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Digital Tools Transforming Professional Services Acquisition

by Jonathan Evans, Professional Services Category Product Owner & Program Analyst

A core challenge facing acquisition professionals in purchasing services is understanding how individual submarkets approach pricing and offerings, what contracts already exist to support acquisition of these services, as well as the best practices used to acquire services in these submarkets.

To address this need, last fall GSA launched the Acquisition Gateway to share, and collaboratively develop, these types of resources for the federal community. On the Gateway, acquisition professionals can compare available contract solutions, peruse expert articles on current topics, discover new templates and tools to streamline and simplify processes, and share success stories and lessons learned. The focus of the Acquisition Gateway is to build a community of practice for contracting professionals.

Several new digital tools on the Professional Services Hallway are helping the federal acquisition community make smarter, faster and more informed buying decisions.

CALC

The first is a powerful new labor category and pricing research tool called CALC.The Contract Awarded Labor Category (CALC) tool, built by the Professional Services Category and 18F, allows contracting officers and specialists to conduct research and price analysis for professional labor categories across a database of contract awarded prices for 48,000 labor categories from more than 5,000 recent GSA contracts.

Statement of Work Library

Earlier this year, we launched a robust Professional Services procurement Statement of Work library, a valuable resources for contracting professionals needing to develop their own SOWs. The library contains nearly 100 sample SOWs, Statement of Objective and Performance Work Statement. All the content in this library is available for download both as MS Word documents and as PDFs. We encourage our customers and industry partners to provide us with additional examples to share.

PM/CPI Visualization

The Performance Management / Continuous Process Improvement (PM/CPI) Visualization tool provides a visual display of three levels of pricing associated with a BPA awarded against the MOBIS Schedule (874). Additionally you may view by year, labor category and task area. This information is extremely helpful when conducting market research for this type of professional service. The tool and accompanying spreadsheet supplies PM/CPI BPA vendor estimated awarded hourly rates from Firm Fixed Price (FFP) task orders.  

Agency Professional Services Visualization Tool

The Agency Professional Services Visualization tool allows a user to assess Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS) through a variety of lenses down to the bureau level. For the purposes of the tool, professional services do not include IT, human resources, or training. It will be updated with new fiscal year data as it becomes available on an annual basis.

Professional Services Solutions Navigator

A recently updated resource is the Professional Services Solutions Navigator, a database of professional services acquisition vehicles.  Formerly a static spreadsheet, this tool is now searchable by agency, category and subcategory. The matrix provides a summary of the contract solution, terms and conditions, minimum order quantity and other data contracting officers need when searching for the right solution for their professional services acquisition.

I encourage you to take these digital tools for a spin. Then tell us how we’re doing in the comments below or through the new Professional Services Hallway Community.

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