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Resources to Help you Develop Business in the Federal and Defense Markets (Including Intelligence Markets)

Monday, July 16, 2012
By: Dan Callahan

Using the Tools – Part 1

 

Introduction

Like a good horse for a range-roving cowboy. Like a decent hammer for a carpenter. A business developer needs tools to hunt down the right business opportunities and to efficiently engage the right clients. Several news tools have come to my attention recently and several older ones that still provide great value. This blog entry is one of several, over the next weeks, to highlight what’s available for the current BD practitioner in the federal/defense market. If you have been a BD professional for awhile and are not updated, this will help. If you’re still learning, this will be even more help. In any case, having the right tools is vital.

 

FedBizOpps – the old standby. FREE is never a bad thing! No, this is not a modern interface and yes, it can be a frustrating (clunky!) way to interact with procurements, but it’s still useful. Increasingly, the Defense Agencies and the Intelligence agencies are shifting to FBO and in fact, are closing some service-specific portal (USAF’s HERBB and SPAWAR’s acquisition portal, to name two examples). The trick with FBO is to use the alerts and the automatic scripts for searching for various announcements. THIS IS VITAL, if you’re going to get to most out of it. To my way of thinking, because it is becoming the authoritative source for acquisitions (over $25K) and you can craft some half-decent alerts, it’s still useful. Don’t expect the CIA, NRO and the NSA to post much here, but the DIA and NGA are using this more each year. FBO for the advanced: what is purchased prior to your target acquisition that can tip you off that what you want to bid on is in the pipeline? This is what you should be searching for.

 

Federal Procurement Data System – Next Generation (https://www.fpds.gov/fpdsng_cms/ ) - the new standby. If you have not poked around this resource, you need to. There is a lot of award data here that will tell you, by agency or department, which firms are winning and how much. This can yield some interesting market intelligence about your competitors. If you compete in the open, having market data bout where your competition is winning—or not, may help you out-maneuver them. What is reported in FPDS-NG? Contracts whose estimated value is $3,000 or more or that may be $3,000 or more. Every modification to that contract, regardless of dollar value must be reported to FPDS-NG.

 

There is—in my opinion, a lot of other data that is not very actionable. But you can decide what makes sense for you to search out.

 

More Tools in the Next Entry –

 

QUESTION: do you have experience with either of these that would be helpful to readers?