Guest Contributor | February 1, 2021
Latest update from Govwin:
The Contracting Office released a J&A on February 18, 2021. The Government has approved an extension for 14 months on the incumbent contracts from February 22, 2021 to April 21, 2022. The bridge extension of ITES-3H is required to avoid any lapse in coverage and support between ITES-3H expiration and ITES-4H award.
This article includes:
- ITES-4H Background and Required Sections
- 6 Tips to Prepare a Winning ITES-4H Bid
The most recent ITES-4H Draft RFP released in December 2020 gives us a good indication of what the final solicitation will look like. Army CHESS expects to make 17 awards, with up to seven small businesses. If ITES-3H is any indication, small business awardees will likely be the larger firms that have demonstrated success and competitiveness on similar contracts.
The ITES-4H scope of work is broken into seven catalogs:
- Catalog I – Servers
- Catalog II – Workstations, Thin Clients, Desktops, and Notebooks
- Catalog III – Storage Systems
- Catalog IV – Networking Equipment
- Catalog V – Imaging Equipment
- Catalog VI – Cables, Connectors, and Accessories
- Catalog VII – Video Equipment Products
ITES-4H Required Sections Include the Following:
1. ITES-4H Technical: 25-page limit. A major point of the solicitation is that products be EPEAT registered and on the DoDIN Approved Product List (APL). Narrative will include the expected impact and burden of migrating to DoDIN APL products across the 10-year life of the contract. Other discussions will include quality standards and Supply Chain Risk Management (SCRM). Contractors should be negotiating now with their go-to OEMs and distributors, and also discussing with them their approach to meeting these requirements.
2. ITES-4H Pricing: Sample catalogs will be priced not higher than offerors’ current rates on other GWACs, BPAs, IDIQs, etc. The most competitive prices will be near a zero markup over cost, with awardees working hard post-award to obtain deal registrations and competitive pricing with OEMs and distributors for specific delivery orders. A 10% price evaluation preference goes to HUBZone offerors for the supplies portion of the offer, per FAR 52.219-4.
3. ITES-4H Past Performance: 25-page limit. Offerors will present up to five relevant contract references. At this point, it appears offerors could either present references for their prime or first-tier subcontractor work on large GWACs or IDIQs like SEWP V, CIO-CS, GSA Schedule 70, FirstSource II, ADMC, etc., or they could reference a few large orders on one or more of these contracts. Past performance questionnaires (with a summary of offerors’ efforts) will be required. Caution: Avoid referencing a contract or order where you have a sub-par CPARS rating.
4. ITES-4H Small Business Participation: ALL offerors will need to demonstrate their commitment to small business, and companies should be deciding on teaming partners now. The ITES-4H minimum participation goals are below. Small businesses may include their own participation in the plan.
- Small Business (SB) 22%
- Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB) 5%
- Women Owned Small Business (WOSB) 4%
- HUBZone-Certified Small Business (HUBZone) 2.5%
- Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) 3%
- Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) 2%
5. ITES-4H Certifications & Representations: This includes SF 1449 and other documents that will be submitted as a PDF document.
6 Tips to Prepare a Winning ITES-4H Bid
- Review the most recent ITES-4H draft solicitation here.
- Talk to the major OEMs you’re authorized to resell (Dell, HP, etc.), and start mapping products and pricing for the seven catalogs in Attachment 2. The OEMs may want you to bid their full offering across the different catalogs in order to obtain their best price. Shop your available options carefully.
- Discuss with the OEMs their approach to SCRM and migrating to DoDIN APL products across the next 10 years. You will need a solid narrative in your technical proposal.
- Review the small business categories and identify areas where you need to subcontract to meet or exceed the goals. If you do not have a current Commercial or Individual Small Business Subcontracting Plan, now is the time.
- Start working on your SCRM Plan or keep updating your existing plan if you already have one. Given the way SCRM requirements are continually evolving, keeping up is always a challenge. For example, the upcoming DHS First Source II solicitation requires vendors to have the ISO 28001-2007 certification as an admission ticket. If you don’t have time to put together a compliant plan, engage outside help.
- Identify up to five past performance references now. If you have at least three large IDIQ contracts to reference—and your CPARS scores are rated satisfactory or better—great. Use those contracts as references and start mapping the orders you have filled to the different ITES-4H catalogs. Your writeup for the narrative portion can also be used on the questionnaires. If you do not have multiple, large IDIQ prime contracts now, assimilate a list of large orders you have executed as a prime or first-tier sub, and map those orders to as many of the seven ITES-4H catalogs as you can. As we all know, developing a winning narrative is a very tedious and exacting exercise.
Help Winning ITES-4H
Our veteran consultants have related experience and can help guide you through the process of winning ITES-4H. If you don’t win, you’ll be locked out for the next 10 years.
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