Okay, so you won your GSA Schedule and you’ve got a multiple award contract in IT, or accounting or engineering, or whatever your special area. You’ve followed all the directions from the contracting officer and registered with the GSA Advantage System, which puts your name in the hopper, and lo and behold, here comes your first of many GSA E-Buy RFQs and Quotes email like this one:
So what do you do?
The first thing you need to know is that the customer who put out this task order did so because they already wanted to do business with a particular company – someone who is eligible to receive these multiple award contracts.
If that someone is you, great, now you’re all set to move forward and close the deal with this customer, and the multiple award process made it easier to do that.
What if it wasn’t you who found this fish and brought them to the boat? Well, going after this customer could an uphill slog. Should that deter you from responding to an E-Buy proposal that you didn’t initiate? Not necessarily. Go ahead, as long as one of these two statements is true:
- You already know this customer and have an existing relationship.
- The job is something you know a lot about and can do well.
Here is another clue. If the job is truly winnable – open to companies other than the one who brought in the fish – there will be at least a two-week window between when the job is posted and the last day to respond to the notice. If there are only three, five or seven days, or anything less than two weeks, pass it by. Someone else has not only done the work, they’ve already convinced the customers they’re the people for the job. Putting it on E-Buy is just a formality in this case.
Once you’ve determined that this is a winnable RFQ for you, it’s time to look inside. Click on the link, which takes you to the E-Buy system, and enter your password to view the RFQ. In a future post, I’ll take you through the next steps of the process.
E-buys are quick, often directed (as is stated) buys. For those who specialize in offering a truly equivalent offering to a “major player’s” solution, these can also be a good opportunity to pick up market share. Understand the FAR and DFAR relative to brand-name, sole-source, and single source solicitations. If you can contest a “brand name” Ebuy with your equivalent, you too can pick up new market share potentially without the costs of the overhead to develop those solicitations.
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