited clause the government discusses resumption of work and contract terminations as options.

Hypothetically at some future date the government could terminate the  contract without taking delivery and the contractor will then submit a termination proposal for recovery of costs and disruption. 


When a stop work order is lifted  the contract or the delivery order is open to negotiation on both price and delivery under the equitable adjustment and changes clauses in the FAR provisions of the contract.

At that time, you should inform the government that you are pleased to resume work, but under revised price and delivery conditions as specified in a proposal for equitable adjustment

You should not resume work until a contract or work order amendment is received granting the price and delivery relief to contract requirements commensurate with negotiation results under your proposal for equitable adjustment.

In short, time is money.

If your contract was adequately funded and remains so when work commences and assuming you negotiate acceptable terms and conditions you can proceed with low risk.  If the funding on the contract is low at the time of recommencement, it is recommended you request additional funding and handle that matter in accordance with the article linked below.


SUMMARY

Stop work orders are serious matters and require special handling to comply with government direction and to manage risk.  This article has discussed the principal options and equitable adjustment terms and conditions available to you if you undergo a stop work on a government contract.

Continuing effort on a contract after receipt of a stop work is high risk.

Astutely managing your options is a far better approach. 






Tuesday, June 28, 2022

A FREE Companion Supplement to "Small Business Federal Government Contracting" Guidebook


                                 Please Click Above Image to Enlarge

We are pleased to offer this supplementary material free of charge to small business. 

The basic guidebook has been available as a free download at this site and will remain so as a service to small business. 

The supplement offers 19 additional topics.

Like the basic book, the supplement is a free download from the BOX cube in the right margin of this site. 

Supplement topics are annotated in RED on the table of contents at the above  illustration. 

Although both the basic book and the supplement have been on the web for some time, the live links in both documents lead to the latest information on a given topic at this site. 
















Monday, June 27, 2022

Contract Closeout In Small Business Federal Government Contracting



INTRODUCTION

If you are an off-the-shelf or purchased-finished supplier of goods to the federal government, your contact closeout is reasonably simple. You will make delivery at a firm, fixed price to the agency to which you have contracted and submit an invoice. The government will receive and inspect the delivery and approve your invoice for payment. Assuming there are no ongoing warranties, logistics support or similar contract line items involved, the government will then closeout the contract, as will you.

Contracts involving progress billing with retention, cost type contracts and those with intellectual property, government property, classified documents, provisional billing rates and similar more complex matters require astute attention to detail and considerably more administrative support and coordination between the contractor and the government for closeout. Successful contract closeout of these types of programs is an ongoing process beginning at contract award.

This article will discuss the principal features of the closeout process in small business federal government contracting and provide references for further process detail.


THE GOVERNMENT PERSPECTIVE


Below is a synopsis from the introduction to the Defense Contract Management Agency DCMA Manual 2501-07 Contract Closeout which is a free download from the  “References" File in the Box Net cube at the right margin of this site. The synopsis and the book should be read carefully by small business federal government contractors:

Communication and information sharing is key to timely contract closeout. Contract Closeout occurs when all the terms of a contract/order have been met and all administrative actions are completed, all disputes settled, and final payment has been made. This includes those administrative actions that are contractually required; i.e. property, patents and royalties" 

TIPS TO INSURE SUCCESSFUL CONTRACT CLOSEOUT

  • Consider the type of contact under which you are operating and locate that type in the manual Insure the processes specified in are followed in your contract administration from the onset of your contact. Government contract types are discussed at the following link:  Contract Types


Note the manual discusses both the role of the government and the contractor in closeout and the stages in achieving closeout. 

  • Support Cost-Type Contracts With Timely Incurred Cost Proposal Rates and Submissions – Several articles at this site have addressed the development of forward pricing rates and associated DCAA audits and submissions. Here are the most important articles with respect to contract closeout:




  • To close out a cost type contract that has been billed throughout its life at provisional rates, regular incurred cost submissions must be submitted by the contractor and verified by DCAA. Provisional rates must then be adjusted to audited applied actual costs and the final billing determined. This could result in net excess funding on the program that must be returned or a requirement for addition funding at closeout. In either case, the business impact could be substantial for a small enterprise.

Note the following Simplifying Techniques:

  • Verify payment accuracy and report discrepancies immediately.
  • Provide Contracting Officer with cost estimates of projected cost (usually 60 days in advance) in compliance with Limitation of Cost/Funds Clauses (FAR 52.232.20 through 21) for cost reimbursement and facilities contracts.
  • Submit patent reports on time to the Administrative Contracting Officer when required by the patent clause.
  • Submit Overhead Rate Proposals no later than 6 months after the end of the contractor's fiscal year.
  • Prepare final voucher no later than 4 months after settlement of overhead rates.
  • Consider Quick Closeout procedure when it's determined that normal closeout will be delayed.
  • Execute government property disposition instructions expediently.”
SUMMARY

Becoming informed on government contract closeout steps and putting in place processes to support them in your business system is the most important general principal to remember. Consider the type of contract you are releasing for incurred cost. Bear in mind how an individual contract impacts on your business system and insure your business system supports the type of contact you are putting into play. Develop a good working relationship with your contracting officers, DCMA and DCAA.  For more on the roles of these government functions, please see the following link:

Federal Government Contracting Customer Relations





Saturday, June 25, 2022

“Values - Based ” Marketing Techniques for Small Business

                                             Image:  prezi.com

“Values-Based” Marketing occurs when you become uniquely aware of what motivates specific personnel internal to a customer company, a buyer or a prospective teaming partner to make favorable decisions regarding your product or services. 

COMPONENTS:

Values-based marketing does not relate to client perception of your product or service value; rather, it relates to your understanding of the client and using that knowledge to motivate that client to buy.  It includes answering the following 5 strategic questions:

1.  Who is your client? (personal traits and proclivities)

2.  Where  is your client located in the organization and what role and authority does he or she hold?

3.  What  are the driving factors that will motivate the client to make a buying decision in your favor?

4.  How to best lead the individual client to the conclusion you wish them to make in buying your product or service?

5.  Why is your product or service the best to further the client's personal value system and motives?

METHOD:

Combine the details of your product or service with some transition suggestions regarding how a client can make the leap from where they are now to where you can take them without totally disrupting how they operate at time now.  

Understand that to sell the services and the product you are offering you must provide a bridge for those who do not have your vision of the end game. 

It is a simple fact of life that your sales techniques must provide practical suggestions in getting your client off a blank sheet of paper as to how your concept could be brought internally to their organization.  That can only occur if you are sharp enough and aware enough of their existing processes and systems, status, plans, budgets and funding to offer them a path to follow.  This type of market research is a tough order but you will not sell effectively without it.  

Sometimes clients will not disclose personal values and organization value systems until you are engaged with them and at that time you must be sympathetic to transition issues, think on your feet and evolve a way to get to your sales objective; not just insist that they change dramatically to accommodate your concept. 

Ask the client questions about what you know or have found their needs to be. Then take them to where your presentation has solutions for them; engage them on a solutions frequency and make your concept of the future theirs. A key will be your ability to make the client want to own your product or service in their environment and your assistance to make them as individuals look good for acquiring what you sell to increase their visibility and productivity in the organization. 

Consider the values of the client your are engaging and threaten or further his or her value system.  To do so, find out what they value first.  It may not be what you value - or what you believe they should value;  but you are stuck with those values and the value system backing them up. In many cases they are political, self-serving and disappointing but you cannot ignore them.  You must manage them.  You must threaten or further those value systems to get your customer to act.  Furthering client values is a positive view of the future, enhancing what the client already has.   Threatening client values is making the client feel he or she cannot undertake the future effectively without buying from you.

SUMMARY:

I once had the privilege of experiencing a professor who conducted a course on managing people for 3 days to our management group.

For those 3 days the instructor did not allow us to use the word, "Problem". His message was that there are no such things as problems - just situations that threaten or further peoples' (or the corporate culture values).

Through a series of exercises, mock situations late into the night, critical negotiation teams and value determination exercises he demonstrated that his theory was absolutely correct and that if one determines the values involved in a challenging situation, then develops solutions that threaten or further them, one will motivate people to take action.

Values-based marketing effectively threatens or furthers your client's value system as a strategic element in your marketing program, motivating them to act  in your favor. 






Wednesday, June 22, 2022

COST CENTER STRATEGIC PLANNING FOR SMALL BUSINESS SERVICE CONTRACTORS

Image:  The Blue Print (Motley Fool) 


INTRODUCTION


The purpose of this article is to discuss how a growing small enterprise can enhance competitive rate development and cost management by effective cost center utilization in federal government contracting.


A cost center is a single, pricing, accounting, and billing entity within a company, organized for a group of business lines and clients with close similarities for technical and management purposes. It has its own unique overhead rate and houses the projected direct cost labor dollar base and associated expenses for that base.


A cost center is also a financial consistency template that runs from long range planning through proposal pricing, accounting, billing and closeout for the contracts it houses.  It is the way DCAA and contracting officers view major aspects of your business and your rates for that business.


INITIAL COST CENTER EXPERIENCE


Enterprises that have not experienced federal government contracting typically base their initial proposals and bid submissions to the government on their commercial quotation approach and related market rates.  This usually involves a single company cost center approach with both government and commercial work together at the general ledger level. 


When the company gains experience in government contracting through audit exposure during proposal fact finding/negotiations, as well as accounting and billing, it becomes apparent that government cost accounting standards (CAS), job cost accounting and cost management at lower levels than the commercial general ledger are necessary to succeed.  At that point a business system to support the new requirements begins to take shape. 


The below graphic contains a typical graphic overview of the processes necessary.



PLEASE CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE

Note the long range planning and cost center blocks in the graphic.  The remainder of this article will focus on those two elements of the company business process. 
 
GROWING INTO MULTIPLE COST CENTERS

The time to consider separating government from commercial work and/or establishing new cost centers for bidding, accounting and billing purposes is when the enterprise is generating a long range marketing plan to determine rates for bidding new long terms contracts.
The location of the work (both geographic location and whether performance is in or out of a government facility, its duration, skill set requirements, government-mandated fringe benefits for workers and the competition are all factors to consider).
The government will not question your setting up a new cost center and projecting a direct cost business base within it together with associated expenses and the resultant forward pricing rates.  The reality you must remember is that the business in the cost center must materialize as a contributor to the company G&A base for the firm’s rates to remain consistent.   DCAA will check the math during a proposal audit.  You must make the projections happen to succeed if you win the work.  Please see the following article for the details on these relationships:


Setting up a new cost center retroactively for contracts that are already in process with pricing, job cost and billing records supported elsewhere in the plan, and the business system is extremely difficult.  Looking ahead during the bid process pays big dividends.

PROBABLILITY FACTORS IN COST CENTER FORECASTS

Probability factors reflect the likelihood of contract awards.
Place into the projected base for a cost center only that amount of forecasted direct cost base deemed likely to occur and then market and manage to make your forecast happen.  If major projects in the forecasted business do not materialize your actual, realized base will be too low and your overhead rates will go up during cost center operation unless expenses are cut. That means higher bidding and billing rates to your customers.
Probability factors are usually applied by forecasting the direct dollar labor content for the job in dollars and factoring it based on marketing intelligence relative to competition, the company capability statement, past performance with the agency and how well the firm is known to the customer.  Proper modeling of probability factors avoids unrealistic cost proposals and cost overruns under contracts while permitting flexibility in risk taking to beat the competition. Please see the below article for further details on this practice:


SUMMARY

Projects performed in government facilities may require a separate cost center, since many of the associated expenses for such operations are born by the government, who in turn expects a lower overhead rate as a result.
For accounting purposes cost centers usually have individual subsidiary ledgers, balance sheets and profit and loss statements. They are summarized monthly to a company total. Each cost center must have job cost accounting for the contracts residing there and a cost-center-unique overhead rate. 
The sum of the direct and indirect costs in the company cost centers forms the G&A base to which corporate level expenses are applied when calculating the G&A rate that is further applied to all projects residing in all centers after labor, labor overhead, material and other direct costs (travel or like expenses) have been summed.
Assuming your competition pays a generally similar labor rate to employees as you do and that fringe costs about the same for everyone, then cost center overhead, coupled with the company G&A rate, are often what wins and loses price evaluations during source selection. 
For more on cost centers and attendant business system considerations, please see the PRICING, BUSINESS SYSTEMS, FINANCE & ACCOUNTING section of the free book offered at this site as well as the long range plan and estimating and pricing examples in Appendices A and B to the book. 






Sunday, June 19, 2022

10 Golden Rules For Small Business Success



1. Do not promise what you cannot deliver

2. Do not overextend your resources and get a reputation for poor performance.

3. Do not tell the customer what he or she wants to hear. Tell them what they need to know. They will respect you for it.

4. Network constantly on professional sites such as Linked InQuora, Alignable and others.  Use Groups and Q&A 
features to accumulate an "Expert" rating from  peers in your field. 

5. Blog like there is no tomorrow. A blog is quite different than a web site. Provide good, solid information free of charge and use blog searches for synergistic businesses to team with. Teaming is an absolute necessity these days.

6. Be prepared to provide information, samples and valuable service gratis as a marketing tool. Introduce yourself and then immediately engage the client with your presentation tools available to bring your expertise to whatever topic they are interested in. Let them take you where they want to go with their concerns and their needs. Apply your presentation tools and expertise dynamically on the fly in a sincere manner to those concerns and needs and you will be in demand for follow up business.

7. Quote and bill what the client can afford and grow with them (in content and resources).

8. Be dedicated to working yourself out of a job with a specific customer and having your client take over by training. They will remember you and recommend you to 10 others.

9. Remember growth is a function of persistence and foresight. Know where your market is headed and get their first - then write and speak about your success indirectly by helping others. Demonstrate humility and a satisfaction in helping others succeed. They will find ways to give you credit. There are ways of tooting your horn without making peoples' lights go out.

10. Word of mouth advertising from pleased clients is a sure ticket to success.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Don't Overlook The Government Contract Data Requirements List (CDRL)

Image:  Defense Acquisition University 
The Contract Data Requirements List (CDRL) is usually contained in Part III, Section J of the government solicitation you are bidding and the executed contract upon award. 

The CDRL is a register of the deliverable data items. Each data item has a discrete numeric identifier, a data item description (DID) number and a delivery schedule to the customer. 

The CDRL is commonly conveyed on DD Form 1423 by the Department of Defense (DOD) specifying the delivery address, number of copies required and the reviewing and approving authority for the data item within the government agency.  It also specifies electronic addresses if electronic data delivery is necessary. Forms other than a DD Form 1423 may be used to convey data item requirements by agencies outside DOD. That form may be as simple as a listing of requirements. 

You should review the listing to insure adequate definition and understanding exist for you to commit to the data requirements when you sign your contract. Data Item Descriptions (DID's) are available at:

Data Item Description Library

Although it is unusual to negotiate separate pricing for contract data, your negotiated contract and resulting budget baseline must contain the resources to prepare and submit these items.

On contracts for new products, data item submissions represent major benchmarks on the contract schedule. Results of study, research, engineering design and development are submitted in the form of data items to the government for approval. 

Once approved, data items form the specifications for continuing effort on the contract. Key design reviews on development programs are focused on the contents of data item submissions.

Data item submissions contain reports of contract cost and schedule performance, results of status meetings and records of ongoing deliveries. Data item deliveries are key factors in demonstrating successful performance under the contract.

In some instances, the number of data items and the level of detail in each are negotiable with the government. Such negotiations have a direct impact on cost even though data items are not normally priced separately in the contract.

The cost for data item preparation and submission is usually included in the pricing in Section B of the contract within the prices for contract line item deliverable to which the data items apply.

SDRL or "Subcontract Data Requirements List" is a prime contractor flow-down of the CDRL requirements to a subcontractor. 

Generally the prime will structure the SDRL to insure that subcontractor data submissions support the prime contract CDRL technical content, schedule and other parameters. 

The prime may also take the liberty to incorporate additional requirement to support their own internal systems of quality,cost and schedule control. 

As with CDRL requirements, SDRL's should be carefully priced within the end item CLIN's to which they apply to insure cost coverage.

Saturday, June 11, 2022

What Small Business Needs to Know About SAM Contract Opportunities

    
INTRODUCTION

This posting will provide strategic guidance on SAM Contract Opportunities and factors for using it in small business marketing to government agencies and prime contractors.

A PUBLIC DOMAIN ACQUISITIONS BULLETIN BOARD

Established as the public announcement vehicle for federal procurement, SAM Contract Opportunities is a web-based, "Public Announcement Bulletin Board" to satisfy fairness in government contracting laws mandated by US law. It is a terrific market research tool and an absolute necessity once a solicitation has gone formal to stay abreast of modifications, changes in proposal due dates, questions and answers and other necessary information that contracting officers are required to make public.

WHAT ANNOUNCEMENTS MEAN

SAM Contract Opportunities is the mandated posting point for contracting officers in all federal agencies. It is also the required notification point for GSA schedule solicitations, contract award announcements of all types and other information that is required by law for communication to the public in a fair and open manner regarding federal government procurement of supplies and services. The site contains "Sources Sought" and bidders conference notices, government requests for industry comment on draft RFP's and formally published solicitations with proposal due dates. 

A solicitation posted at SAM Contract Opportunities  generally means that a procurement has received funding and the contracting officer has been authorized to start the source selection process.

Often misunderstood, is that much has occurred in the way of marketing activities by companies in advance of notices formally published by the government on SAM Contract Opportunities. By the time the formal, solicitation is published it is too late to market for setting a procurement aside for a small business designation if it has not already been established as such. In addition, formal solicitation publication closes the window on self-marketing by HUB Zone and 8(a) firms for set asides to them individually without competition. In short, businesses have been marketing for the requirement long before it became formally announced at SAM Contract Opportunities.

Finding a solicitation that is ideal for your company for the first time on SAM Contract Opportunities is excellent market research insight into what the agency publishing the requirement is buying. However, a careful bid/no bid analysis should be conducted as to whether it is prudent to go through the expense of a proposal if the opportunity has not been a new business target for your firm earlier in the game. Please see the following article on completing a bid/no bid analysis:

Small Business Federal Government Contracting Proposal Preparation

NAVIGATING THE SITE

Start by registering at SAM. Many of the features available to users are not accessible without a registration. Begin some careful searches by key words into agency solicitations that could use your products and services. 

The data base is huge and it is best to move from specific key word selections to the more general with experience to avoid being inundated with meaningless solicitations. Some companies establish a separate email address for the SAM Contract Opportunities mailings to keep the results out of the mainstream of other business. The mailings are totally automated so there are no marketing factors to consider in setting up such an arrangement.

As you examine the solicitations, see who has indicated an interest in bidding them among your competitors and the primes you are pursuing and then target such projects for participation by your firm either as a prime yourself or as a subcontractor. Pay particular attention to "Sources Sought", Draft RFP "Request for Industry Comments" and similar announcements that indicate an early requirement taking shape.

For active solicitations that you wish to monitor, check receive updates and announcements by email. Once the solicitation reaches the formal RFP stage and a due data for a proposal has been established, if you have decided to bid the job the "Follow" feature is especially critical.

If there is a bidders conference and you intend to bid the job, make plans to attend. When questions are solicited you may ask them but remember that your question and its associated answer will be published by the government so be careful not to educate your competition to your win strategy in the process.

You do not have to indicate you are interested in bidding the job by registering as an "Interested Vendor" in order to bid a solicitation. Some companies prefer not to advertise their bid intentions, seeking to avoid competitors modeling their firm.

A MARKET RESEARCH SOURCE

If you are new to federal government contracting and wish to determine the best market for your supplies and services, observing what a given agency is buying on SAM Contract Opportunities is a key factor.

Keep in mind that the decision makers in government contracting are the technical managers and process people behind the scenes in an organization (either government agency or large company). They have the budget authority, program responsibility and accountability. These people pass their decisions on to buyers and contracting officers via signed requisitions. Buyers and contracting officers are really no more than gate keeping staff members, knowledgeable in legalities, terms and conditions and who sign on behalf of the agency or company AFTER an internal review by the executives who have technical and management responsibility.

Thus your real marketing targets are behind the gatekeepers and little is achieved by marketing to a contracting officer or buyer. This rule of thumb applies with prime contractor contracting specialists and administrators as well as government personnel. For further details on the roles of these personnel please see the following link:
`
Federal Government Contracting Customer Relations

Once again, bidding an active solicitation after it has hit SAM Contract Opportunities may be too late. The idea is to use them for market research so you can target similar projects earlier in the process. Research the technologies and services in which your targeted agencies and primes are involved through trade magazines, Internet articles, web sites, employment hiring fairs and industry conferences.

Focus your marketing campaign on finding evolving projects you can use as vehicles to approach teaming partners and agencies directly with a marketing campaign geared to your capability statement. Develop a solution to the specific needs of the project and present it to gain their attention.

Your principal challenge as a small product and services provider is finding evolving programs and projects into which your capabilities fit. Once you have found such targets it is then a matter of marketing brusquely to get into the game with eye catching solutions and capabilities.

SUMMARY

When a procurement becomes public on SAM Contract Opportunities it stays public, but many invisible strings behind the scenes are likely already attached to it by aggressive and talented companies who may have sculpted the requirement with the agency, assisted in writing the statement of work or influenced the structure of the specifications to favor their products and services. All this is good, competitive marketing practice in the government contracting venue, just as it is in the commercial marketplace.

Use SAM Contract Opportunities as discussed here in consonance with the following teaming and marketing articles:

Small Business Teaming In Government Contracting

Multiple Front Marketing In Government Contracting

Marketing A Small Business In The Federal Government Contracting Environment

SAM Contract Opportunities is an absolute necessity once you make a bid decision. It is an extensive resource prior to such decisions and if utilized prudently it can enhance your small business government contract marketing plan dramatically.