On May 18th, 2016, the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) proposed in its version of the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act that DoD limit its contracting with AbilityOne nonprofits until DoD is more confident of AbilityOne's ability to prevent waste, fraud and abuse, and assured of four other conditions. Check out pages 519 - 521 of 1666 pages you can see HERE.
Those provisions also show the Senate's interest in more opportunities for wounded warriors, and for fairness in competition.
Will the provision be in the final bill? Who knows. Depending on what happens, the resulting bill might mean new opportunities for for-profit contractors that struggle to compete against AbilityOne non-profit providers of services like Janitorial, facilities maintenance, mailroom operations, and product assembly.
Meantime, what can a contractor do? Here are four ideas.
1. Know whether your for-profit company competes against AbilityOne providers, especially for DoD business. Do your research (e.g. on www.FPDS.GOV) into these competitors' specific contracts, and when they're up for re-competition.
2. Consider how your company's best values, as reflected in your past performance, might stack up against the performance of your AbilityOne competitor. Make sure your capability statement and your past performance stories reflect those strengths, and be ready to thread those into conversation!
3. Check in with those DoD customers who are doing business with an AbilityOne provider rather than you, and whom you want to woo. Ask them, "I see you're doing business with XXX company. How's that going? What do you like about them?"
4. Set up a Google Alert or other monitoring to follow the status of this SASC provision in the NDAA. If it passes...let's talk. Your strategies might include teaming as well as efforts to unseat AbilityOne incumbents.
Judy Bradt, CEO of Summit Insight, gives Federal contractors the competitive analysis and sales strategy you need to transform your Federal business the ways you've always wanted. It's easier than you ever imagined. Call her at (703) 627-1074 or visit www.summitinsight.com and find out more.