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Market Research For Buyers and Sellers Breakout Session #304 P. Gail Cotten, Supervisory Contract Specialist William A. Cox, CPCM, Procurement Analyst U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs [email protected] [email protected] April 11, 2006 11am – 12pm Objectives

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Market Research For Buyers and Sellers

Breakout Session #304

P. Gail Cotten, Supervisory Contract Specialist

William A. Cox, CPCM, Procurement AnalystU. S. Department of Veterans [email protected]@va.govApril 11, 2006

11am – 12pm

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Objectives l.jpg
Objectives

  • Understand the value and purpose for market research

  • Familiarity with methods to accomplish market research

  • Provide thorough and valuable market research information

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Understand the value and purpose for market research l.jpg
Understand the Value and Purpose For Market Research

Acquisitions begin with a description of the Government’s needs that is sufficient to conduct market research.

“Market research means collecting and analyzing information about capabilities within the market to satisfy agency needs.”

(FAR 2.101(b))

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Understand the Value and Purpose For Market Research

Documents requiring market research input:

  • Requirements documents (describing agency needs)

  • Acquisition plans

  • Justifications and approvals for other than full and open competition

  • Solicitation and contract

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Understand the Value and Purpose For Market Research

Agencies Must -

  • Ensure that legitimate needs are identified and trade-offs evaluated to acquire items that meet those needs

  • Conduct market research appropriate to the circumstances

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Understand the Value and Purpose For Market Research

Conducting market research appropriate to the circumstances:

  • Before developing new requirements documents

  • Before soliciting offers greater than simplified acquisition threshold (SAT)

  • Before soliciting offers less than SAT when information is lacking and cost permits

  • Before soliciting offers subject to bundling

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Understand the Value and Purpose For Market Research

  • Agencies shall continuously conduct market research to meet contingency operation requirements.

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Understand the Value and Purpose For Market Research

Required order of precedence:

Supplies

  • Agency inventories

  • Excess from other agencies

  • Federal Prison Industries, Inc.

  • Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled

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Understand the Value and Purpose For Market Research

Required order of precedence:

Supplies (continued)

  • Wholesale federal supply sources

  • Mandatory Federal Supply Schedules

  • Optional Federal Supply Schedules

  • Commercial sources

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Understand the Value and Purpose For Market Research

Required order of precedence:

Services

  • Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled

  • Mandatory Federal Supply Schedules

  • Optional Federal Supply Schedules

  • Federal Prison Industries, Inc.

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Understand the Value and Purpose For Market Research

Agency orders of precedence:

  • Socioeconomic goals

  • Mandatory contracts

  • Requirements contracts

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Understand the Value and Purpose For Market Research

Determine if commercial items are available, and if not, determine if nondevelopmental items are available that -

  • Meet the agency’s requirements

  • Could be modified to meet the agency’s requirements; or

  • Could meet the agency’s requirements if those requirements were modified to a reasonable extent

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Understand the Value and Purpose For Market Research

  • Determine the practices of firms engaged in producing, distributing, and supporting commercial items, such as terms for warranties, buyer financing, maintenance and packaging, and marking.

  • Determine the requirements of any laws and regulations unique to the item being acquired.

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Understand the Value and Purpose For Market Research

  • Ensure maximum practicable use of recovered materials.

  • Promote energy conservation and efficiency.

  • Determine whether bundling is necessary and justified.

  • Assess the availability of electronic and information technology (EIT)(Section 508 and Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board EIT Accessibility Standards).

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Understand the Value and Purpose For Market Research

  • Determine the distribution and support capabilities of potential suppliers, including alternative arrangements and cost estimates.

  • Document the size and status of potential sources (see FAR Part 19 and the Central Contractor Registration (CCR)).

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Understand the Value and Purpose For Market Research

*Seller Tips:

  • Provide information to buyers relating to slides 13-16 and advise that it will satisfy all known market research requirements.

  • Assure that socioeconomic and other information in the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) is current.

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Familiarity With Methods to Accomplish Market Research

The extent of market research will vary, depending on –

  • Urgency

  • Estimated dollar value

  • Complexity

  • Past experience

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Familiarity With Methods to Accomplish Market Research

Techniques for conducting market research include the following:

  • Issue a market survey synopsis in the Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) system (http://www.fbo.gov) to provide the widest dissemination of the request for sources.

  • Search award announcements in FBO to find sources as well as review descriptions, and search GAO decisions.

    (http://www.gpoaccess.gov/gaodecisions/index.html)

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Familiarity With Methods to Accomplish Market Research

Techniques for conducting market research include the following:

  • Contact individuals in Government and industry.

  • Review the results of recent market research for similar items, and review prior procurement files for similar or same items.

  • Publish formal requests in technical or scientific journals or business publications.

  • Query Government databases that provide information relevant to agency acquisitions.

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Familiarity With Methods to Accomplish Market Research

Techniques for conducting market research include the following:

  • Participate in interactive communication with other buyers and sellers.

  • Obtain source lists of similar items from other sources.

  • Review catalogs and other generally available product literature

  • Conduct interchange meetings or hold presolicitation conferences

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Familiarity With Methods to Accomplish Market Research

*Seller Tips:

  • Respond to requests for information and other market research queries with requests that the contracting officer set aside procurements where ample sources exist to justify them, and name the sources.

  • Insist on set-asides for particular items when other agencies have set-aside similar or same items.

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Provide Thorough and Valuable Market Research Information

Requirements Documents:

Describe needs in a manner to –

  • Promote full and open competition or maximum practicable competition when using simplified acquisition procedures

  • Include restrictive provisions or conditions only to the extent necessary to satisfy the needs of the agency or as authorized by law

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Provide Thorough and Valuable Market Research Information

Requirements Documents:

To the maximum extent practicable, acquisition officials shall state requirements in terms of -

  • Functions to be performed

  • Performance required

  • Essential physical characteristics

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Provide Thorough and Valuable Market Research Information

Requirements Documents:

FAR 11.105 prohibits requirements from being written so as to require a particular brand-name, product, or a feature of a product, peculiar to one manufacturer, thereby precluding consideration of a product manufactured by another company, unless --

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Provide Thorough and Valuable Market Research Information

Requirements Documents:

  • The particular brand name, product, or feature is essential to the Government’s requirements, and other companies’ similar products cannot meet or be modified to meet the agency’s needs.

  • The justifications for brand name or equal are documented

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Provide Thorough and Valuable Market Research Information

Requirements Documents:

The requiring official must document in writing the nonavailability of items meeting Section 508 and Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board EIT Accessibility Standards, including a description of market research performed and which standards cannot be met, and provide documentation to the contracting officer for inclusion in the contract file.

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Provide Thorough and Valuable Market Research Information

Acquisition Plans -

  • Integrate the efforts of all personnel responsible for significant aspects of the acquisition to ensure that the Government meets its needs in the most effective, economical, and timely manner

  • Shall address the extent and results of market research and indicate its impact on plan elements

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Provide Thorough and Valuable Market Research Information

Justifications and Approvals for Other than Full and Open Competition (J&A’s):

FAR 6.303 and FAR 8.405-6 require a written description of the market research  conducted (see FAR Part 10) and the results or a statement of the reason market research was not conducted.

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Provide Thorough and Valuable Market Research Information

Solicitations and Contracts:

Results of market research are found –

  • In proposed and negotiated terms and conditions, especially provisions tailored in FAR Part 12 procurements

  • In evaluation criteria

  • In set-aside information

  • In the contract types

  • In the exercising of options

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Provide Thorough and Valuable Market Research Information

Solicitations and Contracts:

A contracting officer (CO) may cancel a solicitation after receipt of proposals regardless of the stage of the acquisition and issue a new one based on market research if the CO judges that

  • The amendment is so substantial as to exceed what prospective offerors reasonable could have anticipated, and

  • Additional sources likely would have submitted offers had the substance of the amendment been known to them

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Provide Thorough and Valuable Market Research Information

*Seller Tips:

  • Review FAR Part 12 solicitations to make sure that the terms and conditions reflect the commercial practices in the market, and respond with proposals that reflect the appropriate practices.

  • Obtain a copy of the relevant market research information included in justifications and approvals for other than full and open competition.

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Provide Thorough and Valuable Market Research Information

*Seller Tips:

  • Obtain a copy of the documentation for justifying any brand name items or components, and challenge it if necessary.

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Market Research For Buyers and Sellers

Summary:

1. Remember that all personnel involved in significant aspects of the acquisition are required to perform acquisition planning, and this involves performing market research.

2. Ensure that the market research covers all aspects of products or services according to the market.

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Market Research For Buyers and Sellers

Summary:

3. Ensure that all market research information acquired for the procurement is reflected appropriately in solicitations and contracts.

4. Sellers, insist on the following:

  • Adequate justifications for other than full and open competition

  • Adequate justifications for set-aside decisions and brand name justifications

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Market Research For Buyers and Sellers

Summary:

5. Emphasize to all participating in market research that the purpose for conducting and recording market research is to promote competition and not to limit competition.

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Market Research For Buyers and Sellers

FAR References:

  • 6.303, Competition Requirements

  • 7.102, 7.105, and 7.107, Acquisition Planning

  • 8.002, 8.405-6, and 8.602, Required Sources of Supplies and Services

  • Part 10, Market Research

  • 11.002, 11.103, and 11.105, Describing Agency Needs

  • 12.213 and 12.302, Acquisition of Commercial Items

  • 13.106-3, Simplified Acquisition Procedures

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Market Research For Buyers and Sellers

FAR References (continued):

  • 15.206, Contracting by Negotiation

  • 39.203, Acquisition of Information Technology

    GAO Protest Decisions: (http://www.gpoaccess.gov/gaodecisions/index.html):

  • Smelkinson Sysco Food Services, B-281631, March 15, 1999 (for the protestor)

  • SWR, Inc., B-294266, October 6, 2004 (for the protestor)

  • Dynamic Access Systems, B-295356, February 8, 2005 (for the Government) Insert

    Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation

    http://www.spec.org/

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