Tips for Winning Board Contracts

Vendor Outreach Fair - Save the Date - August 24, 2017

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

Evaluation process

  • 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.

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Last Update: February 26, 2017