During the session today Marty brought up a great question about “two bad words” Unison and FedBid (used for commoditized products) so I want to quickly add to the comments made during the session… Like I said during the session I can’t stand FedBid/Unison because they are a race to the bottom price AND they charge a stupid percentage that is usually way more than you make!
BUT (and I love this big but, and I cannot lie) there is a COOL loophole…
This also works for GSA eBuy and other RFPs
If… the RFQ/RFP specifies a brand or exact OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) product (ie. HP M274n Toner Cartridge) and DOES NOT have an accompanying SIGNED J&A (Justification and Approval) document attached YOU CAN provide, according to https://www.acquisition.gov/far/52.211-6, a Brand Name or Equal. Remember, the J&A must be signed (we have seen these shenanigans before)
FAR Loophole: Look for the signed J&A
1) Contact your supplier (not the OEM) who provides the competitive product and
a. Let them know you want to break a competitor’s foothold
b. Ask for a discount
2) Assemble the specs that show your product is Equal to the Brand Name
3) Submit your bid and include the specs and cc the CO via email with the information
4) Follow-up with the CO
a. Verify they received the bid
b. Let them know that you got a really great price
c. Ask them if they want to establish a BPA for future similar purchases
5) Monitor your competitors in SAMradar and if you lost, you will know the price. If the price was higher than your bid - you can protest this award!
The only thing you can do is create a quick quote and throw your best price at it. Just know that you will likely lose to the VAR (Value Added Reseller) with the best price from the manufacturer, but (little but this time) you do this just in case the VAR doesn’t respond.
Now, you can always reach out to the CO to see if you can steer the next one away from the OEM. You have the contact info, might as well ask! I can promise you if you don’t ask, you won’t get it!
SAMradar subscribers have used this process to win millions using this loophole in the system! Talk this over with your Dedicated Federal Advisor as well as in the Monday Roundtables…