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Establishing Labor Categories: We Need Your Feedback! - Oct 1, 2012

Hello Industry Partners, An important element of establishing the OASIS contract vehicle is determining the most effective mix of labor categories to cover the contract scope and facilitate standard pricing. Experience shows that industry uses a wide range of labor categories/titles that often cover similar work functions. Our goals in establishing OASIS labor categories are to:

  • Ensure an adequate number of categories reasonably related to the primary professional service disciplines covered by the OASIS scope that are:
    • Of significant importance in covering all potential task order scope areas;  and
    • Necessary to establish effective pricing of task order requirements.
  • Avoid having so many categories that task order award and administration become overly burdensome and/or price distinctions become negligible; but
  • Not have too few categories that agencies overpay for services because labor categories cover too wide a range of education and qualification requirements; and
  • Standardize labor categories to facilitate better "apples to apples" price comparisons at the task order level.

GSA would like to gather your viewpoints::

  1. What do you feel are an appropriate number of labor categories for OASIS?
  2. How would you recommend establishing global category titles?
  3. How many levels would you recommend having in each labor category (e.g., junior, journeyman, senior)?
  4. What would you recommend for education and experience requirements for each level?
  5. Lastly, do you have any other thoughts on what labor categories should be included in OASIS and their structure?

Please feel free to share your opinions here or email us any ideas, suggestions, or labor category lists you might have. As always, you can also provide feedback via oasis@gsa.gov. Once again, thanks for helping us to shape these important contracts.


Jim

Groups audience: 

Comments

twizard1

 1) What do you feel are an appropriate number of labor categories for OASIS?

We recommend seven (7) Job Groups to allow an adequate number of job classifications for contractors to map their labor categories to.

 Suggested Job Groups with associated Job Families

Engineering/Engineering Support

                Engineer, Sr. Engineer, CADD Operator, Energy Engineer, Engineer I, II, III

Consulting

                Staff Consultant, Sr. Consultant, Consultant I, II, III, Consulting Analyst

Project Management/Project Support

                Project Manager, Site Manager, Site Coordinator,

Installation/Service

                Technician, Specialist, Mechanic, Electrician, Electrical installer

Management

                Principle Consultant, Sr. Manager Consultant. Director

Operations

                Call center Agent, Data Manager, Asset Manager, Operations Manager, Quality Manager, Safety Manager

Business Services

                Contracts Manager, Financial Analyst, Accountant, Administration

2) How would you recommend establishing global category titles?

We recommend establishing a structure that organizes the labor functions into “Job Groups” and “Job Families” as follows:

  • Job Groups: Groups that will follow functional areas within the OASIS scope, such as: Engineering, Consulting, Project Management and Installation/Service.
  • Job Families: Types of jobs that exist within a job group that share a common discipline. For example within the Engineering job group: associate Engineer, Junior Engineer, Engineer 1 , etc.

Each job group would have established experience levels with a defined job summary identifying the minimum responsibilities, experience and educational requirements. 

This structure will establish an adequate number of job groups and will allow a contractor the ability to map their current labor categories and rates into the associated job group/experience level. This will eliminate having too few labor categories and possible overpayment for similar categories. It will also assist the Government with determining fair and reasonable pricing for  task order requirements. 

3) How many levels would you recommend having in each labor category (e.g., junior, journeyman, senior)?

We recommend three (3) experience levels for each labor category to provide adequate representation of the skill levels required to support this type of contract. The three (3) experience levels could be defined as: Level 1 (0-5 yrs); Level 2 (5-10 yrs); and Level 3 (greater than 10 years experience).

4) What would you recommend for education and experience requirements for each  level?

We recommend using three (3) sub-categories to define the minimum requirements for each experience level; Functional Responsibility, Experience and Education. Three (3) examples are listed below:

Specialist

Functional Responsibility: performs on-site technical and operational duties for the installation and maintenance of equipment associated with Automatic Building Control Systems and Energy Management Systems.

Experience: requires 1-5 years electrical and electronic installation and service experience and all certifications and licenses. Good written and verbal communication skills. 

Education: Associates degree or 1-2 years of vocational technical training or equivalent combination of education and experience.

        Project Manager     

Functional Responsibility: Oversees teams or groups responsible for executing project (solutions) and service jobs. Plans the account management, design, engineering, and systems installation of field projects. Impacts P&L and is responsible for resource allocation and financial forecasting.

Experience: 8-10 years of successful experience managing projects.

Education: BS/BA in related discipline, or advanced degree or equivalent combination of education and experience.

      Engineer (Specific example provided for Security, Fire, Building Automation or Energy Systems Engineering work)

Functional Responsibility: Performs on-site technical and operational support in the design, development, Installation and maintenance of equipment and systems of a complex nature associated with Automatic Building Control Systems, Fire Alarms, Security, CCTV and Energy Management Systems.

Experience: 5-8 years of successful experience in Security, Fire, Building Automation or Energy systems.

Education: BS/BA in related discipline, or advanced degree or equivalent combination of education and experience

5) Lastly, do you have any other thoughts on what labor categories should be included in OASIS and their structure?

We recommend the inclusion of labor categories found on similar Federal professional services contracts, as well as the ability to add OASIS labor categories prior to Task Order RFP release, to meet future professional services needs. From our perspective (only), these categories could include commercial professional services in: Energy, Healthcare, Industry, and Infrastructure that may not have current Federal labor category equivalents.

Tom

OASIS Blogger

Thanks for the detailed feedback, Tom.  We’ll take it under consideration.  Jim

twizard1

 

Siemens Government Technologies - Response to OASIS Labor Category Questions:

 

1. What do you feel are an appropriate number of labor categories for OASIS?

Siemens Response:  We recommend seven (7) Job Groups to allow an adequate number of job classifications for contractors to map their labor categories. 

2. How would you recommend establishing global category titles?

Siemens Response:  We recommend establishing a structure that organizes the labor functions into Job Groups and Job Families as follows:

  • Job Groups: Groups that will follow functional areas within the OASIS scope, such as: Engineering, Consulting, Project Management and Installation/Service.
  • Job Families: Types of jobs that exist within a job group that share a common discipline. For example within the Engineering job group: Associate Engineer, Junior Engineer, Engineer 1, etc.

Each job group would have established experience levels with a defined job summary identifying the minimum responsibilities, experience and educational requirements. 

This structure establishes an adequate number of job groups and allows a contractor the ability to map their current labor categories and rates into the associated job group/experience level. This eliminates having too few labor categories and possible overpayment for similar categories. It also assists the Government with determining fair and reasonable pricing for task order requirements. 

3. How many levels would you recommend having in each labor category (e.g., junior, journeyman, senior)?

Siemens Response: We recommend three (3) experience levels for each labor category to provide adequate representation of the skill levels required to support this type of contract. The three (3) experience levels could be defined as: Level 1 (0-5 yrs); Level 2 (5-10 yrs); and Level 3 (greater than 10 years experience). 

4. What would you recommend for education and experience requirements for each  level? 

Siemens Response:  We recommend using three (3) sub-categories to define the minimum requirements for each experience level; Functional Responsibility, Experience and Education. Three (3) examples are listed below:

Specialist

Functional Responsibility: performs on-site technical and operational duties for the installation and maintenance of equipment associated with Automatic Building Control Systems and Energy Management Systems.

Experience: requires 1-5 years electrical and electronic installation and service experience and all certifications and licenses. Good written and verbal communication skills. 

Education: Associates degree or 1-2 years of vocational technical training or equivalent combination of education and experience.   

Engineer

Functional Responsibility: Performs on-site technical and operational support in the design, development, Installation and maintenance of equipment and systems of a complex nature associated with Automatic Building Control Systems, Fire Alarms, Security, CCTV and Energy Management Systems.

Experience: 5-8 years of successful experience in Security, Fire, Building Automation or Energy systems.

Education: BS/BA in related discipline, or advanced degree or equivalent combination of education and experience

Project Manager     

Functional Responsibility: Oversees teams or groups responsible for executing project (solutions) and service jobs. Plans the account management, design, engineering, and systems installation of field projects. Impacts P&L and is responsible for resource allocation and financial forecasting.

Experience: 8-10 years of successful experience managing projects.

Education: BS/BA in related discipline, or advanced degree or equivalent combination of education and experience.  

5. Lastly, do you have any other thoughts on what labor categories should be included in OASIS and their structure?

Siemens Response: Siemens recommends the inclusion of labor categories found on similar Federal professional services contracts, as well as the ability to add OASIS labor categories prior to Task Order RFP release, to meet future professional services needs. From Siemens perspective, these categories could include commercial professional services in: Energy, Healthcare, Industry, and Infrastructure that may not have current Federal labor category equivalents.

 Tom

 

OASIS Blogger

Thank you very much for taking the time to respond to our questions, Tom. We will take this into consideration.  Jim

nsmither

The challenge we find more and more with our GSA Schedules is that the "old" LCATS of yester-year don't necessarily map to new and emerging technology requirements.  Yet, deep into a contract (say out-years 3-4-5, etc), we're having to wiggle around and try to make requirements stick into an LCAT that perhaps originally wasn't designed for the purpose.  And of course, this is a sticky pricing exercise as well.  I think this makes it hard on Industry as well as government during evaluation time. 

I'd like to see some creative LCATS on OASIS that attempted to serve as a "crystal ball" for future evolving requirements.  I know we can always suggest some generic "SME" LCATS with some really high hourly rates as a catch all, but I think if we put a little thought into it, maybe we can "future proof" a few LCATS that will allow more flexibility and realistic pricing.  Maybe this was more of rant than a suggestion?  :-) 

The message being is I'd like to see some logical, perhaps more generic and futuristic LCATS for special--unique--currently unknown requirements yet to come during the life of this contract.  I realize this is easier said than done.  But, would enjoy the conversation.

- Nelson

OASIS Blogger

Hi Nelson and thanks for your input.  We will take this into consideration.  Jim

hmori

Jim –

A few suggestions to consider as you develop the labor categories for OASIS.

1. Use fewer labor categories with broader qualifications and years of experience requirements. OASIS should have the ability to easily accommodate advances in technology which can be difficult when labor category requirements are too specific.

2. Agree with some other the other comments, global labor category titles should correlate with the expected customer base.

3. Recommend using four levels for each labor category: junior/associate, mid, senior, and a SME for some categories.

4. Education/experience should be broad, for example instead of using the word “must” use the word should or desire and allowing years of experience or education in lieu of each other.

Thanks for the opportunity to comment.

Heather

OASIS Blogger

Thank you for your suggestions, Heather. We appreciate the feedback! Jim

gdelprete

We suggest GSA allow vendors the flexibility to bid labor categories that are consistent with their core business and existing contract vehicles rather than creating an exhastive list of labor categories that vendors are required to bid. We have some additional feedback below.

  1. What do you feel are an appropriate number of labor categories for OASIS?

Per the GSA OASIS Portal the service areas include:  Consulting services, logistics services, professional engineering services, and financial services areas:  Some of the service areas would possibly have the same labor category titles.   We would suggest a minimum of 7 labor categories for each of the following service areas.  

For example:   The Consulting and Financial Services labor categories would include:    

Senior Executive/Partner

Senior Manager/Program Manager

Manager/Project Manager

Senior Associate/Consultant

Associate/Consultant

Intern (currently enrolled in college, within 24 months of graduation)

Administrator (non-exempt).  

The Senior Manager/Program Manager, Manager/Project Manager, Senior Associate/Consultant, Associate/Consultant, Administrator would each have 3 sub-levels of experience beneath the labor category.  (An Intern would not have sub-levels of experience.)   For example:

  1. Sub-Level 1, Junior (or Entry) -  0-2 Yr of Experience at that Level 
  2. Sub-Level 2, Mid-Level (Experienced)  -   2-5 Yrs Experience at that Level
  3. Sub-Level 3, Senior -   In excess of 5 years at that Level

Note:   The role of the administrative labor category can be non-degreed, may have certifications and is required to provide all clerical/administrative work in support of the professional (Exempt) labor categories listed.   Ensures that clerical tasks are done by clerical staff only.    

  1. How would you recommend establishing global category titles?  See item 1 above.
  2. How many levels would you recommend having in each labor category (e.g., junior, mid-level, senior)?  Three
  3. What would you recommend for education and experience requirements for each level?

 Experience:  See Item 1 above. 

 Education/Certifications/Licenses:   This requirement could be determined at the Task Order level dependent on the buyer's requirements.           

Note:  Depending on the Statement of Work requirements, relevant job experience could be substituted for some portion of the education requirements or an advanced degree could be substituted for years for experience requirements.  

5. Lastly, do you have any other thoughts on what labor categories should be included in OASIS and their structure? There should be some TBD categories that would allow the contractor flexibility to utilize a maximum of 15-20% of the labor category hours being bid and subsequently performed in labor categories not on the current schedule. These labor categories and their associated education/experience requirements and pricing would be proposed by the contractor as an alternative approach to the work notwithstanding approval by the Government’s Proposal Review Board.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment. We look forward to answering any additional questions that you have and reviewing the draft statement of work.

 

OASIS Blogger

Thank you for your very thorough responses, George. We appreciate your feedback... Jim

Fedconassoc
  1. What do you feel are an appropriate number of labor categories for OASIS?
    1. Agree with previous comment concerning Labor categories and levels of each. Senior, junior, etc. levels Re: Q3 below.  Review of Draft document will be invaluable for additional input.
  2. How would you recommend establishing global category titles?
    1. Use of labor descriptions/categories that line up with generally accepted commercial / government titles.
  3. How many levels would you recommend having in each labor category (e.g., junior, journeyman, senior)?
    1. Minimum 2 maximum 4 - Levels 1,2,3,4 or Senior
  4. What would you recommend for education and experience requirements for each level?
    1. Except for senior level positions all requirements should allow for degree and experience or minimum year(s) experience in lieu of a degree. For Senior levels requirement should include degree, experience and possibly professional certifications. With higher  degrees (PhD, Masters) lesser experience requirements as level of degree increases.
  5. Lastly, do you have any other thoughts on what labor categories should be included in OASIS and their structure?
    1. Allow enough latitude and generalization of the categories to ensure end-user has ability to obtain required support services.

Steven

OASIS Blogger

Thank you for your responses to our questions, Steven. We appreciate your feedback.  Jim

Amy Fadida

Hi, Jim.

I think the last Blog on the release of the DRFPs for OASIS and OASIS SB stated by end of October. Is that still the most current view of when teh draft RFPs will be released?

Thanks very much.

OASIS Blogger

Hello and thanks for the question. Yes, the end of October still looks to be the time when the draft RFPs will be released. We will let everyone know if that changes. Thanks again for the question and have a great day!  Jim

IndustryBlogger

GSA OASIS Team,  Could you please clarify how labor categories and associated rates are going to be used on OASIS?  Are they only for Labor Hour and T&M types of contracts? (as it seems logical that DCAA approved forward pricing rates would be applicable for Fixed Price and Cost-type contracts)

OASIS Blogger

Hi and thanks for the question. Both OASIS contracts will feature standardized labor categories that will be utilized, as applicable, in all OASIS task orders. However, the ceiling rates associated with the labor categories in the contracts will apply only to Labor Hour/Time and Material/FP Level of Effort task orders. Thanks again for the question.  Jim

michael.wiltse

Hello Jim. Thank you for reaching out. I followed your question with some short answers.

What do you feel are an appropriate number of labor categories for OASIS?

The number of labor categories can be relatively small if they are general enough and they are leveled. For example, Logistician 1, Logistician 2, etc. could be considered one labor category with multiple levels with levels based on education/experience. Another approach would be for vendors to propose labor categories at the task order level (similar to OPTARSS II).

How would you recommend establishing global category titles?

I recommend looking at common salary surveys, specifically Towers-Watson. It would be best to align with industry for clarity.

How many levels would you recommend having in each labor category (e.g., junior, journeyman, senior)?

I would not recommend Junior, Journeyman, etc. I would recommend a numbering system, with 1 being an entry level position. 1 through 5 would be adequate for most labor categories, but categories that require a very high qualification level, possibly add 6 and 7 (executive levels.)

What would you recommend for education and experience requirements for each level?

I beleive that is dependant on the labor category. For example, there would be a difference in education and experience for a "Supply Specialist 1" and a "Project Manager 1".

Lastly, do you have any other thoughts on what labor categories should be included in OASIS and their structure?

Nothing specific, but categories should be somewhat generic.

OASIS Blogger

Thank you for your thorough feedback, Michael. The OASIS team appreciates your thoughts on this subject. Jim

d13albrecht

1. in general, as many as required to allow flexibility in providing support.  I would recommend a minimum 40 labor categories.

2. seek input from industry, correlate to your expected customer base, and provide them as part of the RFP as guidelines.

3. a minimum of 3; junior, base, senior, then possibly principal and a general SME

4. depends on the area of support.  In general IT, high school and minimal experience for the junior levels, up to masters and extensive education for more senior poritions.  IT would also require FISMA security certifications.  Outside of those, probably Assocaites and 2 years expereience for junior levels up to masters or PhDs with extensive experience.  The Government should have some idea of waht they'd like to have in a perfect world, vice what can be reasonably afforded.  It will also depend on your requirements.

5. Industry can provide a better response once the draft RFP is provided.

 

Dean

OASIS Blogger

Hi Dean, and thank you for your comments regarding labor categories. Please let us know if you have additional feedback. Jim

gclarke

In order to be eligible for an OASIS award, are companies required to have an existing GSA Schedule contract?

OASIS Blogger

Hello and thanks for the question. OASIS is open to competition from all interested contractors.  There is no prerequisite to hold an existing GSA Schedule contract and OASIS will not be a Schedule contract.  Thanks again for the question... Jim

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