March 30, 2022
Facilitator: Glenn Robinson, Deep Dive Series
Participants: Kathleen O’Flaherty, Red Hat; Joe Kucek, OneZero; Sogand Rahmani, Computer World Service,. Inc., Josh Canary, Corelight; Bill Engel, Rapid Cycle Solutions; 12 others were on, but did not contribute.
Market Survey for Procurement Forecasts
Purpose: To rate each of the Cabinet level Civilian agencies and provide suggestions on how to improve each forecast so that Industry can learn of programs earlier, easier and faster.
1. Ease of finding the forecast. How easy is it to find? One participant asked that we provide the link. We said no, that the purpose was to have each person find the forecast.
2. Visually appealing? Was the forecast pleasant to view? Easy to understand?
3. Timeliness? Was the forecast an ‘one and done’ or has there been any updates?
4. Usefulness of info? Was the info provided of any value? Could the BD take the info and actually make any use of it?
5. Contacts? Did the forecast provide any contacts? Emails? Phone numbers? Job titles?
On March 30, we conducted a market survey that took 3.5 hours and we did so on Zoom (recorded). As this was the first survey, we chose these 5 criteria areas as most useful for business developers and how BD’s use this info to bring to their firms and their bosses. We conducted this alphabetically (USDA to VA).
It is our hope that each agency find our opinions helpful and that each agency strives to improve their forecasts.
Ranking as of March 30, 2022:
The rankings of the agencies procurement forecasts by the Deep Dive Series thought leaders: 1. U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Grade: B 2, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Grade: B 3, U.S. Department of State Grade: C+ 4, U.S. Department of Commerce Grade: C+ 5, U.S. Department of Transportation Grade: C+ 6 U.S. Department of Labor (tie) Grade: C 6 U.S. Department of the Interior (tie) Grade: C 8.U.S. Department of the Treasury Grade: C 9. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Grade: C- 10 U.S. Department of Education Grade: C- 11 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) grade: D+ 12. U.S. Department of Justice Grade: D+ 13 USDA Grade: D- 14 U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Grade: F-
Details for each agency:
USDA- Ranking: 13 out of 14 (Grade: D-)
This was the first agency, so we spent the most time with this one. The first question was (and will be for each agency): “How easy was it to find the forecast?” Everyone for the most part found the forecast quickly. USDA’s forecast is different from most of the others in that the forecast has different links for each area of concentration and not one overriding one. One member liked that it was broken up, whereas another disliked this “I do not know if the descriptions will be similar or very different for each link” One member asked why this was under the OSDBU’s control and not AQM. Visually, the members felt it looked ok, but were confused with the data provided. “What does it mean?” The committee liked that the deals were listed by NAICS code, but overall each deal looks very piece meal. There is only one contact for many deals.” “The titles are good, but I wish there was a description of the opportunities.” “The source is weak and there needs to be a key size and the incumbent needs to be listed.” A big complaint was the data was not resortable, that there was no dollar value, dollar amount. No RFP release date or updates and no identifiable number which makes it extremely difficult for BD’s to call to discuss. What also is missing is contract type (FFP? T&M?)
Easy to find? 5
Visually appealing? 3
Usefulness of info: 1
Commerce Ranking 4 out of 14 (Grade: C+)
-We were excited about Commerce because DOC proudly proclaims that the forecast is updated weekly and quarterly. The excitement quickly turned to skepticism as there was no proof that there had actually been any update at all. “Stating that there are updates is not the same as actually having updates. Also, USPTO was missing. Still. The committee felt that “there is tons of good stuff here.” “If USPTO has their own forecast, then the OSDBU should have a link to that forecast on their site.”
Ease to find: 4
Visually appealing: 3
Timeliness: 3 (“Had dates been given, this would have been a ‘5’’)
Usefulness of info: 4
Education-Ranking: 10 of 14 (Grade: C-)
Easy to find. The committee loved the forecast for the sortability of the data, but as one pointed out, “There are only 45 opportunities? In all of Education? I find that hard to believe and it appears that Education is lazy. Where is FSA? Does FSA have it’s own link as USPTO does at Commerce? There is no info.” “I like that there is an incumbent name but they do not have a contract number, which is helpful to know.”
Ease to find: 5
Visually appealing: 4
Usefulness of info: 4
Energy Ranking 1 of 14. (Grade: B)
The committee all agreed that DoE’s forecast was the best one and we spent time talking about how to make it event better. “If the contacts had job titles, then it would be better.” “Some of the descriptions are good, but others look like they are straight out of FPDS.”
HHS Ranking 11 of 14 (D-)
This was a big disappointment. I think the committee felt it would rank high, but the feelings soured from the start. “Where is it? Who has found it?” “There is no way to find how timely the info is.” There are no unique identifier for the deals. On the plus side, the amount of fields is wonderful, but the content is not consistent. The filters on the web is poor, nit the excel export much better. We felt that the columns needed to be rearranged to be more useful.
DHS Ranking 2 of 14 (Grade: B)
Very easy to find, although one did find it hard to find. One member shouted out “This is my favorite!” “This is very helpful. We have the ability to sort the data many different ways.” “I like that there is a change log, which is very helpful.” We found the search fields good, with drop downs.” We fel there is still room for improvement.
HUD Ranking 9 of 14 Grade: C-
That HUD ranks 9th says a great deal of the 10th-14th as HUD’s site is bad. Hard to find and then there are 10 pages of self congratulations and useless info before the forecast is presented. A few laughed: “This is a PDF! There is no changes on it.” On the plus side, HUD updates and states when the update has occurred.
Interior Ranking Tied for 6 of 14 (Grade: C)
Note: the finding for DOI is identical to DoL as these two share the same site. Overall, the committee not impressed with DoI and DoL. “Does not have incumbent info.” “Wait, some deals do” Nothing was unified.
Ease to Find: 2
Justice Ranking 12 of 14 (Grade: D+)
While we found this easy, the site was poor. “No job data, contacts are good, but needs #.....
Ease to find: 5
Labor Ranking Tied 6 of 14 Grade C
State Ranking 3 of 14 (Grade: C+)
DoS stands out for listing previous forecasts, which is helpful. Ways to improve: types of contracts (FFP, T&M) and improve the description of the opportunities.
Transportation Ranking 5 of 14 (Grade: C+)
“The site has potential to be very good”
Ease to find: 5
Treasury Ranking 8 of 4 (Grade: C)
Treasury is unique is that there are top 10 ranks (top ten firms, top ten NAICS codes, etc), but other parts are lacking which harms it overall.
VA Ranking: 14th of 14 (Grade: F-)
Absolutely useless and an embarrassment. “Under opportunity description are a bunch of words that seem to be pulled out of the air that are unrelated to anything. There are names, but first name and no last name, or last name.
Ways for each agency to improve:
1. List when the info was updated.
2. List multiple contacts with email, phone number, job title and phone number.
3. None listed if the work would be onsite or offsite.
4. Have the data set up so that we can resort.
5. Have archives of past forecasts.
To review the recording, please go to:
Topic: Deep Dive Market Research on Procurement Forecasts
Date: Mar 30, 2022 03:52 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Access Passcode: PhbL.vb2