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Prepare Before the Storm

It was the summer of 1985 and I was officially in the Army as a cadet at the Military Academy in New York. My battle buddy and I put our shelter halves together and made a tent for the evening bivouac. Rain was to be expected, but we got distracted and put our efforts elsewhere. Around 3 a.m., our encampment filled with water, and our equipment was soaked because we had not dug our trenches to ensure the runoff would be displaced. The rest of our evening was filled with a rather tumultuous sleep plan intermixed with “fire guard.”

I did learn something that evening which has stayed with me over the years and is even more relevant given today’s crisis and challenges. Prepare before the storm. Prepare for your government contracting challenges and opportunities now. Put off the noise and distractions. Why? The proof is in the numbers.

  • COVID peak spending was around March 22, which was way ahead of media reports and publicity.
  • The main contract type for this spending was firm fixed price.
  • The main contract vehicles for COVID spending were SEWP V, GSA IT 70, GSA 65IIA, CIO-CS, and CIO-SP3.
  • 86% of the contract during this spending used no set-aside.
  • 61% of the contracts were single-sourced (not competed).

The last two bullet points stick out. 86% of spending went to businesses that either had capabilities or contracts. 61% of the contracts were not even competed. If you were not prepared or did not have a contract mechanism in place by the time COVID hit, then the U.S. Government passed you by as they looked for a quick, efficient buying experience.

We will have other opportunities in the future. Will you? Prepare for your government contracting challenges and opportunities now.

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