CorasWorks has an extensive customer base of Federal Government Contractors (see Federal Contractor micro-site on our web site). We are used by them for internal operations, and, as part of their application delivery practices for solutions on SharePoint. Recently, we’ve spent a lot of time working with the business development function of these customers to enhance their internal capabilities to win business. Top of mind in BD these days is the ability to manage multi-award IDIQs as a Prime Contractor. Some are new to being a Prime Contractor, others have legacy systems that need enhancement or replacement to be competitive, and others, while not new to IDIQ prime contracts, are just beginning to move from Excel/Email chaos to an automated system.
We have provided solutions on SharePoint for IDIQ/GWAC BD since 2006 (see Case Study of IDIQ Center customer). Over the years, the use of these vehicles has grown tremendously and the competition has increased. With our new focus on solving this problem, we are raising the game and providing standardized yet flexible solutions that drive each customers’ competitive differentiation.
In this article I’ll drill down into the types of solutions we are delivering to address the needs of IDIQ Prime Contractors. Our approach to this solution area is flexibility. The “correct” solution simply varies. It depends on your experience, existing systems, success or failure to date, and also, on the fact that each IDIQ is different. With that said, we have a standardized, modular, solution set that enables us to accommodate the different needs, but, do so in a standardized, cost efficient manner.
Solutions to Meet Different IDIQ Scenarios
We have seen 4 primary scenarios with Prime Contractors of Multi-Award IDIQs (and GWACs). Accordingly, we have a standard “solution set” to address them. Like any CorasWorks solution, each is very flexible and tailored to the needs of the scenario. The scenarios and solutions are as follows:
- IDIQ Task Order Management (TOM – Simple) – This is the core part of IDIQ/Task Order Management. It is simple, extendable, but, very rich in its ability to automate activity and process around each task order and working with partners. This is for organizations that are new to IDIQs as a first step towards automation. It is also used for individual IDIQs that are new, not a high volume, or, not yet driving enough business to warrant “deeper” systems.
- IDIQ PM (Deep – Single IDIQ) – This solution targets those Program Managers that are managing individual IDIQs at a “deep” level. Typically, this is situation where you don’t want any Task Order opportunities to fall through the cracks. They want a complete, integrated system where they manage the task orders, the proposal development, the partners, the knowledge such as past performance, and, all else.
- IDIQ Center (Breadth – Multiple IDIQs/GWACs) – This solution is for those organizations that want to manage multiple-IDIQs/GWACs that are high-volume. It is typically a replacement for or a new IDIQ/GWAC center where the work does not involve managing the responses but does require the overall reporting.
- IDIQ Integrated (Breadth and Depth) – This is typically a distributed system where you support both breadth and depth scenarios together. They are typically separate, but they work in concert, and, allow each group (IDIQ Center Management and specific IDIQ PM) to optimize their work.
We deliver our solutions for IDIQ management on SharePoint. Thus, by design they are distributed systems with many sites – each serving their purpose and supporting a principal user role. The secret sauce with CorasWorks is the ability to tie all of the elements into an integrated system that allows users to work from one place with the information they need at their fingertips. Our design works very well to balance the need for IDIQ specific depth with the desire to see a full picture of the activity across all IDIQs (and for all BD work).
Accordingly, we provide a set of modules that can be implemented as needed. Each has its purpose. Each can be easily modified or enhanced as needed. This is cost-effective and gives you the flexibility to innovate as your need it. The following table list each of the standard modules and the scenarios where they are most commonly used.
Below is a brief description of each module:
- IDIQ Program Management – For the management of a specific IDIQ vehicle and its Task Orders. This uses a stage-gate process through which each Task Order passes. This module drives notifications, activities, and workflow such as Bid/No Bid decisions and Partner Surveys. Click here to see a screenshot with a brief example in an article I wrote about stage-gate processes. In addition, it supports the overall management of the IDIQ vehicle including partners, knowledge repositories, reporting and administration.
- Task Order Site(s) – At a point in the Task Order life-cycle, these sites are auto-provisioned to contain the core Task Order request documents and support collaboration. Usually, they are not highly structured. They are integrated with the Program Management site.
- Combo Task Order/Proposal Development Site(s) – In lieu of the above, for depth scenarios the sites provisioned are designed with structure to support a much more evolved proposal development process incorporating task management, color reviews, supporting business processes and access to knowledge repositories.
- Partner Portal – This is the main portal accesses by partners to respond to task order surveys, post opportunities, and/or participate in proposal development.
- Partner Site(s) – In depth scenarios, teaming partners will often have their own “private” sites so that they can be deeply engaged in proposal development, opportunity management, and supporting activities.
- Knowledge Repositories (Shared) –Most systems have a number of shared repositories such as Past Performance, specific IDIQ forms, policies, and information, and overall BD forms, policies and information. CorasWorks enables users to access and “fetch” these repositories while working in each Task Order/Proposal Development site.
- IDIQ Portfolio Management – This provides customizable overall reporting and analytics in a dashboard style with the ability to drill down as needed.
- Public Web Site Integration – This allows you to dynamically update web sites (SharePoint based or note) while maintaining the information within the system.
- Customer Portal(s) – You can have a portal for each customer of an IDIQ where the information/reports are made available to them from across the environment and/that enables the customer to interact.
- Supporting Process Modules – CorasWorks has a robust notification/workflow/process framework enabling you to drive supporting processes from any of the modules. Examples are Bid and Proposal Budget Requests, HR Staffing Requests and Salary Approvals, Organizational Conflict of Interest Checking, and, At Risk Authorizations. As part of this feature we often deploy new sites for different business functions to consolidate and manage requests. An example would be an HR Site where staffing requests come in from multiple task orders across multiple IDIQs.
- CRM-ERP-HR Integration – CorasWorks has a robust two-way integration framework. Most commonly we integrate with CRM systems such as Deltek GovWin CRM, Salesforce.com, Oracle Siebel, Microsoft CRM. We also integrate with HR systems such as Taleo and Peoplesoft and ERPs such as SAP and Deltek CostPoint.
Getting You Your Solution
It just depends on who you are and what you need. With CorasWorks your organization could use all of the above 4 scenarios over time. Our uniquely flexible approach allows us to accommodate your needs as they appear.. We have a single Solution Platform (now in v11) that runs on SharePoint. Then, you just add the solutions you need and custom tailor them. It all runs on top of SharePoint.
For instance, you might have 4 different program managers that want to take slightly different approaches or are forced to based upon unique IDIQ requirements or their partnering requirements. This can be accommodated using the same software (and effectively sharing costs). Or, from the beginning you can design things so that management can get an overall picture of activity – alternatively, this integrated portfolio dashboard can be added later. Or, you may even realize that while you are at it, it would be very useful to build out an entire new centralized Proposal Center using CorasWorks (see case study), and, get an overall view of all BD Operations’ activity. No problem. The key is that CorasWorks is designed to enable your system to evolve as needed.
It all starts with us understanding where you are and where you want to go. We have a standard discovery process to help you ask the right questions. We also have various demonstrations of different approaches. I look forward to hearing from you.
See additional articles for IDIQ Task Order Management in this blog.
Visit CorasWorks IDIQ Task Order Management for product information.