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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Competition taken to task (order)

First a bit of nomenclature: MATOCs are "Multiple Award Task Order-based Contracts", and is a method of source selection used in the US federal contracting procedures.

Deltek: As feds turn to task order-based contracts, companies without spots will run behind, By Kevin Plexico
MATOCs allow agencies to set up a master contract through which individual task orders can be made. Agencies typically limit the number of contract holders, which limits competition for each task order to a pre-qualified set of vendors. Task orders can be issued and awarded within a matter of weeks — a far cry from the traditional months-long government solicitation process for the same type of work.

Winning a position on a MATOC doesn’t guarantee success; it means a company has won the right to bid again for each task order. There are many examples of companies that have won a seat, but actually received less than $100,000 as their competitors pulled in millions.

To succeed on a MATOC, companies must cast aside the established business development paradigm. In a traditional acquisition for a modestly complex procurement, companies have months to determine whether to bid, put together a team and develop a lengthy proposal. Of more than 11,000 task orders issued across 18 MATOCs that Deltek recently examined, over half required a proposal submission in 14 or fewer days.

MATOCs are tough on contractors, as winning a place generally requires a large investment and plenty of patience. Companies lacking the broad capabilities needed for a MATOC program may find themselves effectively locked out of competing for an agency’s work.

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