The lowest price technically acceptable (LPTA) acquisition strategy, which focuses on price over value, has become the dominant approach that agencies are applying to federal contracting. The accelerated transition to this strategy has been fueled by sequestration and the growing need for government to do business at a reduced cost. Contractors are still learning how to operate in this new environment, but many fear that the emphasis on lower cost labor will reduce the expertise of the work force and result in lower levels of effort.
Small business must "decide what they want to be when they grow up," said experts at the AFCEA International Homeland Security Conference. If entrepreneurs don't take time to think through the vision for their start-up, it is unlikely that they will be able to choose the right partners, network with the right individuals or approach the right government agencies to obtain business, they agreed.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is rife with opportunities for the commercial sector, but companies should be aware that the rules of engagement are changing, or already have changed, in a number of instances, so they should thoroughly research upcoming contract awards.
The U.S. Defense Department has awarded $18 million to six programs to reduce the energy demand of future expeditionary outposts. The funds are for programs aimed at developing and rapidly transitioning energy technologies for the combat force.
At AFCEA International's Small Business Intelligence forum yesterday, experts revealed tips about how companies-large and small-can increase their business with member agencies of the intelligence community. But, yesterday's blog coverage was just too short to include all of the advice they shared, so here are a few more ideas.
The overwhelming feeling among small business owners and industry overall is that winning a contract with one of the three-lettered agencies is not worth the effort. But IC insiders say the opportunities are out there, and companies should be taking advantage of them.
"A lot of our warfare in the future is going to be electronic. Our enemies are going to try to take us down either through our Defense Department systems or through other systems."--Lisa N. Wolford, founder, president and CEO of CSSS.NET
While many conferences suffer from waning interest as panel session after panel session present valuable information over two days, this year's AFCEA Homeland Security conference proved to be quite the opposite. Discussions about upcoming contracting opportunities was at least part of the reason.