Scrutinizing Solicitation Evaluation Factors

The purpose of the proposal evaluation process is to provide a mechanism to determine which offers submitted in response to a solicitation best meet the government’s stated needs. Unfortunately, too many businesses only look at the Scope/Statement of Work and then start writing their proposal. A savvy proposal expert knows that reading the entire solicitation is critical to proposal success. The solicitation documents should paint a clear picture of the government’s need as well as how that need has been successfully met. It is also important to understand how the source selection team and/or the contracting officer is going to determine the awardee. Because the source selection decision is based on the proposal evaluation, it is important that the evaluation criteria clearly reflect the Government’s need & facilitate preparation of proposals that best satisfy that need. To do this, you must understand how your proposal is graded against the evaluation criteria listed in the solicitation. Is the evaluation going to be based on a low price technically acceptable (LPTA) process or will there be a trade-off “best value” approach? If it is a best value approach – how are the evaluation factors and sub-factors ranked? This webinar will take a close look at the various types of evaluation factors and discus how to align your proposal towards those factors that the contracting officer has deemed most important.

A Look at the ‘New’ System for Award Management SAM Website.

Join Jody King, Alaska PTAC Contract Specialist, for a guided walkthrough of the new features and updated functions of the System for Award Management (SAM) website. The merger of the Beta.SAM and SAM websites as well as the revised look of the “new” SAM site incorporated process changes in registering and/or updating entity registrations as well as changes in the search features for Contract Opportunities. This created a few difficulties when trying to navigate the new SAM website. To help you navigate some of the process hurdles, this webinar will review: A look at your Workspace & how to update your individual SAM profile How to register or update an entity profile How to search for other entities How to search for solicitations and other notices in Contract Opportunities How to select a wage determination

Past Performance Leveraging Success to Win Future Awards.

When Shakespeare penned “what’s past is prologue,” he probably wasn’t thinking of federal government contracts. Still, his immortal words carry valuable lessons for small business contractors. In the age of best value procurements, the federal government will often look to the past to determine whether to issue an award in the future. It’s crucial, therefore, that small business contractors understand how past performance is measured—and, just as importantly, how to address any concerns with their past performance. Join government contracts attorney Matthew Schoonover for a discussion of past performance. In this presentation, attendees will learn how past performance is evaluated, how to leverage their past performance to enhance their competitiveness, and strategies for addressing any less-than-glowing past performance evaluations

Forest Service Northwest Zone Industry Day

The US Forest Service has restructured its geographic regions moving Alaska into the Forest Service’s Northwest Zone in October, 2020. This change resulted in a centralized contracting region which means new contracting staff names for businesses involved in Forest Service contracts. Join Denise Murphy, US Forest Service Small Business Specialist, and learn about the new Forest Service Northwest Zone contracting processes and activities. Ms. Murphy will also present their procurement forecast with upcoming contract opportunities for this fiscal year. One of the highlighted opportunities, presented by Au Nguyen, Supervisory Contracting Officer, is the Road Maintenance and Construction Multiple Award Task Order Contracts (MATOC) for Alaska.

Laying the Ground Rules Shaping a Competition Before the Award

Winning a federal contract is tough work: an offeror has to submit a responsive and innovative bid, all at a fair and reasonable price. But often times, the path to victory starts even before a proposal is submitted. Sometimes, a contractor might need to define—or redefine—a solicitation, in order to make sure it’s in the best possible position to win an award. In this presentation, government contracts attorney Matthew Schoonover will discuss how an offeror might shape a competition, even before bids are submitted. Topics will include appealing the assigned North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code to change the sizes of businesses that are eligible to compete, or even filing a pre-bid protest to change the solicitation’s terms. With a reshaped solicitation, your business might be more competitive for the award.

Make a Statement Get Noticed! How to Write a Capability Statement

Professionals agree: A good capability statement can open doors for your business. But a bad one can just as easily close them. The rule is, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” So our advice is: “Make sure it’s a good one!” A well thought out, well prepared capability statement can help accomplish that. But where do you start? What is a capability statement, and why do you need one? What is a capability statement supposed to accomplish? What information should it convey? What does a capability statement look like? Are there any mistakes to avoid? If you’ve ever wondered about any of these questions we recommend you tune in to ‘Make a Statement, Get Noticed!’ and get them answered!

Supersize Your SBA Profile

When is the last time that you have updated your SBA profile for the Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS)? You are required to update your SAM profile yearly, but are you updating the DSBS profile at the same time? If not, you are missing out on the best free advertising opportunity available in the world of government contracting. This webinar will discuss how to make the most of a DSBS profile.

We will discuss:

1) How to make the most of the limited characters allowed for your Capability Narrative,

2) What do your Keywords say about your company, and

3) Rethinking the References.

AGC Lunch & Learn – Featuring the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS-NG)

You’ve been told that market research is critical to success in the government contracting arena. The information is out “there” but how to find the needed data? Where do look to determine which agencies are buying what you’re selling? How do you find past procurement data on a current solicitation? One of the answers is on the FPDS website.

The Federal Procurement Data System – Next Generation (FPDS or FPDS-NG) is a great (and free) tool to use for conducting market research. The FPDS contains a tremendous volume of data on past federal procurement activities.

This webinar will show you how to:

  • Use the advanced FPDS search features to find past contractual information
  • Conduct searches by agency, by NAICS & PSC codes, DUNS numbers and criteria
  • How to sort and export the data
AGC Lunch & Learn – Contract Opportunities (Beta SAM gov) Demonstration

Join Jody King, Alaska PTAC, and learn how to build better search filters on Beta.SAM.gov Contract Opportunities website. The demo will show you how to use the various filters, and to build and save search profiles. Training Topics: Government Contracting, Selling to Government

Managing Contract Changes

Developing a systematic approach to managing changes in your government contract(s) is critical for cash flow, contract compliance and overall performance. Handling contractual changes correctly can create positive prime/sub relationships as well as prime/owner relationships. The first step is know when a “change” is triggered. The second step is document and notify. The third step is to ensure that the “change” has been correctly been authorized before it is actualized. Seems easy – but is it really? Join Jody King and learn more about managing contract changes. This webinar will discuss: Identifying changes – is the change part of the scope? Change clauses – What’s in your contract? Identifying & tracking costs – what is the internal communication process? What is the external communication process? Documenting the “go ahead” to perform/incorporate the change Requests for Equitable Adjustments (REA) & Change Orders

AGC Lunch & Learn – Introduction to Government Contracting

New to the arena of government contracting? If yes, then this AGC Lunch & Learn session is a great way to start! In Fiscal Year 2020, the federal government awarded over $26B in contracts in Alaska. This amount did not just go to prime contractors; it involved subcontractors, vendors, transportation, and all levels of supply chain management. If you have not looked how your company can fit into the federal contracting arena, then you may be missing out. This webinar will introduce you to the world of federal government contracting and will discuss: The differences between commercial and government contracts – learning a new language What is required to obtain federal contracts – registrations and certifications Where to find the government solicitations – introduction to contracting market research – What are the next steps needed start pursuing government contracts – there are resources to help!

AGC Lunch & Learn – Reviewing The Buy American Act

New to the arena of government contracting? If yes, then this AGC Lunch & Learn session is a great way to start! In Fiscal Year 2020, the federal government awarded over $26B in contracts in Alaska. This amount did not just go to prime contractors; it involved subcontractors, vendors, transportation, and all levels of supply chain management. If you have not looked how your company can fit into the federal contracting arena, then you may be missing out.

This webinar will introduce you to the world of federal government contracting and will discuss:

  • The differences between commercial and government contracts – learning a new language
  • What is required to obtain federal contracts – registrations and certifications
  • Where to find the government solicitations – introduction to contracting market research
  • What are the next steps needed start pursuing government contracts – there are resources to help!

Join Jody King, Alaska PTAC Contract Specialist and find out if the federal government should be your next client

Creating Value Through Small Business Certifications

The federal government has established that all solicitations under the simplified acquisition threshold shall be set aside for small business or further restricts competition to one of the small business subcategories such as 8(a), HUBZone, SDVOSB, WOSB, or EDWOSB. With this in mind, what does a business have to do to qualify for these various small business designations? Which certifications are self-certified and which require an application and approval process? And once a business obtains certifications – what do they do with them? This workshop will provide answers to these questions.

Join Randy Miller, SBA PCR and Jody King, PTAC Contract Specialist as they discuss the following topics:

  • Overview of certification eligibility requirements and application processes
  • HUBZone Program Updates
  • Have the certifications – now what?
  • Marketing tools o Teaming Applications (limitation on subcontracting & “similarly situated entities”)
  • Use in Joint Ventures & SBA Mentor-Protégé Programs
Is Your Current Insurance Policy Sufficient for Potential Contract Performance Risk?

Construction contracts have insurance and indemnification obligations that the contractor must meet, and it’s critical to identify what is being required, if your current insurance program is in compliance, and if not what will take to become compliant before you ever bid the work. Are there additional costs involved? Is what is being required available in the insurance marketplace? Do the insurance requirements create an unmanageable level of risk?

Insurance requirements change and so does insurance underwriting, we’re seeing more contracts require pollution and cyber coverage as an example of this changing environment. Join guest presenter Chris Pobieglo, President of Business Insurance Associates, to learn more about standard contractual insurance requirements, unique risks or insurance obligations in those requirements, and more.

Past Proposals a Retrospective Look at the Good, the Bad & the Ugly

Companies spend hundreds, thousands and even millions of dollars in proposal costs – submitting one proposal then jumping on the next. Some proposals result in awards, others do not. The proposal process involves jugging a log of information such as: price factors, labor costs, potential vendors and teaming partners, technical and past performance narrative. Not to mention all of the saved revisions of a single proposal! The result of the proposal effort is a vast amount of generated proposal data. What are you doing with all of this data when you finally get to the quiet eye of the proposal storm? More specifically, are you reviewing the proposal data after the fact to determine its strengths and weaknesses. If you are, then how are you applying this knowledge to the next proposal? Do you have good archive processes so that you can retrieve this data for the next project proposal cycle?

What’s on the Federal Horizon for FY21? A Look at Procurement Forecasts

Wondering what contracts might be coming up for the new fiscal year? Want to know how to find out? Public Law 100-656, the Business Opportunity Development Reform Act of 1988, amended the Small Business Act to place new emphasis on acquisition planning. This law requires agencies to compile and make available projections of contracting opportunities for each fiscal year. These compilations are known as procurement forecasts.

Procurement forecasts often include the project name, NAICS codes, dollar range, set-aside type, planned solicitation release (by quarter) and even the contracting officer that will be responsible for the solicitation. Knowing this information allows businesses to form their business teams and to ensure that all needed certifications are in place.

Join PTAC for this webinar and learn how to incorporate these websites into your business strategic plan.

Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) Webinar for Department of Defense Suppliers

This webinar is sponsored by the Alaska Procurement Technical Assistance Center (AK PTAC) and the Alaska Manufacturing Extension Partnership (AK MEP). Two presenters on this 1-hour webinar will be Scott Dawson, Core Business Solutions, and Zane Patalive, Real IT Care.

You will learn:

  • which Level of maturity will most likely apply to your company,
  • key requirements for Levels 1 & 3,
  • some considerations for costs of CMMC certification, and
  • some practical steps and resources to help you get started.
A Look at Contract Opportunities Formerly FBO

Even though the Contract Opportunities website replaced the old workhorse, FBO.gov, almost a year ago, there are still many that have difficulties navigating this website. It has been daunting to figure out how to use this website when we just want the “old” approach to find solicitations, archived data and the old automated scheduled search features. Join PTAC for this free webinar as we do a walk-through of the new system to show you how to set up the functionality of the old FBO in the new Contract Opportunities portal in Beta.SAM.gov.

Referencing Resumes Expanding Your Marketing & Proposal Toolkit

We are all familiar with resumes as a needed document for obtaining employment. Once employed, the document often sits neglected and forgotten. However, this document has a critical business role to play. Successful companies use resumes as powerful marketing tools. Well-drafted resumes support technical proposals, sell key personnel and highlight past performance expertise. Many government small business certifications require resumes as supporting documentation. In this context, reviewers evaluate resumes to determine owners’ management, technical and business operations skills. Poor resumes can result in denial of certification. In other words, resumes are multi-purpose tailored documents, drafted to fit the need of its use. When did you last critique and update this important marketing/ proposal tool? To learn how to leverage this document for more impact, join Jody King, Alaska PTAC and Lori Kropidlowski, Sr. BD & Marketing Group Manager for Ahtna Environmental Inc. and learn about: