Sam I Am (No Longer)

For fbo.gov Users, BetaSAM is Here and We Can’t Hide Any Longer

If you are a frequent user of the Government’s System for Award Management (www.SAM.gov) you are probably aware of the initiative begun in 2014 to consolidate many of the Government’s online management tools into a single system.  Ultimately, SAM will absorb the functionality of 10 separate government web sites with the relaunch of a new SAM site including enhanced search and security functions.  However, if you don’t often use these web sites, it may come as a surprise that sites such as fbo.gov are shutting down soon – very soon for fbo.gov – which will be completely phased out and shut down in November 2019.

The Government has established a web site called BetaSAM (beta.sam.gov).  When fbo.gov and the other 9 web sites are migrated, you will find those functions on BetaSAM which is already up and running now and available for user sign-in.

For frequent users of fbo.gov, it is important to note that your fbo sign-in information will not migrate automatically.  Moreover, many of the terms and categories of information will change.  For example:

FBO TermBecomes SAM Term
Fbo.govBeta.sam.gov
WatchlistFollow
Search AgentSaved Search
ArchivedInactive

Beta Sam also promises enhanced capabilities, including:

  • The ability to search for opportunities by number, keyword, or location
  • The option to access previous versions of opportunity notices with one click
  • The ability to easily set up notices that will inform you when frequently used contract opportunities are updated
  • The ability to manage alerts easily through a new user workspace (frequency, turn on/off)
  • Shared login, search, workspace, data services, reports, and a design that will allow you to leverage other IAE system data easily

Note the last bullet…it means that your old fbo.gov log-in will no longer be valid once the site is decommissioned. BetaSAM will require that you use entity-based login.gov account information to access BetaSam.  The good news is that if you already have a current SAM account you can use that log-in information to access BetaSAM.  If you are an established entity (i.e., have a DUNS number or CAGE code), you will be able to easily access BetaSAM using that information.

Once the SAM system has been completely migrated into BetaSAM, the old SAM site will be decommissioned and BetaSAM will be renamed SAM.  This process is ongoing now and for a limited time period SAM and BetaSAM are both operational — providing you the opportunity now to get familiar with the new system while still accessing the familiar one.

Love ‘em or Hate ‘em, Color Reviews are Essential to Proposal Development

OK, I admit it.  I hate color reviews.  First, they force proposal preparation to pause while the review occurs costing valuable hours in what is usually a time-constrained process.  Secondly, comments, inputs, and direction from the reviewers often conflict with each other or, worse, would make the proposal non-compliant if implemented.  Then there is the part about having our work picked apart by non-proposal people that do not understand the fundamentals and, yes, the art that goes into a fine offering.  Oh, yes, I do hate color reviews. Continue reading “Love ‘em or Hate ‘em, Color Reviews are Essential to Proposal Development” »

Be a Student of Your Customer

by Steve Anderson

Last May I wrote about the importance of understanding your customer’s organization in a potential service relationship, i.e., how will your customer interface with your organization as you perform work? It’s not only important to get this right to be an effective contractor, it’s essential to winning the work initially. Continue reading “Be a Student of Your Customer” »

Take a Critical Assessment of the Opportunity

Nothing is more expensive than a missed opportunity. Except, of course, pursuing the WRONG opportunity – that is a far costlier mistake.

Recognizing which opportunities to pass on is as important a skill as any in your business development (BD) approach. Unfortunately, it is common practice to sift through opportunity announcements looking for requirement descriptions that most closely align with organizational capabilities. I say “unfortunate” because this path usually leads to writing many proposals pursuing opportunities with a low probability of win (Pwin). Without a proper assessment, Pwin is unknown (at best) AND often falsely assumed to be high based solely on the alignment of organizational ability with the published requirements. Ability to meet the job requirements is where many assessments start, but it’s much more important to know IF you can win. Continue reading “Take a Critical Assessment of the Opportunity” »

Going With the Flow(chart): Aligning with the Customer’s Organization

It is important to stand out. It is necessary to demonstrate your unique qualifications. It is vital to show that your company deserves the bid because you can supply something superior — something DIFFERENT than the rest. But, not so different that your proposal alienates its evaluators.

RFPs are released in order to locate a company that can best fulfill a need, i.e., a product or service   that is outside the bounds of a given Government agency’s capabilities, so most sections of your proposal are devoted to selling your company’s distinctive offerings. Yet, there is one section that is your opportunity to strike a necessary chord of familiarity: the Management Volume. Continue reading “Going With the Flow(chart): Aligning with the Customer’s Organization” »

Requests for Information are Your First Opportunity to Make an Impression: The Value of Responding to RFIs

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls, and looks like work.” Thomas Edison

Those that wait for a Government solicitation (RFP) to land at their door miss their chance at giving critical input during the early stages of the government procurement process.  Industry feedback advises the Government’s changes and adjustments to RFPs — PRIOR TO RELEASE, perhaps even customizing the solicitation to suppliers who do the job of responding. Continue reading “Requests for Information are Your First Opportunity to Make an Impression: The Value of Responding to RFIs” »

Bidding Jobs: Just Because You CAN Does Not Mean That You SHOULD

Bidding Jobs: Just Because You CAN Does Not Mean That You SHOULD

Swing for the Fences. Just Do It. Go Big or Go Home. These messages to strive for success at all costs work well on bumper stickers but not one of them is worthy of basing your business practices on.

Most times, recognizing a promising opportunity for getting new business involves nothing more sophisticated than having a gut instinct about being right for the job. But, make no mistake, even obviously promising bids need to be carefully scrutinized before proceeding. Continue reading “Bidding Jobs: Just Because You CAN Does Not Mean That You SHOULD” »