Tips for Winning Board Contracts
The information below provides additional guidance to supplement the video. If you have questions concerning a specific solicitation or quote, please contact the contract specialist or purchasing agent. For general questions regarding the Board's acquisition process, please e-mail Marleitha G. Williams.
The Board looks for
- integrity and honesty
- adequate resources
- financial viability
- cost effectiveness
- past performance
Winning the contract depends on
- focusing bid on contract deliverables
- demonstration of technical capabilities
- quality of products and services
- comprehensiveness of timeline and schedule
- demonstration of quality past performance
- competitiveness of product and services costs
Common proposal weaknesses
- failure to convince the Board that you can do the work
- failure to mitigate risk--be sure your plan mitigates all risks to the Board and its operations
- inadequate contact information--list an executive the Board can contact if something goes wrong
- evaluates ability to meet minimum requirements
- considers technical merits separately from cost
- technical evaluation performed by a small group of Board technical staff
- technical evaluation that looks for clarity and comprehensiveness of the bid and expertise and experience of personnel offered
- cost evaluation that takes into consideration price realism, balance, and offeror's financial viability
- calculation of best value based on technical proficiency and cost effectiveness (best value may not be low price)
The Board values
- plans that minimize risk to the Board and its operations
- an ability to complete the job within the established performance period
- a demonstration of technical performance and value enhancements
- a professional relationship that emphasizes partnership
Additional Tips for Submitting Proposals
- Completeness: Cover at least three areas--technical proficiency, management skills, cost competitiveness.
- Observe process: Interact with Board procurement staff during solicitation process.
- Stick to the request: Align your proposal to the Board Statement of Work (SOW).
- Make risk-avoidance a priority: Remember, the Board is looking to minimize risk to its operations.
- Low bid is no panacea: If your bid does not comply with the Board's SOW, low cost is no fail-safe for consideration.
- Have a rationale for deviations: Explain, if applicable, why your bid differs from the Board's solicitation requirements (bids unresponsive to solicitation requirements may be disqualified).
- SOW requirement first, alternate solutions second: Offer an alternate solution only after you have met the requirements of the Board's SOW request.
- Thorough breakouts: Include a detailed breakout of job/task labor categories, number of staff required, and estimated hours to support your effort.
- Ask questions: Submit inquiries only to the contracting officer if you have questions regarding the solicitation.
Tips for after the Contract is Awarded
Interactions with the Contracting Officer Technical Representative (COTR)
- Your COTR cannot
- change contract terms,
- change SOW requirements, or
- add work to the contract.
- Only the Procurement Office can modify the contract.
- COTRs are technical subject matter experts; they are not the contacts for receipt of payment or contract queries.
Receipt of payment
- All work or goods must meet the terms of the contract.
- Invoices must be correct and complete to ensure payment.
- COTRs approve payment for work completed.
- Payment is provided within 30 days of receipt of proper invoice and verification of work performed to satisfaction.
- The Board does not have to follow prompt-payment rules and statutes, but we choose to.
- The Board accounting staff pays according to contract specifications.
Other Helpful Information
- The Board engages in vendor outreach events.
- The Board does not publicly post its solicitations.
- To review the Board's forecast and register your company to do business, please visit our website at https://www.federalreserve.gov/secure/vendorregistration.
- All bids must be directed to Board's Procurement Office.
- The Board hosts pre-proposal conferences for solicitations when it believes that doing so will foster a better understanding of critical elements of contract performance.
- Sales/marketing pitches in the context of a solicitation are inappropriate. However, the Board hosts and attends vendor fairs during which sales pitches are perfectly acceptable.