A lot of time and effort goes into getting on Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contracts, yet many small businesses get none or little work from their vehicles, while a few companies clean up all of the task orders.
For example:

  • On SeaPort-e: 1,569 out of 1,763 companies have won zero work
  • On 8(a) STARS II: 299 out of 633 companies have won zero or less than $1 million
  • On OASIS SB: 125 out of 227 companies have won zero or less than $1 million
  • On CIO SP3 SB: 60 out of 182 companies have won zero or less than $1 million
  • On VETS: 26 out of 55 companies have won zero or less than $1 million
  • On EAGLE II SB: 15 out of 64 companies have won zero or less than $1 million
  • On Alliant SB: 9 out of 74 companies have won zero or less than $1 million

Many more companies have won a little but are generally underperforming on their vehicles. Certainly, some of the companies who were awarded contracts didn’t qualify the vehicle well because this is not where their customers purchase services. More likely, however, most of the underperforming small businesses are failing to go through the most basic business development (BD) steps: creating a task order pipeline, performing task order capture, and bidding on task orders. This is a waste.
Being successful on IDIQs is tough because it requires a well-oiled business development machine that consistently churns out winning proposals in a short amount of time. Creating a well-oiled task order machine includes eight areas:

  1. Designate personnel and identify resources to do BD and help write the proposal. This includes your immediate BD team and other company personnel such as recruiters and subject matter experts; and consultants to help during surge. Having a fast and accurate technical writer with a gift for solution architecture is a huge plus.
  2. Configure tools such as collaboration platforms including SharePoint, Privia, Task Order Management System (TOMS), Virtual Proposal Center (VPC), iMeetCentral, etc. to efficiently manage the proposal development.
  3. Develop Task Order Manuals for each vehicle to lay out all of the vehicle’s peculiarities, operational rules, and processes for winning task orders, which you could share with your exclusive teammates to get everyone on the same page.
  4. Set up all the processes and checklists, to include building the task order pipeline (and checking for strategic fit), qualifying each opportunity, conducting a mini-capture, preparing a proposal in a condensed timeframe and page count, and performing BD during project execution.
  5. Develop a plan to market the vehicle, including setting up a website to show information about the vehicle and its context.
  6. Set up your collateral library that houses your proposal and graphics library, past performance, prior RFPs, lessons learned results, win/loss debriefs, and information on competitors that won.
  7. Train and involve operations staff to get information on upcoming task orders, deliver on promises, offer insights into requirements, and provide expert input into proposed solutions.
  8. Master concise proposal writing that eliminates all superlatives and other fluff to pack as much information as possible into the proposal, to render it more competitive.

Consistently winning on your IDIQs requires a tremendous investment, but these vehicles are highly lucrative for the companies that crack the code on how winning on each vehicle works. Requirements contracts are being consolidated and moved to IDIQs because it saves the Government time and money procuring task orders, while limiting protests. Business owners and Business Developers should focus on building a portfolio of a few key IDIQs that their customers use and focus on building a bid engine the churns out winning task orders. That’s where explosive growth comes from.
OST offers business development services focused on winning multiple award contracts and task order proposals. We will recommend the right vehicle portfolio for your customer set, develop your task order pipelines, build Task Order Manuals, help set up your IDIQ BD efforts, and raise your Pwin. Contact us to accelerate your success.

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