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Filling your bucket

Are you one of the many in Federal Contracting looking for something to fill your bucket? This is about business opportunities, so by bucket I am referring to multiple-award contracts (MACs) of the governmentwide, multi-agency, and agency-specific variety. 

Why this conversation? I'm assuming you want those awards to represent more than just a conversation piece, right?

It's also because there is an inherent mindset that winning a contract vehicle equates to a grand victory, even though the obligation amount at initial award is often zero. For many of these vehicles, the requirements that form the basis of the opportunities and work that will (hopefully) ensue, have not yet been identified. Many MACs are created in anticipation of requirements that may or may not happen. Organizations like the NASA SEWP PMO, NITAAC (home to the CIO-SP contracts) and the offices managing GSA Alliant, STARS, VETS, OASIS, HCATS and more, have intentional marketing and sales efforts underway to attract customers to use their MACs. These organizations are not the ones creating or owning the needs. They do manage mechanisms, the contract vehicles, that allow Customers and Buyers at internal components and external agencies to fulfill those needs through submitting a requisition, a Delegation of Procurement Authority (DPA) in some cases, or assisted acquisition support in others.

Acknowledging this is a first step to greater clarity when it comes to engaging with multiple-award contracts and the organizations using them.

Back to filling your bucket. Is this an active or passive activity for your organization? When it was awarded, did you do the basics to ensure you understand how your particular MAC works? Too many successful offerors make the assumption they do understand, until they are pressed and learn very important steps were skipped, such as:

  • Reading the contract, the whole thing
  • Documenting shall and must elements (such as a requirement for bidding often enough so as not to have your MAC terminated)
  • Identifying the Buyer or Buyers (organizations and people)
  • Identifying the Customer or Customers (organizations and people)
  • Confirming who can place orders (organizations and people)
  • Identifying what the Government can buy (descriptors and PSC Codes)
  • Understanding what, how, and from whom the Government purchased previously
  • Asking for a forecast specific to the contract vehicle
  • Identifying who else has the contract vehicle
  • Understanding how it has been used to-date, and what that means to you
  • Confirming what outreach is allowed
  • Developing a plan to make yourself visible to Customers and Buyers
  • Asking Customers and Buyers how often you should check-in

If you have been awarded a MAC and have not done or are not doing these things, it likely means your strategy entails waiting around to see what opportunity notifications show up in your inbox.

Does this sound like planning for success to you?

Peace, Health, and Success,

Go-To-Guy Timberlake


P.S. Based on our long-running and very successful (for our students) Ethical Stalking for Government Contractors® Bootcamp program, we have launched Maximizing Your MAC Award, currently a pilot program being evaluated by our member companies. This is much more than a business development training. The outcomes are centered on understanding how best to generate revenues and profits on your MAC through:

  • Clarity - ensuring you have the information and knowledge needed to activate and execute, based on the construct of the MAC.
  • Collaboration - developing roles and accountability internally, and appropriate connections externally.
  • Collection - gathering the information and insights needed to provide intelligence to act on.
  • Commitment - planning to take intentional action versus counting on happenstance.
  • Communications - visibility is key, and establishing a marketing plan to keep you top of mind and in front of Customers and Buyers is paramount.
  • Compliance - know what is required to keep your MAC, get paid, and win work.
  • Controls - who can talk to Customers and Buyers before and after orders are placed and what are the steps associated with these and more.

Interested in Maximizing Your MAC Award for your company? Let us know at