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- Provide Project Management, Program Management, and Program Management Office services and personnel for program support to maximize an organization’s ability to perform its mission at a lower total cost and meet budget, schedule, and quality goals.
- Provide support that evaluates, develops, implements, and manages program risks to ensure the organization’s investments are well thought out, cost-effective, and that these investments support the mission and business goals of the organization
- Provide a wide-spectrum of project management support in standardization, training, and development based on best practices to achieve the organization’s strategic goals and enable the organization to apply lessons learned throughout the project life-cycle.
- Independent Validation & Verification (IV&V) is defined broadly as a second set of eyes for the Contracting Officer, Contracting Officer’s Representative, and Program Manager, providing senior program management insight. The primary goal of these services is to reduce overall program or contract risk, and work with, not against, the existing program management team to achieve program goals and make the contract a success.
By Nicole Eger
Both VA Program Offices and Contracting Offices have the responsibility of performing market research during various phases of the acquisition process. The Program Office gathers information to ensure that their requirements are in line with what is available from the commercial market. The Contracting Office needs to know what the field of interested vendors look like concerning socio-economic category and the relative assertion that the interested firms are capable of fulfilling the requirements at a fair and reasonable price.
The US Supreme Court decision in the Kingdomware case solidified that VA has a regulatory requirement to adhere to the Vets First program. By law, Mandatory Sources must first be considered for contracting the need, but Kingdomware in practice means that if there is a contracting vehicle (General Services Administration (GSA) Federal Supply Schedule (FSS)) identified, then the Program Office and Contracting Office are to consider the following method for determination of an Acquisition Strategy for the effort:
- Are there two or more SDVOSBs on the GSA FSS that can do the work?
- If yes, proceed with an SDVOSB Set-Aside acquisition strategy using FSS
- If no, look at the commercial market for two or more capable SDVOSBs
- Are there two or more SDVOSBs in the commercial market that can do the work?
- If yes, proceed with an SDVOSB Set-Aside acquisition strategy outside of FSS
- If no, look at the GSA FSS for VOSBs
- Are there two or more VOSBs on a GSA FSS that can do the work?
- These two can be a combination of one SDVOSB and one VOSB
- If yes, proceed with a VOSB Set-Aside acquisition strategy using FSS
- If no, look at the commercial market for two or more capable VOSBs
- Are there two or more VOSBs in the commercial market that can do the work?
- If yes, proceed with a VOSB Set-Aside acquisition strategy outside of FSS
- If no, look at the GSA FSS for SBs
- Are there two or more SBs on the GSA FSS that can do the work?
- If yes, proceed with an SB Set-Aside acquisition strategy using FSS
- If no, look at the commercial market for two or more capable SBs
- Are there two or more SBs in the commercial market that can do the work?
- If yes, proceed with an SB Set-Aside acquisition strategy outside of FSS
- If no, look at the GSA FSS for any two or more firms that can do the work
- Are there two or more firms of any size on the GSA FSS that can do the work?
- If yes, proceed with a Full-and-Open acquisition strategy using FSS
- If no, proceed with a Full-and-Open acquisition strategy outside of the FSS
Of course, there are several market research processes and steps between branches of the decision tree that assist with the identification of interested vendor pools with the capability, capacity, and viability to support an acquisition strategy that will result in reduced procurement risk.
This time of year the VA receives a lot of canned goods and other food from several companies doing food drives this time of year. This time we would like to do something a little different. We would like to do a clothing drive to help out the VA in an area where they don’t often get a lot of support. While the food is always appreciated, there are many veterans without basic winter clothing to help them through the cold months.
Our goal is 200 items to donate to the VA. Everything has to be new. So while you’re out doing your black Friday shopping, please consider picking up some extra winter garments for your local veterans. The clothing drive will run form December 2nd to December 18th. Please bring all items to 5335 Far Hills Ave Suite 311, Dayton Ohio 45429. We will be taking everything to the VA in the afternoon on Wednesday. Below is a list of items the VA is in need of:
Coats (larger sizes)
Thermal socks (larger sizes)
Long johns (larger sizes)
Thick long sleeve shirts (larger sizes)
By Nicole Eger, SME, Market Research & Analytics
Category Management is the emerging practice in commercial purchasing. In fact, if you work in retail, you’re probably a Category Management expert. However, most of Federal procurement is once again behind the times.
The underlying cause is not that the significance of Category Management is not recognized, but rather the structural changes to Federal Programs and Contracting are not receptive to implementation. Federal Program managers must develop a team of subject matter experts, policy wonks, and other staff to put together their acquisition package. Many of those other team members are temporary, which makes establishing a baseline structure to support Category Management difficult. The development of a strong Category Management structure is the foundation for a successful Category Management program. This includes not only placing the right people in the right positions to support the effort, but correctly identifying and assigning the roles and responsibility of the Category Management team members.
Federal Procurement professionals spend most of their time putting out fires. Much of this boils down to the following:
- Multiple Directorate/Agency Responsibilities
- Tasked with a variety of topics instead of being able to focus and excel in fewer areas
- Meeting schedules
- Supporting multiple mission objectives and other programs
- Demand Rates
- Increased level of demand for acquisitions
- Urgent need to replace failed contracts
- Finding time for large groups of stakeholders to meet
- Document preparations
- Revisions to the package after a rejection from Contracting
- Revisions to the package after a rejection from the Small Business Office
These are not all-inclusive hindrances. Throwing money at a program and telling them to run a Category Management program is not the answer. It is past time that Federal acquisition employs a deliberate thought process to establish organic capability. As the tendency will be to hire someone else to do it, the dollars would be better spent to have a commercial firm mentor Federal staff on building the foundation of a successful Category Management program, train placed Federal staff on how to look at and perform the elements of Category Management, and develop Federal staff to take over the reins.
If you’re ready to transform your organization using Category Management best practices, reach out to us. We’re ready to help.
This week starts another canned food drive! This one will run from June 17th to July 11th. Donations will be accepted at Monterey’s home office located at 5335 Far Hills Ave. Dayton, Ohio 45429. This summer the VA has requested the following items:
- Canned proteins
- Athletic shorts (medium to larger sizes, new only)
- Flip flops (new only)
- T-shirts (new only)
With the first canned food drive we were able to raise 300 cans for the VA Food Pantry. This time around we have set a goal of 500 cans/items!
There are a few clothing items on here due to the warm weather they are in need of them. Donations of canned fruits and vegetables will still be accepted, however the VA does have a partnership with the Dayton Food Bank and they purchase those in bulk. So lets get creative and raise a wide variety of items for our veterans.