Last week I was talking to a business-owner about category management. And I promised I would write my assessment of the latest release of the ASTRO GWAC opportunity. I can sum up my conclusions very quickly.
- If you haven’t been tracking this opportunity since the draft was issued – move on.
- If you are not already an established DOD business – move on.
- Strategic relationships in GovCon become more important every day.
Why do I say this?
I spent the better part of a rainy Saturday morning doing a cursory review of this solicitation. And these are the top five reasons for my conclusion.
- CTA arrangements are probably necessary but could provide limited benefits in some instances. Often times primes and subs partner because one party has one type of past performance and another party has a complimentary type of past performance. You can still do this here – but it’s the score card silly. Relevant experience and past performance cut the number of points possible in half if the relevant experience and past performance is attributed to the non-prime partner.
- Relevant Experience. In order to receive credit for a relevant project is must be at least $25M. In addition, there are points available for contract performed in multiple locations, subcontracting/teaming, cost reimbursement projects, OCONUS projects and five functional factors.
- Past performance. The government is very specific about the
- Business system requirements and certifications. You are at a disadvantage if you do not have a DCAA approved accounting system, an approved purchasing system, a current FPRA, Earned Value Management System, Material Management and Accounting System, and Cost Estimating System. Additionally, points are available for TS and SCI security clearances. If you don’t have these – you will be further disadvantaged.
- You are fighting further upstream if you do not have Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) of at least a level 3 for either development, acquisition or services. Additionally points will be lost unless you have ISO 9001:2015, ISO 27001, ISO 22301, ISO 21508, ISO4001:2015, ISO 28001:2007, AS9110D, and AS9110C certifications.
And then of course, there’s the looming CMMC requirement of at least a level 1 depending on the type of controlled UNCLASSIFIED data the contractor will handle.
This is a heavy lift – not something for companies who may be late to the party. But – if you play in this arena and are not ready to go it alone yourself, watch the award process. A post award capture plan based on working with a strategically selected and courted ASTRO contract holder should definitely be a consideration at some point in the future.
Proposals are due at the end of October.