When awarding grants and contracts, the government does not always select only the lowest priced or highest technically rated bidder. They often make best value trade-offs depending on non-cost factors, especially when the requirements of the contract are less definitive. In cases where there may be more development work required or there may be a greater performance risk, more technical or past performance considerations take precedence over cost.

Pricing is most dominant in source selection when the requirements are clearly definable and there is minimal risk of unsuccessful contract performance, such as a simple Department of Defense contract for vehicle maintenance. In this example, the contract contains precise availability rates and scheduled maintenance requirements. In others, however, there may be no concrete prediction of the scope of effort or tasks that the contractor will need to perform to achieve the required outcome. An example here would be a new technology implementation of say, a taxi dispatch or real-time bus rapid-transit schedule automation system.

Therefore, it is important to know how your business stacks up against the competition and whether it meets the specific requirements of the contract in more ways than just cost. Does the quality of your services exceed that of your competitors? How well do you match the contract’s technical requirements? Do you have the past performance to back it up? This can be especially difficult for a small business first trying to break into the realm of Federal proposal bidding. Experience in the best value trade-off source selection criterion is invaluable. Our team at Sales Automation Support has this experience. Let us use it to help you streamline your Federal proposal development.