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Mining On-Call, IDIQ and Roster Contracts

Winning that on-call contract is typically not a guarantee of work. It is a license to win work. Now you have to “mine” the opportunities. Waiting for the phone to ring is not enough. Here are some steps that will help you maximize the value of that contract and your relationship with your client. Success requires that you execute a rigorous marketing plan just like for any competitive selection.

1. Understand the client.

What is their “mission,” (not their mission statement, but why they exist)? Whom do they serve? What is their stated area of responsibility? How does their funding work?
Do they have prescheduled projects or services in mind for your contract? What are they? You may find this information in their planning documents, CIP, STIP etc or their funding process, i.e. federal appropriations/authorizations documents. Review these documents before you meet with them to get a feel for potential contract assignments.
What is their selection process for using the IDIQ? How are they organized to use this contract? How do they make decisions? How will the consultant selection process works etc.
For example, the Boise District of the BOR contract with IDIQ contractors for a variety of types or work. Typically, their branch and field offices request support from the district and regional managers along with requirements, scope etc. Some combination of the field office staff and the district staff will select among the IDIQ contractors to fill the need. This means to effectively market this organization, you need to have relationships with the key staff at every branch and field office as well as the district and regional levels.

2. Understand the individual decision-makers and their concerns

Conduct a modified Client Analysis focusing on the key decision-makers and those who will approve the contract. This requires that you know how the requisition/selection/contracting process works. Now meet with them all. What are the key concerns and desires of those decision makers? Remember, you are still not selling anything you are gathering information to allow JEF to be more responsive when the client requests it.
What are they worried about? What are the challenges they see coming? What problems, issues, and worries do they see confronting their organization over the course of your contract term?
What projects do they plan to select for in the coming year to address these challenges?
How do you get this information? You ask them.   This potentially means calling on a large number of client contacts; purchasing, district and regional managers, branch and field staff. At these initial meetings you are looking for information, not work.

3. Create solutions to their concerns

I suggest using a Problem/Solution/Outcome/Evidence process for looking for solutions to their biggest concerns. For example: assume your client is the USACE and their issue is rising public concern over Tsunami risk in coastal areas. Your discussion might look something like [note: for example only. I made all of this up]:





Public is increasingly worried about tsunami dangers post Japan.
Current hazard maps may be inadequate.
Coastal levees may be too low.
Warning systems may be inadequate

 state of the art coastal mapping capabilities.
Teaming with local Geotech to do advanced recon of suspect levees.
Early warning advances could provide an additional margin of safety

UASCE shows proactive hazard management.
Lives saved. Damage minimized.

Your quals, project experience, model details, specific ideas, techniques etc go here.

4. Present the solutions to the client

With this information, you are ready to start to talk about how you can help them solve their problems, either through projects they may be planning or, better yet, by helping them define solutions they have not addressed yet. The latter is your best shot at a sole-source project. And even a small exploratory project positions you for a competitive selection if necessary.

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S.R.Walker and Associates, Inc is a professional services consulting firm providing strategic planning, marketing and management consulting, training and coaching.

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S.R.Walker and Associates, Inc is a professional services consulting firm providing strategic planning, marketing and management consulting, training and coaching.
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